Vintage Pulp Apr 28 2023
I don't go home with strangers, mister. So let's take a few minutes and get to know each other.

Our copy of Albert Quandt's Passion C.O.D. holds together only thanks to the miracle of scotch tape, yet the great George Gross cover still shines through. It's another masterpiece from him—and another nice addition to our collection. The “c.o.d.” in the title doesn't relate to Quandt's story in any discernible way, unless we start speculating that the “c” stands for something other than “cash.” That's right—we just went there, because this is an unusually lusty novel, considering its 1951 copyright. The main character, the beautiful Sheila Salem, defying norms for literature of the period, gets with multiple men and arrives in the tale with a history of having done so for years. That's fine—we love lusty women. She also habitually ruins men. Is absolutely driven to do it. Again, fine. Hell, those two elements are vintage crime literature in a nutshell—lusty women; dudes ruined. Huzzah.

But on the down side for modern readers, Sheila believes forceful, even violent men, are “real men.” If any of you are seeking Exhibit A for a seminar on male authors writing female characters as embodiments of sexist mid-century attitudes, this is your baby right here. But we can't say Quandt is unable to write. For this genre, he's a better author than most. His story sustains interest. As Sheila discards empty husks of men behind her, gets one guy sent to prison, shoots another, and is soon consorting with criminal types, the only question becomes whether her behavior with these dupes will cost her. In pulp, dupes are expendable, so we were rooting for Sheila all the way. But to find out what actually happens you'll have to lay out cash for the book yourself.

History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
July 19
1966—Sinatra Marries Farrow
Superstar singer and actor Frank Sinatra marries 21-year-old actress Mia Farrow, who is 30 years younger than him. The marriage lasts two years.
July 18
1925—Mein Kampf Published
While serving time in prison for his role in a failed coup, Adolf Hitler dictaes and publishes volume 1 of his manifesto Mein Kampf (in English My Struggle or My Battle), the book that outlines his theories of racial purity, his belief in a Jewish conspiracy to control the world, and his plans to lead Germany to militarily acquire more land at the expense of Russia via eastward expansion.
July 17
1955—Disneyland Begins Operations
The amusement park Disneyland opens in Orange County, California for 6,000 invitation-only guests, before opening to the general public the following day.
1959—Holiday Dies Broke
Legendary singer Billie Holiday, who possessed one of the most unique voices in the history of jazz, dies in the hospital of cirrhosis of the liver. She had lost her earnings to swindlers over the years, and upon her death her bank account contains seventy cents.
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