Panda Bear Passion – PEC Books (1968)

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.

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