The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Path Between

Title: The Path Between (MIDWOOD No. 72)
Author: Jay Warren
Artist: Paul Rader
Year: 1961

"The bizarre world of the outcast sex--women who seek their pleasure with other women....Ellie could not understand what mysterious force it was that threw up this terrible barrier. That forced her to take the path between a man's love for a woman and a woman's love for a man."

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA, Lesbians and Lesbiana

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Gloria Grahame Podcast

This episode of the podcast You Must Remember This describes a life that is about as noir as it gets. With her masochism, addictions to plastic surgery, sex and alcohol, Gloria Grahame seems like she stepped out of a particularly overheated Jim Thompson story.

Her characters in The Big Heat, Crossfire and In a Lonely Place are among the most memorable female roles of the film noir-era but now I will never get the image of male actors getting a mouthful of wet tissue after screen-kissing Graham (she stuffed it under her lip to accentuate her pout) out of my head.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Love in Suburbia

Title: Love in Suburbia (Monarch 455)
Author: John Conway (aka: John Chadwick)
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1960

"They spiced their lives with other men's wives.... "

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA

Monday, December 7, 2015


Title: Steffi (Beacon B216)
Author: Eunice Gray
Artist: Clement Micarelli
Year: 1951

"Too reckless with her charms--too lavish with her love..."

Categories: 1950s Sleaze and GGA

Winter Paperback Haul

Behold my haul from the weekend!

A past customer or site-visitor (thank you unknown benefactor) gave my contact info to a woman who wanted to clear out her Dad's collection of well-maintained 1960s-early 70s paperbacks.

There's some great stuff in these bins which I've just begun to sort, including: Bonfils Rader and Maguire covers, Jim Thompson Dave Goodis and Lawrence Block pbos, lesbiana, and non-book novelties like African-American pin-up calendars, Playboy centerfold jigsaw puzzles and a backlit 3D slide-viewer.

 I feel like a fat squirrel with an acorn stockpile to last through the winter. Watch for these to start appearing in the shop this coming week (and for many new additions to the Pulp Fiction Cover Gallery).

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Jaws: The Revenge (Movie Tie-in)

Jaws: The Revenge
Movie adaptation by Hank Searls, based on a screenplay by Michael de Guzman
Berkeley Books, 1987

A letter writer to an episode of The Flop House (my favorite bad movie podcast) called the hosts out for not mentioning the novelization of Jaws: The Revenge during a Bad Movie Night screening of this infamously terrible film. His pitch for the book included a voodoo priest soul-bonded to a shark and Miami Vice-style drug-running. I couldn't resist such appealing craziness and immediately requested a copy from PaperbackSwap.

To my surprise the novel was engaging well beyond the camp level I expected. The author, Hank Searls--a Navy flier, yachtsman and underwater photographer--brought a high level of authentic detail to the book. He also used some Turn of the Screw technique and provided alternate (more realistic) psychological and/or biological motivations for the human and animal characters. The reader can believe the shark is revenge driven and stalks a family across the globe OR they could believe it followed an unfortunate chain of prey down the coast. Sure maybe the shark was directed by voodoo drums to take out a Hougan's enemies or maybe it was just chasing the sonar pings coming from a boat that was tracking its heartbeat. Searls also works in a fair amount of tropical economics and class resentment to raise the tension and give an Amity Beach-worthy reason for hiding the lingering presence of a three-ton shark.

In one of my favorite scenes, Mike Brody is chased by the shark and trapped in a wrecked ship. He's panicking as the shark rams his way through the sand covering a rupture in the side of the boat. The impacts loosen a rusted door latch and Mike takes shelter in a ghostly, still chamber that hasn't been entered since the boat went down and is still occupied by a drowned sailor. This scene is an excellently atmospheric haunted house story in miniature.

Never having seen the film all the way through, I tracked down a copy, curious how it compared to the book. Disappointingly there was no voodoo priest and no drug-running double agent. These subplots were from an early draft of the screenplay and were cut to focus on developing the character of Ellen Brody. This is unfortunate as Lorraine Gary's performance in the film has two settings: Over-the-top Medea level grief (in huge shoulderpadded sweaters) or the dazed happiness of a 1980s douche commercial.

I can only imagine Searls' irritation when he saw the finished film and all the ludicrous twists that he struggled to make...if not plausible at least unlaughable weren't even in the movie. This book inspired me to seek out two of Searls' other sea-faring novels: Soundings--a book following an aging sperm whale (which was supposedly the inspiration for the Sega Genesis game Ecco the Dolphin) and Overboard--a survival at sea novel about a yachtsmen who discovers his wife was swept away at some point during the night. I'm looking forward to enjoying these books which don't carry the burden of adapting a ridiculous screenplay.

[By the way, reading this--a beat-up movie tie-in paperback for the worst Jaws movie ever--on the subway felt like the literary equivalent of normcore.]

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Gay Rebels

Title: The Gay Rebels (Unique Book #nn)
Author: Larry Price
Artist: Eric Stanton
Year: 1966

"Fire Island Queers and Their Gay Muscle Boys... A true-to-life novel about gay tourists who come to Fire Island for a summer of black leather exhibitions and a spanking good time!...MOTORCYCLE JACKETS, HOT-BLOODED HUSTLERS, SWISHY QUEENS!"

Categories: Gay Male

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Junkie / Narcotic Agent

(Click here to see the full wraparound)

Title: Junkie / Narcotic Agent (ACE D-15)
Author: William Lee (William S. Burroughs) / Maurice Helbrant
Artist: Al Rossi
Year: 1953

Categories: Drug Use, Hot-Blooded Classics

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Golden Spike

(Click here for the full wraparound cover)

Title: The Golden Spike (Ballantine 2)
Author: Hal Ellson
Artist: Robert Maguire
Year: 1952

"This is a drug addict. He is 16. This angry novel tells his story with truth and compassion"

Categories: Drug Use

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

LSD Orgy

Title: LSD Orgy (Companion Book CB19)
Author: Marcus Miller
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1967

 "Their psychedelic sin-trip passed the point of no return"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA, Drug Use

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Street Law

I just discovered this sinister track "Goodbye My Friend" (from Enzo Castellari’s 1974 Death Wish clone: Il Cittadino Si Ribella aka Street Law) on a vinyl comp of Italian film scores from The M & G Orchestra. The vinyl version sounds superior and might be a variant. The disk has another 5-6 great tracks and was one of my better recent record finds.

In the Shadows

Title: In the Shadows (Midwood No. F139)
Author: Joan Ellis
Artist: Robert Maguire
Year: 1962

"She longed to declare a love that the world would not accept... Was it right to love her brother's wife so passionately?"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA, Lesbians and Lesbiana

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sl*t's Paradise

Title: Slut's Paradise (RAVEN RB 731)
Author: Marc Haynes
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1965

He ran a hotel for high priced bimbos and leering lesbians...

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA, Lesbians and Lesbiana

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hot Flesh

Title: Hot Flesh (RAVEN RB 711)
Author: Dino Romano
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1963

"Consumed by the fires of unnatural lusts in a [sic] they went beyond the limits of promiscuity and committed the most unpardonable sin!"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA, Lesbians and Lesbiana

Friday, July 17, 2015

Sin Show

Title: Sin Show (Midnight Reader MR 403)
Author: Don Holliday
Artist: Unknown (likely Robert Bonfils or Harold McCauley)
Year: 1961

"They sold sawdust and sex in a rolling Love-Circus! Passion for sale on a midway of loose living women and sex-hungry men. Here they are--a side show of warped morals and animal heat among the girlie shows and con games of a sucker paradise that knows no bounds."

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Window Swapper

Title: The Window Swapper (Companion CB 646)
Author: Gavin Hayward
Artist: Robert Bonfils
Year: 1970

"He was a peeping tom with an urge to join the action"

Categories: Gay Male

Blonde Trap

Title: Blonde Trap (Beacon B150)
Author: Ernie Weatherall
Artist: Photo
Year: 1957

"She kissed...cuddled...squeezed...til it hurt!"

Categories: 1950s Sleaze and GGA

Bedroom Windows

Title: Bedroom Windows (SOFTCOVER LIBRARY B865X)
Author: Arthur Adlon
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1965

"A community incensed by an anonymous peeper--who made use of what he saw!"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA

Friday, July 10, 2015

Utah Blaine / Desert Showdown

Title: Utah Blaine / Desert Showdown (aka: The Spell of the Desert) (Ace Double D-48)
Author: Louis L'Amour (writing as: Jim Mayo); Brad Ward
Artist: Norman Saunders
Year: 1954

"Lynch law ruled in this valley of masked men."

Categories: Westerns

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Man to Man

Title: Man to Man (Thrilling Novels 17)
Author: Jackson Gregory
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1950

"He was a trouble-shooting hombre in a colt-crazy land."

Categories: Westerns

Friday, July 3, 2015

A World Divided

Title: A World Divided (Domino / Lancer 72-749)
Author: Jill Monte
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1964

"Their kind of love knew no barriers--and burned more passionately than any between man and woman!"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA, Lesbians and Lesbiana

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Take Me Home and Twilight Girls

Title: Take Me Home (MONARCH BOOKS 120)
Author: Fletcher Flora
Artist: Harry Schaare
Year: 1959

"An unconventional story of beautiful Ivy Galvin and her strange emotional involvement with two men--and a woman."

Title: Twilight Girls (GOLD STAR IL7-73)
Author: Sherry Dale
Artist: Harry Schaare
Year: 1965

"They paid a terrible price for their kind of love....Nikki Carr always prided herself on being 'well adjusted' to her lesbianism. Not for her was the man's shirt and tie. She was as feminine as any girl had a right to be."

Categories: 1950s Sleaze and GGA, 1960s Sleaze and GGA, Lesbians and Lesbiana

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Choice of Sexes

Title: A Choice of Sexes (MIDWOOD 34-974)
Author: Carol Caine
Artist: Paul Rader (?)
Year: 1968

"She took aim with her body and never missed the target!"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA, Lesbians and Lesbiana

Anything Goes

Title: Anything Goes (BEDSIDE BOOK BB 825)
Author: Joe Weiss; Ralph Dean
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1959

"The immoral story of a love-starved temptress and her insatiable desires!"

Categories: 1950s Sleaze and GGA, Lesbians and Lesbiana

Lesbian Honeymoon

Title: Lesbian Honeymoon (Honey-moon) (PAD LIBRARY 9510)
Author: Sheila Laffonde
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1967

"Both men and women wanted to share the ecstasies of this LESBIAN HONEYMOON"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA, Lesbians and Lesbiana

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Other Glass Teat

Title: The Other Glass Teat (Pyramid Ellison #5)
Author: Harlan Ellison
Artist: Leo and Diane Dillon
Year: 1975

"Apocalyptic teevee criticism mean as Drano martinis; packed with nutritious honesty and tough as hell!"

Categories: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Friday, June 19, 2015

Slum Sinners

Title: Slum Sinners (Midnight Reader MR 409)
Author: Andrew Shaw (pseudonym of Donald Westlake]
Artist: Unknown (likely Robert Bonfils or Harold McCauley)
Year: 1962

"They found gutter love with gutter tramps!"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Seamy Town

Title: Seamy Town (NIGHTSTAND NB1799)
Author: J.X. Williams
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1966

"They broke laws written and unwritten in their mad scramble for ever new sensations."

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Title: Shameless (Pillar Book PB 824)
Author: Don Elliott (aka Robert Silverberg)
Artist: Unknown (likely Robert Bonfils)
Year: 1964

"No passion too wild--No sin too great."

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA

Pound of Flesh

Title: Pound of Flesh (Beacon B 287)
Author: Simms Albert
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1960

"A novel which at last tells the truth about those office girls whose chief business assets are their bodies."

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA

$20 Lust

Title: $20 Lust (Nightstand Book NB 1546)
Author: Andrew Shaw (pseudonym of: Lawrence Block)
Artist: Harold McCauley
Year: 1961

"The girl of his dreams was a gold plated nightmare"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA

Friday, June 12, 2015

Part-Time Husband

Title: Part-Time Husband (BEDSIDE BOOK BB 1219)
Author: Louis Lorraine
Artist: Unknown (likely Bonfils or McCauley)
Year: 1961

"Which one was he married to...The virginal new wife or the wanton old one?"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Lovely Fraud

Title: Lovely Fraud (Beacon B 148)
Author: Joe Weiss
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1957

"V...stands for Vanessa: Vanessa stands for...Vice"

Categories: 1950s Sleaze and GGA

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Weekend Stoop Sale Haul

Haven't done one of these in a while but here was my haul from this past weekend's neighborhood wide stoop sale (click on the image for a larger version). I landed:
  • A dozen or so Graphis magazines from the Madmen era
  • An irresistible folk art, bent wood cat/rabbit/plantholder thing
  • 4 vintage Nancy Drews in Jacket (including one Rudy Nappi rarity--not pictured--that goes for $100+)
  • 3 boxes of antique/ collectible bottles (including three yellow star Tab Cola bottles which are gorgeous)
  • A dozen or so high-grade John-Byrne Fantasic Four comics (RIP)
  • Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation Boardgame (plays like a stripped down, high stakes Stratego)
  • A few signed modern dance autobiographies
  • A quality stack of $1 Cds (including Patsy Cline set, most of Roseanne Cash's discography, Marvin Gaye's last concert, Toots & the Maytals, more)
  • A nice stack of quick selling recent books.
Total outlay: ~$65

Cockpit Caper

Title: Cockpit Caper (Publisher's Export Company PEC G-1160)
Author: Stan Mitchell
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1969

"You've got sex as your copilot, and you're piping away in your Piper Cub, banking and sticking it all the way; you turn it on automatic pilot to go through the Cumulus Nympho clouds..."

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA, Kink and Fetish

Commie Sex Trap

Title: Commie Sex Trap (Boudoir Original No. 1040)
Author: Roger Blake
Artist: Photo
Year: 1963

"Could the Communists force a healthy man to surrender to their army of sex sirens--trained rousers schooled in every area of erotic abandon"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA

Suburban Wife

(front and back covers)

Title: Suburban Wife (Beacon B164)
Author: Orrie Hitt
Artist: Photo
Year: 1958

"She had time on her hands and men on her mind!"

Categories: 1950s Sleaze and GGA


Title: Honey (Beacon B 371)
Author: Jack Woodford; John B. Thompson
Artist: Unknown
Year: 1961

"Tawny Flesh--Reckless Lust--And Lips That Were Sweeter Than HONEY"

Categories: 1960s Sleaze and GGA