Archive for June, 2010

Ex-Virgin (Beacon, 1958)

Posted in Beacon Books, Orrie Hitt, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books with tags , on June 20, 2010 by orriehittfan

Hitt - Ex-Virgin 1958

Mary is, at 17, indeed a virgin, much to the dismay of her boyfriend, Sam, but by the end of the novel, thanks to Joe, Mary is an ex-virgin.

She works at the soda fountain, hardly ever wears a bra, so all the boys and men come get their ice cream floats to take a gander at her bouncing 38-inch chest.  This frustrates Sam — if she does thus, why won’t she put out, or marry him so he can take her maidenhead on the honeymoon?

We’re supposed to believe that Mary is oblivious to her own sexuality, and maybe she is.

Joe works at the gas station and moonlights as a pimp for Anna — he finds her men who pay $10-15 a lay, and he gets a cut.  This is a common nefarious characters in some Hitt books.  he has his eye on Mary — he could make a lot of money off her if he could turn her.

Joe also has a knack for knocking girls up — who knows how many babies he has out there?

After breaking up with Sam, and feeling blue, Mary goes for a swim at the lake and falls asleep. Joe has followed her, and he has some whiskey. He gets her drunk and has her.  She claims it’s rape; he says she was into it and wanted it…and she was so drunk, maybe she did.

So she’s an ex-virgin.

But it has a happy ending — Sam gets his and Joe comes back.

The end.

Not bad..

Not the best, but not bad.

A 7.5 on the Hitt Scale.

Softcover Library reprinted it as Made for Man in 1969.

Dark Passion – Kozy Book #128, 1961

Posted in Kozy Books, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books with tags , , , on June 19, 2010 by orriehittfan

The title and the cover with the dancing African natives might seem a tad racist — then again, many 1960s sleaze book covers and titles are either a tad racist, sexist, and uncouth by 2010 PC standards.

This one is a tad different than your usual Hitt, too — instead of being set in upper New York State, a farm, carnival, backwoods or the Manhattan, it is set in a fictional East African country, Casabula…I say east because the narrator mentions it being near Togo.

The narrator is a reporter who once lived in Casabula with his diplomat parents, now dead. He knows the country, and once knew the current military ruler when they were kids.   He’s there to do a story on the new social reforms, the resistance fighting, and the general politcal turmoil in the Congo that was present back in the 1960s, and doesn’t seem to have changed much in current postcolonial times.

This sounds good and promising, but this simply is not Orrie Hitt’s territory; this is not the world he knows well and writes well about, so it doesn’t fly.  The book becomes convoluted,unreadable, and basically unbelievable and boring.

Another unfortunate miss for Hitt.

Playpet – Vest-Pocket Book #102, 1962

Posted in Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books with tags , , , on June 15, 2010 by orriehittfan

The second of these little books is a far better tale than Carnival Sin. It’s a Madison Ave book about a woman in advertising, Mavis, who has climbed the corporate ladder by doing a lot of sleeping around.  She’s also a raging alcoholic — the story opens with her waking up hungover and a man she doesn’t remember meeting at a bar and bringing home is making breakfast.  She starts her morning off with vodka and orange juice.

There’s a great deal of detail about the ad business, mail order catalogues and such that we know Hitt is writing from knowledge and authority, so that gives the prose an extra kick.  Half way through, however, Hitt veers off and loses focuses on his story.

It’s too bad both of these little books weren’t excellent works like Hitt did for Beacon or Kozy — probably one reason why they didn’t fly as a profitable venture.

Orrie Hitt Double Feature

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

Black Mask Books has issued an Orrie Hitt Double Feature: I’ll Call Every Monday and Ladies Man, both novels with Nicky Weaver as protagonist. Ladies Man picks up a few years after the action in Monday.

Get it here!

Carnival Sin – Vest-Pocket Book #101, 1962

Posted in Novel Books, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books with tags , , , , on June 6, 2010 by orriehittfan

Vest-Pocket Books only put out four titles, two each in a box:small trimmed little flip-books.  It was an experiment that didn’t fly.  There’s no publisher listed but it was apparently a product of Camerarts, publisher of Novel and Merit Books, based on the back cover copy: “Men — You Can’t Afford To Miss This One!”

Hitt was Camerarts’ star writer from 1962-4, until Hitt had some reprint and money issues with the publisher.

Speaking of money, these two little books are a rare find, and tend to go for outrageous prices: in the $600-700 range.  Why, I have no idea.  A few months ago I was bidding on eBay for these Vest-Pockets, went up to $120, and someone paid nearly $200 for them.  I’m glad I didn’t bid higher because two months later I found them at the Mission Hills Paperback Show in L.A. for a very, very reasonable price–albeit not in the best condition, I wondered if the seller knew what they had.

They’re not quite the Orrie Hitt Holy Grail like Panda Bear Passion, which I am still trying to locate — and Cabin Fever, anyone?  I am five titles away from having a full Hitt collection. The other two are Cherry (a Kay Adda, Torrid Cheat and Honey (both Chariot).

Another carney stripper tale, this one is told from the perspective of “Bubbles,” so named for her breasts.  She’s shacked up with the owner, but the show is nearly bankrupt and she’s given her man her savings so he can meet payroll.  Now she regrets it.

She gets talked into doing a new dance craze in her act, “The Twist.”  Everyone is ga-ga for Chubby Checker’s twist dance, where drunk suburban housewives at parties are known to take off their clothes when doing it.

And then an old flame shows up, Johnny, working as a wrestler. He’s been hopping from one carnival act to another searching for her, when he heard she was dancing.  They were an item back home, but he had sex with her sister so she dumped him.  Now he wants her back and she doesn’t know what to do.

“Johnny, I don’t want to hurt you. Can you appreciate that?”

“I think so but you have just the same.  With your sister — what chance did I have to explain? You caught us and we were through.”

“We’re still through,” she said gently. “Hurting you proves nothing and it makes me feel badly. But, Johnny, I am serious about somebody. I’m terrible serious and if that stings I can’t help it. Do you want me to lie to you?” (p. 153)

The little books are 220 pages, with 19 lines of text per page, so about 40,000 words.  So far this is the best of Hitt’s carney novels, but still just an average tale, that on the Hitt Scale comes in at 7.5.