Archive for May, 2010

Carnival Girl – Beacon, 1959

Posted in Beacon Books, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books with tags , , , , , on May 27, 2010 by orriehittfan

This is a much better carny stripper tale. It’s essentially the same as Carnival Honey: Rhonda has a father who runs a carnival but never wanted her to be a part of it. He has a heart attack and dies, leaving her with bills and a failing carnival that can only make real money from the stripper show.

Rhonda gets her car repossessed and her house might go to. She has a teaching degree but can’t get a job.  With $50 to her name, she joins her father’s carnival first to take care of the books, then to dance in the girly show, learning the sleazy ropes.

She sleeps with one man and then one of the dancers, learning lesbian love, while her former boyfriend chases after her to marry him and forget the carny life.

Not bad.  On the Hitt Scale, a 7.5.

Carnival Honey – Kozy Book #143, 1961

Posted in Kozy Books, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books on May 15, 2010 by orriehittfan

Unfortunatewly, another disappointing Hitt — you get confused about what’s happening and why, and you don’t care for the characters.

The “honey” is young Anne Crawford, college student, whose father travels with a carny but doesn’t want her in the life.  When he has a heart attack, she joins up and becomes a striptease dancer in the girlie show.

She hooks up with carny hand Clint…

Is this the the same Clint and Anne who ran away from the carny life in The Cheaters?

It’s just not a good read, although over at Anna’s Blog, she liked it.

On the Hitt Scale, a 3.

While the City Sins – Ember Library #363, 1967

Posted in Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books with tags , , , on May 14, 2010 by orriehittfan

After 1964, Orrie Hitt stopped publishing the the ambitious fervor he did from 1957-1963.  By 1965-1968, he only published a few titles per year. Whether this had to do with his ill health and the cancer that took his life several years later is unknown.

At first I wondered if ol’ Orrie actually penned this book, as there were some style changes — mainly, a lot of long convoluted sentences,  something not found in his earlier work.  But the characters and dialogue are pure Hitt, so something was going on — the same long sentences can be found in the much flawed Male Lover.

And like Hitt’s only gay novel, While the City Sins is also confusing and hard to follow.  It opens like your usual Hitt, with a young lady, Candy, winning a beauty contest and then contacted by a modeling agent who gets her into doing nude photos; Candy, who was sent to private finishing school by her wealthy attorney father, has done this to rebel against said father’s expectations.

And like many Hitt heroines, she has a boyfriend who wants to marry her but she’s not ready for marriage; and her father wants her to marry someone like him: a lawyer from a good family.  Meanwhile, CAndy slums in the sex racket.

After that, it’s impossible to follow what the hell is going on — the endless banter and run on sentences makes this for a hard read.  Why Cornith bought this book is a mystery.

I asked Earl Kemp, former editor-in-chief at Greenleaf, if he remembered this one Hitt book they did, but he didn not recall it.

I suspect Beacon rejected many of Hitt’s late 60s manuscripts because of poor quality, and why he sold them as one-shots to Gaslight, Ember, PEC, and McFadden (though Softcover, as Beacon later became, did do The Sex Pros in 1968).

This title is a hard find, though, so it’s more a disappointment.  The cover by Robert Bonfils in excellent at least, making this a good collector’s book to look at.

Wayward Girl – Beacon, 1960

Posted in Beacon Books, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books on May 9, 2010 by orriehittfan

This one is far better than Orrie Hitt’s other juvie novel, The Torrid Teens — both published in 1960 although Wayward Girl was a month or two before Torrid Teens, as tis is Beacon #288 and Teens #294 (we’re talking a month difference here).

The wayward girl is  young Sandy Greening and he white trash nowhere life — she was raped by a neighbor at 14 but liked it, started running with a gang and prostituting at 15, got hooked on heroin (but not too badly) at 16.

Her father is in prison for trying to hold up a gas station and her mother is a lush who runs around with criminals and bad boys.  She in turn runs around with a street gang, is not quite a “deb” but makes herself available for the use of the club house, where she sometimes brings her johns.

She works part time in a deli, where she meets out of town men or dock workers who pay her $5-10, sometimes $20, for a lay.  She believes in giving men what they pay for and sometimes enjoys it.  She wants to work her way up to a high class $100/night call girl and lead a nicer life.

One night an older man offers her $25 and she goes to his hotel room but it’s a police sting and she’s arrested.  She was witness to a murder in a rumble the night before (a rival gang gang-raped one of their debs) but she plays dumb.

She is sent to a special reform school for first offenders, much better she is told than most reform institutes for young women, and far better than prison.  There, she goes cold turkey off the heroin and it’s a hellish two weeks before she kicks it.

Some of the other girls are pregnant, in for drugs or hooking, and half seem to be lesbians or dabbling in the third sex for lack of men.  She vows never to go that route but she is blackmailed into lesbiana by one of the house-mothers, who holds her future well-being in lock.  Still, Sandy finds she enjoys the forced kisisngs and lickings of another woman — “Sandy had never dreamed of the completeness of this kind of love” (p. 92).

She is given a weekend pass to stay with a family in town, only to find that the man of the house — a fat slob of a guy — expects sex from her, or else he will tell the house-mother to give her a bad report and have her sent to regular jail.  He is paying the house-mother $25 for every girl she sends for him to have sex with.  Sandy sees it ironic that she was convicted for prostitution only to be pimped out by the state employees who are supposed to be “reforming” her as a good citizen of society.

The slob’s son, 19, however, falls in love with Sandy and wants to marry her, but she can’t see how he can feel that way for a girl like her, especially if he ever found out she was sleeping with his father.

When Sandy is released, she goes back to work at the diner where men are expecting her to return to doing $5-10 tricks, and where her gang mates expect her to return to the Life of rumbling and shooting heroin.

Sometimes at tad preachy and moral, this is still an excellent read, even with the sappy happy ending.  Hitt seems to be writing a book made-to-order for Beacon, as the storyline is similar to others, but here he does an excellent job.

On the Hitt Scale, a 9.2.