As soon as Bill Crider mentioned this book on his blog a while back, I knew I had to have it. Like a lot of paperback collectors, I'm fascinated by the soft-core porn novels published in the Fifties and Sixties. In fact, I'd say I like reading about the books and their authors more than I enjoy reading the books themselves (although I've read quite a few by authors like Harry Whittington, Mike Avallone, and Block, Westlake, and Silverberg under their various pseudonyms, and find them all consistently entertaining). You can see the cover of this new book about "Sleaze Sex Paperbacks" (to quote the cover copy) and read the comments of Bill and others here.
Well, I ordered a copy and it arrived yesterday. I've already read it cover to cover and have reread parts of it. The highlight is a reprint of Robert Silverberg's wonderful "My Life as a Pornographer", which I missed in its original magazine appearance. Opening the book and seeing the cover of LOVE ADDICT, which was Silverberg's first novel for William Hamling's Nightstand line, as well as the first Nightstand book published, prompted me to exclaim, "Hey! I've got that book!" I didn't realize it was the debut book in the most famous line of porn novels ever published. In fact, I was surprised as I looked through page after page of cover reproductions by just how many of those books I own. I've never really collected them, just picked them up now and then as I ran across them.
As is the case with IT'S A MAN'S WORLD, the other book I have that was published by Feral House, SIN-A-RAMA could have used a little more text, a little more of the ol' who-wrote-what. But it's still a great book, highly entertaining and informative. The only problem is that now I want to go dig out some of those Andrew Shaw and Clyde Allison and Don Elliott books I have and read them, and I just don't have time.