Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday's Forgotten Book: Floyd Smith's Action Girls

I can't tell you much about this book, since I can't find any info about it or its writer on-line. It was published in the Finnish sleaze series called Cocktail in 1974 and the original title is given as Action Girls. The Finnish title means "Girls on Desert". The writer is one Floyd Smith, on whom I can't find anything. Can anyone help? It's not very important, but I'd really like to know whether this was really an American paperback originally or is it a fake. You know, the Cocktail series had at least one book masquerading as a translation, while it was written by a Finnish writer. (I've written about that case here.)

Action Girls/Tytöt aavikolla is not much of a book. The narration is disjointed (the translation is probably abridged) and the plot doesn't make much sense. The head character is a young guy bringing dynamite to a archeological site in Arizona. On the site there are only the professor and his beautiful wife and all those beautiful girls working as internees. The young guy gets into a fight with professor just about everything, but he also gets to fuck all the young girls and eventually the professor's wife, too, even though she's a lesbian at first. The young guy (sorry, forgot his name already, and I don't have the book with me as I write) brings a friend of his to the site and there's a gruesome rape scene with the friend, but the attacked girl turns from a virgin into a sexually active omnisexual after the rape and helps the male friend in his further escapades. I can't help but wonder what the readers of this book were thinking. "Hey, that sounds cool, I'll try that one of these days"?

Action Girls/Tytöt aavikolla is also a bit of a crime novel, with the professor's secret being that he killed his cheating wife (an earlier one, that is) and buried her in the desert. Why's he then doing diggings in the site? It seems he can get a kick out of sex only if he's somewhere around the corpse - and he's also looking for the wedding ring that could identify the body. There's some shooting and fistfight in the climax and dynamite is also used, but in the end everyone -except the now dead professor - can indulge in free-wheelin' sex.

This is one weird novel. If it's an original American sleaze paperback and if you can find it, I'll recommend you take a look, but don't try to get a kick out of it and don't treat it as literature.

Here's a link to all the covers of the Cocktail paperbacks.


James Reasoner said...

Certainly sounds like it could have been an American paperback, but unfortunately, not one I've ever run across.

Todd Mason said...

Rather as with, say, Mickey Spillane's novels, I suspect no one reading ACTION GIRL or similar work was going to be moved to assume that this is the means to help a woman find her true sexuality (I hope not, certainly)...though certainly that trope has persisted, at least in European films (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, SPETTERS) when the survivor of the rape is male.

Todd Mason said...

Come to think of it, the film BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE did offer the notion of the "therapeutic" herterosexual rape, with the rapist being a literally demonic figure. Still, of course, queasy, and smirkily meant to be so.

Juri said...

This particular rape, Todd, is indeed a therapeutic one. The girl says herself that she's happy she was raped (or some such nonsense).

I forgot to add that the writer of the book - i.e. Floyd Smith - must've known something about geology and other stuff, since there are some scenes with info about them.

And by the way, the book could've been written in the midsixties, since it says that the professor killed his wife ten years earlier in 1954.

booker said...

Hi. I am a bookseller and I do have a paperback copy in English of Action Girls by Floyd Smith. It was published by Midwood Publications, New York 1977.

Hope this helps!
Rags and Bones Antiquarian Books

Juri said...

Hey, thanks for that bit! It must've been a reprint in 1977, since it was published in Finnish as early as 1974. It could've been a trunk novel that sold in English only in 1977, but somehow I don't think that was the case here.