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Merit Books, Chicago, c.1964
(price: 60c; 128 pages)

opening lines:
The big naked bitch standing up on the bed was screaming to high hell.

Well, itís not very exciting, but since they are no notes on the jacket, I suppose I better explain what this oneís about. The improbably named Cruss Ballard is an alcoholic writer who came home one day to find his wife of six months in bed with another man. He assaulted the guy, went off on a bender and found himself in a doss-house being propositioned by a wealthy woman. She, it transpires, has a nineteen-year-old daughter named Claudie, who has in the past been prone to extreme depression, for which reason the girl has been hidden away from the world, and effectively imprisoned in the upper storey of the palatial family home. Now, however, Claudie appears to be on the mend and her mother figures it might be time to let her out into society. But first the girl needs to get to know something about men. So would Cruss Ballard mind moving in and becoming Claudieís lover?

Implausible and daft, of course, but that doesnít mean to say itís bound to be complete tosh. Unfortunately, it actually is complete tosh, and pretty much a waste of your time. It's also erotic in no way whatsoever. No real surprise there, I guess. Excellent packaging, however.

Iíd like to thank Mr Bruce Brenner of the excellent Vintage Paperbacks site, for helping me fix a date on this one. Thereís a whole load of Merit Books cover scans on his site, as well as much more that I think youíll like.

more Merit Books
('uncensored, offbeat novels for sophisticated adults'),
as advertised on the back

Ennis Willie
Passion Has No Rule Book
Sand, the former Syndicate big who quit because he couldn't stand the daily dirt of vice and political corruption, is still running. This time he and his snap-draw .45 are sucked into the mire of Skid Row where he must sink or swim with the sadists, sirens and psychos he finds on all sides!

Myles Neville
Mine - All Mine!
What were the inner secrets of Myles Neville whose insane desires had to be satisfied?

Thomas Vail
Bizarre Harem
She wasn't just letting me use her body to get something she wanted in return. Instead she was using me to satisfy her own hunger!