Monday, August 23, 2010

Paperback 344: 5 Beds to Mecca / Rod Gray (Tower 43-944)

Paperback 344: Tower 43-944 (PBO, 1968)

Title: 5 Beds to Mecca (The Lady from L.U.S.T. #4)
Author: Rod Gray
Cover artist: Uncredited [Paul Rader]

Yours for: Nope—staying here (another gift of the generous Doug Peterson)


Best things about this cover:

  • As Doug can testify, this one left me completely speechless—or, rather, it left me saying "Oh my god" repeatedly until I took it all in. I mean ... I've seen the gun/crotch motif before, but scimitar/crotch! That's a new one.
  • Well, that's *one* way of taking care of unwanted hair ...
  • I am guessing that you were so blown away the vagina dentata that it took you a while to notice that this lady is also carrying a gun (!) in her completely useless garter (!!?).
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. spawned a number of these kinds of parodies in the '60s. "L.U.S.T." is one of the better acronyms I've seen, in that the literal explanation is completely plausible.
  • I think this cover is designed to make you (man) wish you were that sword. Legs spread, hands wrapped around hilt ... etc. Fans of subtlety will have to look elsewhere.


Best things about this back cover:

  • Not just white slavery—Milk-white slavery!
  • "Hypodermics hiss" is my favorite part of this nonsensical paragraph.
  • Kama Sutra? Huh. I guess east is east is east.
  • "Shiekh" is apparently a brand of shoes. I've never seen that spelling otherwise.

Page 123~

"Unbelievable," she whispered. "There is no sag, despite their size. It is as if they were equipped with springs."

Other randomly pulled quotes include:

"My vaginae constrictor muscles were the only part of me that moved."


"You have a couple of cannons yourself," he quipped, eyeballing my female-female breasts, all 38 inches D cup of them, where they stood at attention, brown nipples saluting. They were rock hard as they aimed themselves at his broad chest."

"Let's shoot each other," I suggested.


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A said...

Fantastic. Why even bother adding any spy intrigue, this is obviously just a trashy romance in disguise. By the way, Sheikh is how they spell it in trashy romances.

Rex Parker said...

See, even you misspelled it (check the book cover again)


Thomas Parker said...

And I'll bet you'll never be able to get it on a Kindle! Long live real books!

Lisa in Oz said...

You had me at "female-female breasts" (wtf???). Please read it and post a review! :-D

Michael5000 said...

The word "tasteful" fails to spring to mind as never before...

Frank said...

Holy Orientalism, Batman! Sadly apropos these days, too. "The Muslins can't be allowed to build a mosque near our milk-white women!"

What on earth is "female-female breasts" anyway?

dcmatthews said...

I just found a copy on eBay - it's mine now, dawg!

Rex Parker said...

That's a $20 book, minimum. Nice find.

Also, I just discovered Paul Rader did the cover art. No wonder it is awesome-o.


Rex Parker said...

Considering reading this as my end-of-summer-why-the-hell-not gift to myself and the world.

I'm giving a talk on these books at Hofstra in October, so I'll just call it "research."

Deb said...

I actually read the first LADY FROM L.U.S.T. book during the summer of 1970 when I was a wee slip of a girl and my friend and I found it in her older brother's room. It was a real eye-opener for a couple of pre-teens, I tell ya. A quick check on the google tells us that there were at least 18 books in the series--although I doubt that Rod Gray was able was able to maintain the quality of the earlier books.

Larry said...

I can't understand the appeal of female 1st person narrative porn when I bet in that era 95% of this type of book (and cover art) were bought by males.

dcmatthews said...

Rex Parker said:

That's a $20 book, minimum. Nice find.

Yeah, I paid just under $38 (but with free shipping). It's supposed to be in really good condition.

I also found out some surprising (at least to me) info about the series' author, "Rod Gray":

"THE LADY FROM LUST was one of the countless James Bond spoofs of the 1960s, about Agent Oh Oh Sex, Eve Drum of L.U.S.T, (League of Undercover Spies and Terrorists). There were 18 books in the first set, all written by Rod Gray. Gray was one of the pen names of Gardner Fox, who wrote many other paperbacks under many other names, including the CHERRY DELIGHT series, a set exactly like THE LADY FROM LUST but for a different publisher. I always heard Gardner Fox wrote all of these himself, but a book dealer friend has suggested to me that Rod Gray was a house name, started by Gardner Fox but continued by other writers." (emphasis added)

found here.

Gardner Fox!

Larry said...

DC Mathews:

Thanks for the link to the series. It seems from the couple of covers they show that the original cover art always had the lady spy wearing a see-thru negligee open displaying some proto-fake tiddies and just barely blocking what the series would call "the Big Snatch."

I am amazed at the cover art and blurbs on the interior. It is porn but not quite porn. How where these books marketed?

Anonymous said...

They were published as 'Adult Spy thrillers', intended to catch the interest of fans of the Bond knock-offs, such as the Matt Helm series, but for a more adult audience. Some of the books, while graphic, were tame by standards of most adult novels that were popular at the time. They were written with more of a lean towards erotica, rather than hardcore. As a teen, when I first found these books, you could get them at the local, TARGET, store. They actually had an entire aisle of adult titles from publishers such as 'Beeline', and considering how long it took to drag Oklahoma out of the stone age, being the buckle of the proverbial 'bible belt', the adult titles you could find at, TARGET, were down-right nasty and explicit, but metaphors such as "ball" and "screw", just dont seem to carry the same big-eyed shock value they once did.