Monday, November 28, 2005

Just Read: Cinderella Sims by Lawrence Block

Everything is interlocking these days; there were two covers for this book (under this title and its original "sex-book" name, $20 Lust), in Sin-A-Rama, and I got a box of books from its publisher (Subterranean Press) as I was reading it at lunch-time today.

This is a minor early Block novel, originally published as by Andrew Shaw, but it's still readable, in its pulpy way. The sex that was its main reason for existence in 1958 reads very strangely now; it's all overheated metaphors and elliptical descriptions that would be too much for even a flower-cover romance novel today. (But it was hot stuff, apparently, in 1958; you could only buy it under the counter.)

It reads like a crime novel to me now, though it takes nearly a third of an already-short book to get into the crime plot (and the ending is awfully happy for the kind of crime novel it was, and the time). Our hero falls hard for a dame - I don't think there's any other way to put it - and she turns out to be more trouble than he bargained for. I'm sure none of us have ever seen that plot before...but it works as well as it has to, here, and Block was good at putting words together smoothly, even this early in his career.

But if anyone is looking for the real sex-book by Block, the book you want is Ronald Rabbit Is a Dirty Old Man, originally published a decade later and most recently available in trade paperback from Subterranean Press. (them again!)

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