Archive for the Novel Books Category

Inflamed Dames! (Novel Books, 1963)

Posted in Novel Books, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books with tags on June 24, 2011 by orriehittfan

Another one of ol’ Orrie’s social-political novels disguised as genre sleaze. It’s original title was Easy Women and it was also reprinted as The Love Seekers and Jenkins Lovers, part of Novel Books sneaky way of putting “new” product on th market but not paying th writer for an original work. None of the four titles have anything to do with the plot.

The story is about Harry Sharp, big business man and small town mayor, but he was not always so hot. He was a regular guy who studied engineering in college because it seemed like he could land a half-way decent job, but he really loathed engineering.  He went to work for a big company where he knew he’d never advance far, until he started to date the boss’ daughter and marry her, and when the boss died and his wife inherited the company, he was advanced to President. Then he decided to run for mayor of the small upper NY state town they lived in, Bolton, and press his political agenda.

See, Harry does not believe in the welfare state. This must have been the time when cities provided relief money, not states or the federal gov.  Harry wants to cut off all relief from men who don’t work for it doing city jobs like picking up trash, and women who have children out of wedlock.  The taxpayers agree but the jobless and poor think h’s out to destroy them.

Enter Emily, a 22-year-old woman with two small kids, both from different fathers who pay no child support. She goes from job to job but needs welfare money to help with her kids, and since she is unmarried and has two different fathers for her kids, she is subject to not getting checks anymore. But Harry meets her on the commuter train and shows interest in her sexually — he and his wife are no longer intimate, he has a number of lovers and call girls, his wife has a lover now, so why not…but is Emily going to fuck him to keep her welfare checks coming, or is she interested in him, or does she want to trap the wealthy young mayor into having a third child and getting his money?

Not the best Hitt but interesting in its straying away from the typical sleaze novel fare, and like most of his Novel novels, contains passages of political dialogue about fiscal conservatism and social responsibility.

My Two Strangest Lovers by Kay Addams as told to Orrie Hitt (Novel Books, 1963)

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

A few months ago, I linked all my Kay Addams’ reviews and they were published as “The Curious Case of Kay Addams” in Paperback Parade #75.  I was missing two Addams books: Cherry and this one.

My Two Strangest Lovers is the fourth in the Kay Addams autobio series, as “told” to Orrie Hitt, and is the weakest of the four. Very little happens in this one.  Mostly, Kay sits down and writes a novel called Naked Honey based on her experiences as a camera club and bra model.  We get snippets of the 12 chapters, making this a novel-within-a-novel, fitting snice the first two have a post-modernist self-reflexive feel to them, with Orrie appearing as a character. Only mention of Orrie in this one is a note Kay sends to him with a copy of Naked Honey, that she thinks Orrie should write an autobiographical work (which he sort of did with Love in the Arctic).

People visit Kay and they banter about politics and the art of the novel.  She is surprised one day to find one of her strangest lovers as her new yard man, the guy who raped her as a teenager in book one and tried again in book two and was arrested. Now free, he cannot find any real work as an ex-convict.  But he winds up raping some other girl, or so Kay is told, and arrested again.

A pretty dull book.The back cover boasts that the first three books, all published in 1963 like this one, sold out in three weeks.

But but copy writers at Novel/Merit/Camerarts were known for hyperbole and plain out and out lies.

Not sure if Cherry is also about Kay Addams.  Would be interesting if a publisher reprinted all four of these in one volume; they are all short, about 30,000 words, so it wouldn’t be too big of a book.

Along with Cherry, I am still looking for Honey, Torrid Cheat, Eager Women!, Cabin Fever, and Panda Bear Passion to complete my Hitt collection.

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.

Abnormal Norma – Novel Books, 1962

Posted in Novel Books, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, sleazecore, vintage sleaze books with tags , , , on March 25, 2010 by orriehittfan

A somewhat rare and hard-to-find Novel title from Hitt, Abnormal Norma is one of Orrie’s salesman yarns and it’s pretty good.  It is his “version” of Death of a Salesman — the narrator’s name, Willie Lander, is too close to Willie Lohman for comfort.

We open with Willie getting canned as a debit insurance agent — the job many Hitt heroes have, from I’ll Call Every Monday to Shabby Street to Tramp Wife — because he is $500 short and he can’t make it up.  If his bond is used, he will never be able to get another sales job; if he quits, he can cash his profit sharing of three years and cover what he owes.

He’s the hole because his trophy wife, Star, demands the material things — a good house in a good neighborhood, clothes, two cars.  Now she wants a Cadillac, and a new mink on sale, and he can’t do it.  She freaks when she learns he no longer has a job.  We saw a similar situation in The Cheat.

A couple moves in next door, Fred and Norma Stearms.  He’s older than her, drives a Caddy, seems to be a successful businessman.  Willie is immediately taken with Norma:

My hair is blonde but hers was almost the silver kind, long and hanging down to her bare shoulders, sweeping back from a face that belonged on the front of THE MEN’S DIGEST magazine, promising more of the best inside.  Her eyes were blue, her eyebrows two neat arching lines, her lashes curled.  She had a small nose but below that her lips were rich and full, parting a smile over white, even teeth.  But what I noticed about her most was the red halter that strained against tilted, thrusting breasts.  I’m n ot accurate on measurements but if she was an inch at that point she was in excess of forty. (pp. 33-34)

Well, from that description, we know the cover model certainly isn’t this Norma.  The quip about The Men’s Digest is a bit meta.  On the back cover is a note from ol’ Orrie his own self:

“ABNORMAL NORMA is my most provocative book — and Norma Stearns is the most shocking woman I’ve ever put down on paper — shocking to know and to look at.  She’s a woman and a half, and I mean that literally.  Read the book and you’ll see exactly what I mean!”

What exactly is “a woman and a half?”  Seems Norma has what may be a third breast, and while that is abnormal, for a tit man like Willie (or Orrie) it’s just more funbags than he knows what to do with.

It is inevitable that Willie will have an affair with Norma, while working with Fred on his new mutual funds business. And because Fred hires Star to be his receptionist, it is inevitable Star will cheat too, so we have one of those tidy suburban swapper tales here.

It is also quite detailed in matters of mutual funds, so much that you get confused with all the lingo, which was a problem with I’ll Call Every Monday: the deep detail made it authentic, but unless you know the terminology, you’ll get lost.  We see the same detail in Bed Crazy about surgery, so Novel let Orrie go off on tangents.

But it’s all doom for Willie, as he does well selling mutual funds and bedding his boss’ abnormal young wife.

On the Hitt Scale, an 8.