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JAMES YARDLEY
Kiss the Boys & Make Them Die


click to enlarge

Pan, London, 1972
(price: 25p; 192 pages)
first published by Michael Joseph, 1970


The blurb on the back:

Kiss Darling had nerves of steel, a computerized intelligence, and a body designed provocatively for the pleasure of men...
She had one weakness. She was a virgin...
Investigating the sales of ancient Egyptian jewellery involves Kiss Darling and her ex-Flying Squad boss with assassins, bedouins, bellydancers, revolutionaries, ceremonial sacrifices, duels and death in a Pharaoh's tomb hidden beneath the rising waters of the Nile...
'Goose-pimpling adventures...and at the end of this breathtaking novel, Kiss still retains her original weakness.' -
The Evening News


It looks fantastic, of course. The title's a winner, the cover's a classic and the heroine has a wonderfully sub-James Bond name (Kiss Darling, indeed). She also has the benefits of a course of 'computerized intelligence therapy', in which information is fed directly into the brain by computer, which has left her with an encyclopaedic knowledge of just about everything. Here, for example, she has just been presented out-of-the-blue with a tiny fragment of Persian carpet:

She turned it over, running her fingers across the warp. 'You know there are still quite a few fabulous old pieces being discovered in the old mosques around Tabriz. The knotting and shearing of this piece is typical.' She made up her mind. 'Yes, I'd say this was certainly made by the great grandfather of Amin el Adhir.'
'Who's he?'
He weaves carpet in the village of Banaluja. He owns the small shop at the left-hand side of the village entering from the direction of Teheran. He still uses the same vegetable dyes as his great grandfather.' (p.12)

It would have made a decent spoof movie - which seems to have been the intention - but as a book, it's firmly in the pleasure-to-own, pain-to-read category.

In other words, highly recommended to connoisseurs of trash fiction. Presumably the same is true of 1971's A Kiss A Day Keeps The Corpses Away.

USA edition
the US edition courtesy of
The Crooked Dreamer
on-line bookshop


acknowledgements:
my thanks to Mr Brian Freeborn
for donating this book


ARTISTIC MERIT: 1/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
4/5


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