Saturday, June 4, 2011

Paperback 420: Smoldering Women / Burton St. John (Beacon B585F)

Paperback 420: Beacon B585F (PBO, 1963)

Title: Smoldering Women
Author: Burton St. John
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $30


Best things about this cover:
  • Everything pales before the righteous name of Burton St. John.
  • I think the cover artist took the title a bit too literally—I can barely see the strangely posed women and their amorphous underthings for all the smoke.
  • "Hey Judy, do you smell smoke? [sniff, sniff] Hmm, it's not coming from my armpits ..."
  • Wow, that tagline doesn't mess around. It gets right down to business. Between "bizarre" and "depraved" ... and the mother pimping her daughters in a burning building ... this cover is failing at its putative goal of turning me on.


Best things about this back cover:
  • "Jessica was FRANK!" — dingdingdingding. Add another to the "frank" collection ...
  • So the mom isn't whoring out her daughters so much as offering them up as subjects of quasi-medical experimentation. If clinically treating a frigid woman and her nymphomaniac sister is really what "most men dream about," then the "stunning answer" to the question "What is really abnormal?" is "me." I've never dreamed about those two in my life.
I just read the last page of this book. It involves a white man telling a black girl to give up on her dream of being his lover, advising her to marry the (black) "stable boy," but then fucking her anyway. So, instead of Page 123, I give you Page 151:

A beam of sun laid a spear of gold across her breast. He stepped toward her. They came together in a bursting flood of delight.

The End. So either they fucked or they detonated themselves in some kind of suicide pact.

P.S. "A beam of sun laid a spear of gold" should be arrested for crimes against metaphor.


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JamiSings said...

Where do people even come up with ideas like this? Most mothers I know would prefer their daughters be frigid. (Fathers too, obviously.) As for the other one, I think it far more likely a mother would send her to a convent or whatever their religion's equililent.

Now if "mother" was the code name for a woman who runs a brothel that might be different.

McClaverty said...

1963 PBO is correct.

Rex Parker said...


Andrew Nette said...

Great site. I love old pulp paperbacks. I did a post on my blog a couple of weeks ago about Aussie pulp fiction from the sixties. You can see it here
I've got a few other similar posts up my sleeve in the coming weeks.

kicksywicksy said...

I love the idea gleaned from this book and the previous one that perfectly normal sexual states of being HAVE to be dealt with and that the best solution to these "problems" is to have a doctor bang them all! Revolutionary! I'm sure that service isn't available from my local doctor's surgery.

Blue Deville said...

What's up with mom's hair? That blond stack rises at least 8 inches up off the top of her head!

Karla B said...

You know what I dream about? Stumbling across a box of books like these at a yard sale. I'd definitely be bursting in a flood of delight.

JamiSings said...

Karla, you don't need to wait for a garage sale. Just head over to your local library. They likely have a Friends group that sell books for cheap to buy things that the library needs. You'd be surprised what you can pick up. I sent Rex a slew of old paperbacks I picked up for 50 cents each. Granted, most didn't have the awesome covers he normally posts. There were a few that were downright boring cover wise but the subject matter was sex. (Like this one from the 60s about women's orgasms. Cover art boring, but I got a kick out of the fact that the publisher's address was 666. That combined with the subject matter....)

As for myself, for $20 I bought a set of first edtion Draper's Self Culture from 1920 that I was told by an antique dealer was worth $5,000. Plus several others that I picked up for a dollar here and there that are worth anywhere from $50 to $250.

Seriously, when peoples' parents or older relatives die, they usually donate all their books to the library and because the books are old they can't be added to the system, but they can be sold. So you can get some great stuff.

We've had some weird donations too, of course, that usually end up in the trash. Like tap shoes, silverware, a computer from the 80s.... One time someone donated a trunk full of letters and maps from a family member who had been stationed in Japan during WW2. I saved it and donated it to the museum at Manzanar. Otherwise it was heading for the dumpster!

Anyway, my point is, don't wait for a garage sale. Head over to your library and see if they have a book sale area.*

*This brought to you by a biased library clerk who likes seeing libraries get money to buy what they need.