Oct 302014
The Smuggler #5: The Crystal Fortress, by Paul Petersen January, 1975  Pocket Books Perhaps proving out my theory that the Smuggler series actually had two authors, with Paul Petersen and David Oliphant trading installments, this fifth volume sort of returns to the sleazy feel of the second and third volumes, whereas the first and fourth volumes were anemic in that regard. But it’s nothing
Jul 242014
The Ski Lodgers, by William Hegner December, 1976  Pocket Books Despite the unassuming title and cover hyperbole (“Hegner sales now over 1,000,000!”), The Ski Lodgers is one of the most lurid and outrageous trash novels I’ve ever read, William Hegner in the scant course of 175 pages graphically detailing everything from incest to bestiality, not to mention a whole bunch of regular sex. And
Jul 072014
The Rapist, by Don Logan October, 1975  Pocket Books Jeez, here’s Don Logan with the feel-good book of the summer!! Seriously though, The Rapist is another of those lurid crime paperbacks copyright Lyle Kenyon Engel, just like Manning Lee Stokes's Corporate Hooker, Inc. And, according to Hawk’s Authors’ Pseudonyms III, “Don Logan” was none other than William Crawford. Last year I read the
Apr 282014
Corporate Hooker, Inc., by Manning Lee Stokes February, 1975  Pocket Books One of the last novels Manning Lee Stokes published before his death in January 1976, Corporate Hooker, Inc. is copyright Lyle Kenyon Engel, the book packager who gave us The Baroness, John Eagle Expeditor, Richard Blade, and many other series, employing Stokes on most of them, the latter two in particular. Given the
Apr 082014
Paperback 761: Pocket Books 1098 (1st ptg, 1955)

Title: Guys and Dolls
Author: Damon Runyon
Cover artist: photo cover / unknown

Yours for: $15


Best things about this cover:
  • Brando unsure about quality of doll's breath!
  • I sort of kind of love this art/photo hybrid. Also, the Vincent Price-esque title font. Random.
  • LOVE the full-body "fuck off, boys" pose of the be-stoled smoking doll. Classic.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Well, it's … uh … not particularly soiled or torn. That's something.
  • "Master of the Main Stem" — not a phrase I'd ever really want to be called.
  • Lusty Slice was my favorite Slice Girl.

Page 123~

Dave the Dude is more corned than anybody else, because he has two or three days' running start on everybody. And when Dave the Dude is corned I wish to say that he is a very unreliable guy as to temper, and he is apt to explode right in your face any minute. But he seems to be getting a great bang out of the doings.

When your corned, a great bang is just the thing.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]
Feb 242014
The Worshipped And The Damned, by William Hegner February, 1975  Pocket Books William Hegner, an unjustly obscure trash fiction master, published several novels in the 1970s, many of them paperback originals for Pocket Books. The Worshipped And The Damned is one of his later Pocket releases, after which he moved over to Playboy Books and then dropped off the map. I think I read an obituary
Feb 172014
Paperback 743: Pocket Books 342 (1st ptg, 1945)

Title: The High Window
Author: Raymond Chandler
Cover artist: E. McKnight Kuffer

Yours for: $8


Best things about this cover:
  • Well, they can't all be sexy. 
  • As abstract/representational hybrid covers go, this one's pretty cool (is there a word for that style? pretty common on '40s paperbacks). There's a nice dramatic interplay between that angry red building, with its crazily barred windows, and the lonely falling silhouette.
  • This guy's got a weird signature. Had to look it up. I think the letters read "E MCK K" (for E. McKnight Kuffer)
  • For a more, let's say, realistic version of this cover, see Paperback 91.


Best things about this back cover:
  • This description is just a mess of "things that might appear in a mystery novel." Not even much of an attempt to take it out of list form.
  • Not sure what number incarnation of the pocket kangaroo we're up to here, but I like this one, with the joey holding the book for bespectacled mom.
  • Other war-time books tell you exactly what postage you'll need to send the book to a soldier. Here, the plea is much vaguer. Can I "share" it with my diner waitress? She's in "uniform."

Page 123~

I felt myself getting pinched around the nose. My mouth felt dry. I needed air. I took another deep breath and another dive into the tub of blubber that was sitting across the room from me on the reed chaise-longue, looking as unperturbed as a bank president refusing a loan.

My new life's goal is to own a reed chaise-longue. Wait. Nope. On further research, it looks like a rickshaw for Victorian invalids, so I'm good.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]
Feb 172014
Festival, by Bryan Hay June, 1973  Pocket Books This slim paperback original details the planning and development of a Woodstock-style rock festival. One thing the front and back cover don’t make clear is that Festival actually takes place in Canada; Toronto and a desolate area of western Ontario, to be exact. Another thing the front or back covers don’t make clear is how much of a bore the
Dec 062013
Paperback 725: Pocket Books 909 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: TCOT the Lazy Lover
Author: Erle Stanley Gardner
Cover artist: Clyde Ross

Yours for: $7


Best things about this cover:
  • That dude has my ultimate respect. That is some top-notch lazy. Superfly PJs. Highball. Slippers. Smart green couch. He knows what he's doing.
  • That look in her eye is not lust. It's not annoyance. It's jealousy. Jealousy of his Red Hot Lazy.
  • I can't stop looking at her boobs, and yet I don't find them very interesting. What the hell?


Best things about this back cover:
  • That "Gossip … / and Murder!" heading would look great on a t-shirt.
  • Hmmm. I'm not sure we have the same definition of "crazy punchline."
  • What does it mean to be "lazy about making love"? I'm quite sure the images in my head do not match whatever happens in this book.

Page 123~

Mason took the pass Lieutenant Tragg scribbled, and went over to the detention ward. After a ten minute wait, he was taken in to see Mrs. Allred, who had quite evidently been aroused from a sound sleep and had had no opportunity to put on her make-up.

Wow. That must've been really hard on Mason.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]
Nov 282013
Paperback 723: Pocket Books 6126 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Death Spins the Platter
Author: Ellery Queen (ghost-written by Richard Deming)
Cover artist: Al Brulé

Yours for: $11


Best things about this cover:
  • And the award for worst mixed metaphor goes to …
  • I'm the DJ, he's the Piper?
  • Quit getting your grubby thumbprints all over the vinyl, lady. Unless it's one of them there braille records and you are deaf, in which case, carry on.
  • Looming background head is the best.


Best things about this back cover:
  • I now want to name everything "Tutter King." 
  • Because King Tut was taken?
  • No one tutted better than he! Nary a one!

Page 123~

"Did you find fingerprints on the ice pick?"

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]