Archive for September, 2011

Cabin Fever – Uni-Books, 1954

Posted in Beacon Books, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books with tags , on September 22, 2011 by orriehittfan

 

 

Ol’ Orrie’s third published novel, after I’ll Call Every Monday and Love in the Arctic, and a hard volume to find, as many Uni-Book titles are.  Unis were Universal Publishing’s pulp digests before the Beacon imprint, which lead with two Hitt books: Shabby Street and She Got What She Wanted.  The UniBooks format were large, magazine digest sized, 35 cents.

Cabin Fever is a seriously flawed narrative, but also a blueprint for many future Hitt hits: we see the seeds of The Cheaters, Dirt Farm, Two of a Kind, Violent Sinners, Sins of the Flesh, and others.

Danny O’Connor is your usual Hitt hero: a WW II vet, six foot three, broad-shouldered, womanzing. He’s less a heel than he is a chump for women. Yes, he jumbles three women: Tawny, the wife of an older man named Stone; Randi, a waitress; Sue, his ex-girlfriend wgho has been saving herself for their marriage, something Danny doesn’t want to wait for.  There is a cast of charcaters page:

 

Danny is on vacation from his warehouse job…and he is also getting away from Sue so he can cat around. He runs out of money fast so takes on a seasonal job of storekepper at the cabin resort place in the mountains, a job that Hitt had and a locale and job that pops up now and again in other Hitt books.

Within hours, he beds the owner’s younger wife, Tawny. She tosses himself at her, so what can he do when a hot bonde bombsehll does so? Of course, she has a plan: seduce Danny, get him to murder her husband, get half of the property and money…and her…but then her husband appraoches him to kill her and get a $10,000 payday.

Cain territory.

And of course he is being set up as a patsy by both, along with Tawny’s old boyfriend from her burlesque show days.

An interesting foundation for better books, but a disappointment in bad writing, bantering dialogue, and characters one could care less about.

Damn nice cover, though.

 

Panda Bear Passion – PEC Books (1968)

Posted in Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books with tags , , , on September 21, 2011 by orriehittfan

The most hard-to-find, sought-after Orrie Hitt title, next to Cabin Fever (Uni Books, 1954) and the Vest Pocket doubles, Panda Bear Passion is often called the Holy Grail of Orrie Hitt books — not for the story, mind you, but for the awesome cover.

Is the story any good? Well, it is better than all the other scattered Hitt books from 1965-1970, which I have noted tend to be incoherent and repetitive. Panda Bear Passion, however, has an easy-to-follow storyline with more sex than any Hitt book ever.

The main character is Frank Jennings, an insurance salesman on the debit job, quite familiar, just like the narrator of his first novel, I’ll Call Every Monday and a few others.  And like many Hitt heroes, he is jumbling three women, inclduing the one on the cover, a drunken woman who seems to get off better with her stuffed panda bear than with a mabn’s throbbing johnson.

The difference, and this was due to the market, is every one of the 11 chapters contains an explicit sex scene, unlike the usual Hitt where there is a sex scene every third chapter, a sex scene that is elusive…I doubt that Hitt wrote much of these sex scenes talking about hard cocks and bruised pussies, etc., and (like the 1970s Softcover reprints) they were penned by an editorial hand — PEC (Publisher’s Export Company) was a San Diego off-shoot of Greenleaf, distrubing many of the southern California sex novels and publishing their own as well.

A curious read, indeed, at the end of a fifteen year pulp career.