Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Unidentified sleaze paperback

Here's still another one of those sex papebacks I've been unable to obtain any reliable information about. It's by one Jo Ann Sheer, and it's supposed to be called Alayne's Secret Pleasures. It came out in Finnish with a stupid and irrelevant title "Rinnat kuin revolverit", which means "Breasts like revolvers", which bears no relation to the novel. It came out in 1978. I can't find any book as by Jo Ann Sheer and certainly not "Alayne's Secret Pleasures". 

The book is not crime, as some of the previous examples are. This is a rather loosely narrated story of Evan, who works in a men's mag, and Alayne, who's an ex-ballerina and living with Evan. They have a fight, as Alayne asks for too much sex, and Evan whips her with a belt, which Alayne of course enjoys immensely and says later that at that time he could finally respect Evan. They part their ways, only to meet later in Germany at the launch party of a new sex magazine called European Views. The way Alayne gets her money to travel to Europe is an especially nasty one: she and her lesbian friend fight each other naked in a bar (and when I say fight, I mean it), and when Alayne wins, she has to whip her friend in front of the audience. If she declines, her friend gets thrown in the river. After the whipping the women are raped. It's no pleasure reading this stuff, though there are titillating moments. The ending is a happy one: Evan and Alayne get back together, now that Evan knows how Alayne should be treated.

There are some inside jokes and references in the book: the editing office of European Views, the new sex mag, is described in detail (I'll translate back to English): "The gay photographer, the shabby office hasn't officially been rented, the staff writers are two homeless and rootless guys, who have nowhere else to rest their heads." The publisher of European Views could be modeled after a real person, there's that certain ring to it. In one scene Evan is seen reading a copy of a 0008 book by Clyde Allison. (There's no way a Finnish writer could know this, since they have never been translated.) I believe this a bona fide American sex novel published by an obscure house, and it was written by someone who was in the industry him- or herself. 

A reader of this blog found a book that was written and published as by another writer in one of these posts: H. P. Jaye wrote a gay porn novel The Go-Down Man in 1969, published by CAJ, which could be an off-shoot of Publishers Export Center hailing from El Cajon, California. PEC seems to have ceased in 1971, so these may have been one of their latest books, which might explain why they can't be found. 

One thing more: I noticed there's a character called Joe Sheer in the first Parker novel, The Hunter, but there's no way Westlake would've written this. Is there?

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