Author Topic: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP  (Read 3618 times)

Further to the Graham Masterton thread thought I'd start this one. Was obsessed with this stuff for years and found out quite a bit about it, thanks to Vault Of Evil forum and Justin Marriott's publications like Paperback Fanatic and Men Of Violence (there's loads on amazon, i recommend any of his mags ((he used to do Bomba Movies zine in the 90s, exploitation film fans)).

Sticking to 70s and 80s coz with a few exceptions (and exactly the same with horror cinema) most of the earlier stuff is tamer, and as you get into the 90s this pulp men's stuff pretty much dies out and what remains is pretty mild.

EDGE series by George G Gilman (pen name of Terry Harknett). UK author, he's still around and has a forum. Series started in the early 70s as a Spaghetti Western inspired anti-hero sorta deal. Nicely written pulp with lots of black humour and Fulci gore movie levels of violence (but only for the first 20 - the subsequent books are less sadistic, more character driven and the violence isn't as lovingly described. I don't like them as much haha). Went on to 50-odd books right up until the 80s and the commercial death of pulp genre fiction.

That started a trend and led to a lot of other books (there's a short bit of detail here: https://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2011/07/piccadilly-cowboys-and-the-edge-of-violence ). Just before home video took off (and during the early days), these Western series provided ridiculous levels of violence and gore, sex stuff consensual and non, plenty of ripe language etc etc - ripe to be passed round at school. Edge softened up a bit but later series like Crow by James W Marvin (Laurence James, late UK pulp genius who wrote and edited countless pulp titles for NEL and others) are beyond belief - SO nihilistic, grim, violent, sexist etc etc - just total teenage boy/divorced man fucked up testosterone vibes.

Other series I recommend are Herne The Hunter ('John J McLaglen' - Laurence James and nowadays crime writer John Harvey, doing a book each. The James titles are way better with his signature puns, pop culture references, gore, torture scenes and explicit sex), the Breed series by 'James A Muir' (James and the late Angus Wells. These are crazy violent, seem to remember genital destruction in each one I read), Caleb Thorne series - http://westernfictionreview.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/caleb-thorn-4.html - ah man there's loads. A lot are available as ebooks now.

Shaun Hutson did 3 really brainless and violent Westerns, the Track series by 'Samuel P Bishop'. I love Hutson anyway but you totally know what to expect. Here's an old review I wrote/thread: http://vaultofevil.proboards.com/thread/1355/track-apache-gold-samuel-bishop

Gotta get on and do stuff but I will be back with more soon eh


FUCKIN FANTASTIC and one of the most violent books I've ever read:


This series is fantastic too:


(Forgot to say, Amazon did a pilot Edge:The Loner a few years ago which was OK, don't think it got picked up as a series)

SORRY ANOTHER MODIFICATION: I should say that there is some truly roughneck American pulp stuff which I will get to, but very few Westerns that are anywhere near the explicit nasty levels of the UK-written stuff. Most US 'adult' Western novels are just sexy business with no gore and nihilism. There's a couple of more extreme ones - Cutter series by Duff McCoy for one - but they're not that good . Actually, tell a lie, this is American and really sleazy/violent/good etc:
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 05:39:55 PM by bushwick »

Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2018, 05:36:42 PM »
from my review of Track: Apache Gold:

"I loved it! Really pacey, simple writing, everything set up nice and quick, cardboard characters - bring on the incredibly gratuitous violence. It's pretty witless - Track's obligatory puns aren't as clever as Edge's and there's no grim ironic Laurence James type humour either. The basic nature of the characters and writing give it a cartoon quality, but it's mean-spirited as hell. A little girl gets her throat cut so badly that her head nearly comes off, in front of her mum who is then bothered by about 7 Apaches in a row. He'll spend a good few lines on a really loving description of a shotgun wound to the head, or a disembowelling. There's lots of genitalia getting mashed up along the way (akin to a Breed book I read) - a coyote eats a dead guy's cock and balls near the end! I am definitely becoming desensitized to extremely nasty pulp (the same way I did with Italian cannibal movies etc a few years back!) - but this definitely ticks all the boxes. Great entertainment, highly recommended for antisocial dumbasses like my good self.

To use a punk analogy, if George G Gilman is the Stooges or the Dead Boys, Samuel P Bishop is the Exploited!"

Mr Banlon

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2018, 05:41:57 PM »

Brundle-Fly

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2018, 09:06:19 PM »
You might be interested in this marvellous new book, bushwick. I got it in my stocking at Xmas. Must confess I'm more interested in the lurid book jackets than the content.


grassbath

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2018, 11:51:17 AM »
later series like Crow by James W Marvin (Laurence James, late UK pulp genius who wrote and edited countless pulp titles for NEL and others) are beyond belief - SO nihilistic, grim, violent, sexist etc etc - just total teenage boy/divorced man fucked up testosterone vibes.

At the age of about 10, I found Crow: The Red Hills in a hotel in Spain and read it. There's one bit where a woman gets a vaginal scalping.


Famous Mortimer

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 01:25:17 PM »
That "Paperbacks From Hell" was in my local bookshop so I done bought it. Good so far - I've been half-heartedly collecting sci-fi pulp stuff of the previous "generation" (50s and 60s stuff) for the cover-based reasons Brundle-Fly mentioned, so it was fun to see all this stuff too.

It took me a while to realise that Edge by George Gilman is English in origin, so even though my local Half-Price Books (St Louis) has a huge Western section, it's all nice romance and your mainstream Louis L'Amour type stuff.

Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 04:16:49 PM »
There's some very entertaining American post-apocalyptic novels from the 80s, running fairly concurrent with the Mad Max-inspired films that were doing the rounds then...the famous-ish one is probably Deathlands (Laurence James again) but for my money you want the Doomsday Warrior series by 'Ryder Stacy' and the Phoenix series by David Alexander. Absolutely ludicrous stuff. From Phoenix #1: Dark Messiah:

"The large intestine spilled from the jagged hole in the Pagan's side like a coil of pink sausages in a sauce of blood garnished with skeletal fragments. The heart fell out of the ripped open chest cavity, pumping furiously as it hung from the blood-spurting coronary artery. The gun arm was blown completely off, as arterial tubes dangled from the ragged shoulder stump squirting death seltzer."

"Phoenix sidestepped the swing as its momentum jerked the Pagan around, and roundhouse kicked into the lower back area on the follow through, shattering the punk's spinal cord and shooting fragments of lumbar vertebrae through his kidneys like small bore bullets. His bladder exploded, spraying his lungs with hot urine. The Pagan vomited up chunks of his stomach and flopped over backward, kicking his legs in the air as he shit his pants and died."


and Doomsday Warrior #8: American Glory

"The top side of the double-edged weapon cut along the throat's nerve ganglia, the blood vessels. Rock pulled the knife out, dripping red. The Indian was stopped like a pickup truck out of gas and slammed forward, the buffalo helmet falling off to reveal the man's head hanging by spurting arteries, in his neck a gaping hole of bloody muscle. Hands over his throat, the Sioux flopped around the sandy circle like a fish out of water, no longer a threat to anyone, gargling blood as he waited to die."

I see you can get all the Phoenix titles as ebooks for 7 quid on amazon, that's some good shit, I only have 2 (have a fair few Doomsday Warriors though)

Famous Mortimer

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2018, 05:10:15 PM »
I've been reading about Deathlands; one would assume they have the added air of hilarity from all having the USSR as the villain.

Chriddof

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2018, 05:52:53 PM »
I read a couple of the Doomsday Warrior novels when I was a teenager - in 1993, which made the ultra Cold War-ness of the books very weird. I remember that one of the main Soviet baddies was a KGB officer called "Killov", the Soviet premier operated a voice-activated Hitler hologram for some Neo Nazis in a sub-plot that didn't seem to go anywhere ("zer fourth reich will go on for a thousand years, a million years, a BILLION years!" was the conclusion of the scene), and at one extraordinary moment the prose was interrupted to no good effect with some lyrics of a presumably terrible song called something like "We're Gonna Die Listening To Rock 'N' Roll". I never looked into it, but that may have just been some music-less lyrics written by "Stacy". Both the books were given to me by a non-reading friend who will remain anonymous (but who I will say had a picture of himself in a Borat mankini as his Facebook avatar for crying out loud what was he thinking) and I got this really creepy bug-eyed xenophobic psycho feel from both of them, like both the writers were total Reaganites.

FAKE EDIT: Just looked it up on Goodreads and I see that it ran from 1984 to 1991 - ending just before the USSR collapsed, which was fortunate for the authors. Also the hero is called "Ted Rockson", which is such a marvellously shit and unimaginative action movie name, and is now making me think of the "Blast HardCheese" names from MST3K's Space Mutiny episode. I can just imagine Kevin Murphy saying "Ted Rockson!" as that bloke runs around that factory.

Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2018, 08:22:07 PM »
I read a couple of the Doomsday Warrior novels when I was a teenager - in 1993, which made the ultra Cold War-ness of the books very weird. I remember that one of the main Soviet baddies was a KGB officer called "Killov", the Soviet premier operated a voice-activated Hitler hologram for some Neo Nazis in a sub-plot that didn't seem to go anywhere ("zer fourth reich will go on for a thousand years, a million years, a BILLION years!" was the conclusion of the scene), and at one extraordinary moment the prose was interrupted to no good effect with some lyrics of a presumably terrible song called something like "We're Gonna Die Listening To Rock 'N' Roll". I never looked into it, but that may have just been some music-less lyrics written by "Stacy". Both the books were given to me by a non-reading friend who will remain anonymous (but who I will say had a picture of himself in a Borat mankini as his Facebook avatar for crying out loud what was he thinking) and I got this really creepy bug-eyed xenophobic psycho feel from both of them, like both the writers were total Reaganites.

FAKE EDIT: Just looked it up on Goodreads and I see that it ran from 1984 to 1991 - ending just before the USSR collapsed, which was fortunate for the authors. Also the hero is called "Ted Rockson", which is such a marvellously shit and unimaginative action movie name, and is now making me think of the "Blast HardCheese" names from MST3K's Space Mutiny episode. I can just imagine Kevin Murphy saying "Ted Rockson!" as that bloke runs around that factory.

'Ryder Stacy' was 2 dudes working as one (or was for the first few books), both now deceased - there's some stuff about them on the Glorious Trash site. They did a few pulp series and were liberal arty types I think and definitely wrote the series with tongues in cheeks, waiting for their cheque...

Aye the fall of USSR did for a lot of these books, you won't get much stuff past the early 90s. Some of the few men's adventure series that survived into the 90s and 00s (like the later Executioner and spinoffs like Stony Man) ditched the Reds and switched all the villains to the Middle East.

Spoon of Ploff

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 01:38:10 PM »

"..His bladder exploded, spraying his lungs with hot urine. The Pagan vomited up chunks of his stomach and flopped over backward, kicking his legs in the air as he shit his pants and died."


I must obtain a copy of this book... for research purposes.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2018, 03:05:55 PM »
The Phoenix novels seem obscenely expensive, some of them are over $100 on eBay. I imagine it's the sort of thing I'll find a box full of at an estate sale (seriously, estate sales are tons of fun) for next to no money.

Attila

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2018, 08:45:51 AM »
You might be interested in this marvellous new book, bushwick. I got it in my stocking at Xmas. Must confess I'm more interested in the lurid book jackets than the content.

[big image of a lovely book]

I had a flick through this back at Christmas and am planning to grab a copy as soon as I get past a boatload of boring grown up expenses. I read so, so many of these books with my now deceased best friend -- it got me through a lot of stressful times through the end of university work and all through post grad, just to read these intensely nutty books. For a while there, there would just be a whole wall of them at the bookshop; she and I would get a couple every other week or so, read them and make comments in the margin, then swap them with each other -- the commentary between me and her was probably the best part.

Sadly whilst we read loads of them, I have none of them now (except for the VC Andrews books that VCA actually wrote; I just revisited My Sweet Audrina for the first time in like 25+ years when I was stuck living overnight on campus once a week all last semester...appalling writing, and how I wish Lee were still around to swap comments on...)

I may actually have the worst of the lot still in storage; it was some faff about killer bees that we exchanged several times, with more and more commentary in the margins each time...

Brundle-Fly

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2018, 10:08:33 AM »

I may actually have the worst of the lot still in storage; it was some faff about killer bees that we exchanged several times, with more and more commentary in the margins each time...

In the 1970s, our family used to go on weekend breaks to a caravan site in Winchelsea and the site shop had the most amazing book and magazine collection; Creepy Worlds, Uncanny Tales, Secrets Of The Unknown reprints, back issues of Famous Monsters Of Filmland, House Of Hammer. I only ever saw these publications on holidays on the South Coast for some reason (or later in Forbidden Planet for overinflated prices).

The shop had a ton of pulp novels on the racks too. Talking of killer bees, there was one sci-fi/ horror paperback I've been trying to track down for years. I think it was called XAN about super-intelligent killer wasps. It had a weird purple insect head on the cover that always intrigued me. Nowt on Google. I've obviously remembered the title incorrectly. 

Attila

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2018, 11:17:26 AM »
In the 1970s, our family used to go on weekend breaks to a caravan site in Winchelsea and the site shop had the most amazing book and magazine collection; Creepy Worlds, Uncanny Tales, Secrets Of The Unknown reprints, back issues of Famous Monsters Of Filmland, House Of Hammer. I only ever saw these publications on holidays on the South Coast for some reason (or later in Forbidden Planet for overinflated prices).

The shop had a ton of pulp novels on the racks too. Talking of killer bees, there was one sci-fi/ horror paperback I've been trying to track down for years. I think it was called XAN about super-intelligent killer wasps. It had a weird purple insect head on the cover that always intrigued me. Nowt on Google. I've obviously remembered the title incorrectly.

It wasn't Keith Roberts, The Furies, was it?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2332214.The_Furies

Brundle-Fly

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2018, 11:42:01 AM »
It wasn't Keith Roberts, The Furies, was it?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2332214.The_Furies

No, very similar cover but that novel appears to be from 1985 and I'm reminiscing around 1976/77.

Spoon of Ploff

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2018, 01:25:17 PM »
The furies were super intelligent giant wasps from space. Came out in 1966 or so the Internets says. God I loved this book at a kid. My copy had this super cool cover:



I wonder if I still a have it.. up in the loft somewhere?

Attila

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2018, 04:57:08 PM »
No, very similar cover but that novel appears to be from 1985 and I'm reminiscing around 1976/77.

Yer, as Spoon says, Furies is 1966 (people compare it to Triffids and that). Probs the one on the Goodreads link is a 1980s re-issue or something.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2018, 01:57:51 PM »
That "Paperbacks From Hell" is excellent, I've been reading it at work and a few people have asked for a borrow, stopped to reminisce about their favourite rubbish old horror novels...

It is quite tough finding them now, though. Perhaps every charity shop has a huge supply of them they don't use because they don't think they'll sell?

Funcrusher

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2018, 03:54:12 PM »
This is really annoying. I was reading some threads on that Vault forum, and I ended up reading a chapter of some pulp novel that was part of a trilogy of thrillers set in Hong Kong, I think possibly via a reference in one of the Men Of Violence threads, and now I have no idea what it was. I think I might have been reading a sample on Amazon, but maybe not as it doesn't seem to be in any search history. I guess I might have to go and ask on the Vault.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2018, 05:12:26 PM »
That "Paperbacks From Hell" is excellent, I've been reading it at work and a few people have asked for a borrow, stopped to reminisce about their favourite rubbish old horror novels...

It is quite tough finding them now, though. Perhaps every charity shop has a huge supply of them they don't use because they don't think they'll sell?

Problem is books like Paperbacks From Hell. They make these things desirable and it's like a plague of locusts sweeping through every charity shop in the land. You rarely find good albums in the charity shops now. Record dealers, fickle hipsters, Giles Peterson's elves and Head Gardner have snapped them all up.

Catalogue Trousers

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2018, 10:15:25 PM »
Hey, Brundle-Fly - XAN...



Currently going for a penny plus postage on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Xan-Patrick-Tilley/dp/0586064680

Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2018, 10:04:26 AM »
^^^that is incredible cover art

Brundle-Fly

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2018, 02:40:31 PM »
Hey, Brundle-Fly - XAN...

Currently going for a penny plus postage on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Xan-Patrick-Tilley/dp/0586064680

Thanks Catalogue!!  And I'm weirded out. That's definitely the book I remember but it's not about killer wasps and according to the author's Wiki page, XAN was published in 1986. Goes to show how one's memories get mixed up.  My folks sold the caravan in 1986 so this sighting must've been one of my last visits to the shop.

I did return in the 2000s but the books had gone and replaced by Nuts, Take A Break and Puzzler magazines.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2018, 01:43:17 PM »
Problem is books like Paperbacks From Hell. They make these things desirable and it's like a plague of locusts sweeping through every charity shop in the land. You rarely find good albums in the charity shops now. Record dealers, fickle hipsters, Giles Peterson's elves and Head Gardner have snapped them all up.
You're probably right. I blame the lack of nagging 1970s wives to complain to people about the sheer volume of books they're collecting, and thus redistributing the trash.

I was at a charity book sale the other day, and there was a bloke there going through every single book - and there were thousands of the fuckers - with a scanner attached to his phone, filling up a monster-sized trolley next to him, presumably with everything he could make a quid's profit off. I can't compete with that

Brundle-Fly

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2018, 03:03:34 PM »
You're probably right. I blame the lack of nagging 1970s wives to complain to people about the sheer volume of books they're collecting, and thus redistributing the trash.

I was at a charity book sale the other day, and there was a bloke there going through every single book - and there were thousands of the fuckers - with a scanner attached to his phone, filling up a monster-sized trolley next to him, presumably with everything he could make a quid's profit off. I can't compete with that

Checking how much each old book goes for on eBay/Amazon. Chucking any book without a barcode into the trolley. Vintage, mate! It's a way to make a living I suppose?

Famous Mortimer

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2018, 03:28:17 PM »
I feel good about my chances, though. I was at an estate sale the other day, and there were gigantic amounts of books, but more your 90s dark fantasy stuff. I'll find my dead person with a shitload of pulp horror soon.

kidsick5000

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2018, 08:17:33 PM »
I did not read them at the time, but there are book covers that have stuck with me since the 70s (and probably informed my design career). Possibly Sven Hassel books in the era that they converted the ss into the SS symbol.

I always saw them at motorway services. Stark black or white covers, Author's name in block text either in red or white and then... a photo of a skull or a knife dripping in blood. Terrifying yet fascinating.

Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2018, 09:55:03 AM »


Here's a rum old cover for you. I have this but haven't ever read it, thought it was a bit too hardcore for the bus journey.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

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Re: REPREHENSIBLE PULP NOVELS OF THE 70s AND 80s - THE CREAM OF THE CROP
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2018, 07:11:00 PM »
^ Gail Platt from off a " Coronation Street " scrubs up well.