Vintage Pulp Apr 13 2023
KNIT WIT
Here's a hint—it's for keeping something warm, it'll be really useful in about eight months, and by then we'll have the same last name.


Above: the front cover of Our Flesh Was Cheap by Eve Linkletter, 1959, for Fabian Books. Linkletter, whose photo appears on the back cover, wrote a handful of books with sensational titles, such as Dime-a-Dance Hustler, B-Girl Decoy, Lesbian Orgies, and The Gay Ones.

We've heard that Our Flesh Was Cheap is far better than it looks. It's a first-person narrative about an eighteen-year-old Tijuana prostitute named Rosa, and the American woman who brings her San Diego with fake papers and gives her a job as maid. Unfortunately, though Rosa tries to let go of her past, her past doesn't want to let go of her. We may buy this one if it appears at a reasonable price.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 30 2019
SEX THERAPY
You have multiple personality disorder—they're all insatiable nymphos.


Above, a cover for Sex Queen by Roger Blake, aka John Trimble, for Fabian books, copyright 1962. Add this to our growing therapy collection, which you can get into starting here. The art is uncredited, but it could be Bill Edwards.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 17 2019
SWIMMING LESSON
Seriously? You're stranding me? Just because I said even cold water can't make a man shrink that much?


When we first saw Naked Return we thought, “A sleaze novel entirely about a woman who has to get home naked? We can't wait to see how this is drawn out to 144 pages!” But the book isn't about that. There's a literal naked return, alright. It occurs in the first chapter when the lead character Sharon's boyfriend steals her swimsuit, leaving her to get home by walking through the woods and into the middle of a packed garden party. The other 95% of the story is a middling drama about her trying to choose between two men, one in Spain and one in the U.S. Yaaaaawn. But at least the book only cost five dollars. The art is uncredited, and the copyright is 1960 

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Vintage Pulp Jul 25 2017
RED DRESS EFFECT
They say this color makes a woman more desirable— *burp!* *grunt* —so you want me or what?


As usual with Fabian Books the cover for Cherita is uncredited, but their low rent house artist really scored a hit here. This is a beautiful image of a woman testing the putative phenomenon that red dresses increase one's attractiveness. As for the story, it's a drama about a woman searching for her lost sibling. The tale becomes a sort of a love story when she falls for a man different from the many she's known, a musician who plays a local nightspot. Ann Freeman—most likely a pseudonym but we don't know for whom—also authored the Fabian sleaze novels Between the Two and Emotional Jungle before fading from the literary scene. Copyright on this is 1961. 

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Vintage Pulp Mar 15 2017
HASTA LA VISTA
These two are just dying for a vacation.

Yes, it's another book about people stranded on a boat. We just finished the excellent Dead Calm a few days ago, and wrote about it yesterday, and afterward we read all of Return to Vista in time to write about it today. Yes, it literally took one day to blaze through, and we even mixed in a few glasses of white wine and assorted interactions with the Pulp Intl. girlfriends. Return to Vista is not as ocean bound as Dead Calm. In fact, most of it takes place on dry land. Well, semi-dry—the action starts in New Orleans, moves to Vista Island, and stars a cynical journalist back home from some tough years covering the Korean War.

Various online sources say Return to Vista led to an obscenity bust for publisher Sanford Aday. We came across mention of it more than once. But we dug a bit deeper and as far as we can tell it isn't true. It can be difficult to keep track of this stuff, because Aday had run-ins with legal authorities everywhere from his hometown of Fresno to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and all the way out to the Hawaiian Islands. Today in 1961 police raided his facility on North Lima Street in Burbank, empowered by a search warrant that specifically mentioned the novel Sex Life of a Cop, discussed here.

However, the warrant also said police could gather additional relevant material, so they loaded up other books, as well as mail, packages, cartons, bank statements, checks, bills of lading, work records, labels, rubber stamps, et al. They basically emptied Aday's offices with the intent of depriving him of the ability to conduct business. Return to Vista was seized in the raid, but it was part of a haul that included sixty-two titles comprising an astonishing 400,000 paperbacks. Thus we don't think it's accurate to say Return to Vista specifically resulted in an obscenity bust. Unless there's more info out there than we know about—which is always possible.
 
Return to Vista's purplest passages deal with interracial sex. Also, the two characters you see on the cover decide one last romp is in order before they starve at sea. Sex must bring them luck, because they survive to fight commies. Or at least, they think they're dealing with commies. Turns out the people they're up against are actually even purer utopians than the political sort. Return to Vista wasn't good, exactly, but it was fun. Author John Foster, whose actual name was John West, showed some imaginative touches. He went on to write 1961's Campus Iniquities before fading from the literary scene. The above is from 1960 with uncredited cover art.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 15 2016
A FOOL AND HIS HONEY
Hi, babe, I'm back early from— Aw, shit. Not again.


Twice a Fool was published by Vega Books, above, and by Fabian Books, a version that was identical in every way except the company logo. That's because both Fabian and Vega, along with Saber Books, were owned by Sanford Aday, as we've mentioned before. Bunny Strand was in reality sleaze author Bernie Strahn, who also wrote such highbrow classics as Reaching High, The Bedroom Imposter, and Sex Party: The Rape of Lori Grant. Info on him is scarce, but we'll keep digging. Twice a Fool is copyright 1960 with uncredited cover art. 

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Vintage Pulp Jun 24 2016
LABOR OF LOVIE
Whew. I'm bushed. You know, when you said you needed your field plowed I was thinking along totally different lines.

Above, a typically low rent cover from Sanford Aday's sleaze imprint Fabian Books, uncredited but probably by Bill Edwards. Dolores Dee was actually an author named Delores Cardwell, and Passionate Lovie, which seems to be the only book she wrote, fits squarely into the sub-genre of farm sleaze where a sexually precocious hayseed wants out of hickville. “What goes on in the big towns?” she wonders constantly. The only way to find out is to work her charms on several hapless men. 1959 copyright.

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Vintage Pulp Jun 26 2012
WHISKEY BUSINESS
Actually, you’re drinkin’ the kerosene I use for my lantern. The moonshine’s over yonder. But I am duly impressed.

Above, the cover of Clouded Passion by Arthur A. Howe, for Fabian Books, 1962, with Bill Edwards cover art of a country girl chugging booze like a Zeta Tau Alpha. Fabian, as well as Vega Books and Saber Books, was owned by Sanford Aday, who made himself a constant target for various morality groups, including Citizens for Decent Literature, which was headed by that paragon of virtue Charles H. Keating. Aday was eventually convicted of obscenity, along with his associate Wallace de Ortega Maxey, for shipping a single copy of the book Sex Life of a Cop to Michigan. Aday got twenty-five years, but the conviction was overturned by a Supreme Court decision. The novels from Adey’s three publishing houses are somewhat collectible today, and most of the covers were exactly like this one—amusing but low quality. If you’re interested, you can see a group here. 

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Vintage Pulp Jul 5 2010
A TASTE OF HONEY
The happy hooker goes to Rex's house.

The 1963 tell-all Honey Baby, for which you see the uncredited cover art above, is a novel narrated by a call girl named Honey Baby Ashley to author Rex Nevins. The as-told-to framework must have worked nicely, because in 1964 Nevins wrote another book called The Swingers, which was told to him by a spouse swapper named Sherri St. John. Call us cynics, but we tend to think Honey Baby Ashley and Sherri St. John both came directly from Rex’s dirty little mind. But we can understand, because we have two imaginary friends, too—they’re called our readers. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
May 27
1930—Chrysler Building Opens
In New York City, after a mere eighteen months of construction, the Chrysler Building opens to the public. At 1,046 feet, 319 meters, it is the tallest building in the world at the time, but more significantly, William Van Alen's design is a landmark in art deco that is celebrated to this day as an example of skyscraper architecture at its most elegant.
1969—Jeffrey Hunter Dies
American actor Jeffrey Hunter dies of a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a flight of stairs and sustaining a skull fracture, a mishap precipitated by his suffering a stroke seconds earlier. Hunter played many roles, including Jesus in the 1961 film King of Kings, but is perhaps best known for portraying Captain Christopher Pike in the original Star Trek pilot episode "The Cage".
May 25
1938—Alicante Is Bombed
During the Spanish Civil War, a squadron of Italian bombers sent by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to support the insurgent Spanish Nationalists, bombs the town of Alicante, killing more than three-hundred people. Although less remembered internationally than the infamous Nazi bombing of Guernica the previous year, the death toll in Alicante is similar, if not higher.
1977—Star Wars Opens
George Lucas's sci-fi epic Star Wars premiers in the Unites States to rave reviews and packed movie houses. Produced on a budget of $11 million, the film goes on to earn $460 million in the U.S. and $337 million overseas, while spawning a franchise that would eventually earn billions and make Lucas a Hollywood icon.
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