For the Love of Pulp Fiction

Hello groovers. Today, for a bit of light relief I present to you, yet another fine selection of my favourite trashy pulp novel covers from the mid 20th century.  Oh, you know you love them.

Before we get on with the show, I have a few interesting points regarding pulp novels, which I shall pass on to you in handy bullet form:

  • The book covers on pulp fiction novels from the 1920’s onwards were such a point of sale that they were often designed before the book was even written.
  • Interestingly, this “literature” was not even considered to be so – funnily enough – and therefore wasn’t held in high enough regard to be censored.
  • Another way the publishers avoided censorship was to make sure never to proselytise homosexuality and other “perversions”, as the books were carried through US Mail and every package carried in the post was subject to government censorship.  This is a major reason for the seemingly ridiculous moral judgements contained in the blurbs on the covers of the books, and also why any characters deemed to have “perverse” characteristics usually ended up insane or dead.

Anyway, enough with the facts.  Let us enjoy some gloriously debauched cover art from the age of pulp fiction:

An unscrupulous rake, eh?  This book is taking on a whole new meaning.  There are all kinds of things an all-wise young lady could get up to with a rogue garden implement.

Maybe this is where Rollergirl found her inspiration.

I do have to add that I once owned an identical pair of rollerskates [except mine had stoppers for er, going downhill], but I never did rollerskate naked.  Although the notion is quite appealing.

Ooh, well look at you Mr Fancy Panties!  Just the title makes me giggle.   However, I’m not sure what’s going on with the illustration.  Are they the same person?  Is one pair of panties fancier than the other?  Is this a fancy panty stand-off?

Wait!  Doesn’t Dick Dale play guitar… ON THE PULP FICTION SOUNDTRACK?

I think someone is trying mess with my head.

Oh, I just don’t know what to say about this.  Two fetishes in one?  Why not, I say!

Excuse me, but I was under the impression hipsters didn’t have sex.  Oh, you mean those kinds of hipsters.  The real kind.  Not the current breed who are so attached to their ironic t-shirts that you’d have assume they probably don’t even get naked in the shower, let alone whip each other with straw brooms.

Passion bum!  I think I’ve found my calling…

More soon.


~ by at her discretion on August 5, 2008.

13 Responses to “For the Love of Pulp Fiction”

  1. Those covers are absolutely hilarious. I think I gotta new hobby now. Pulp covers here we come.

    Wellum Hulder

  2. Well, I’m so glad you enjoyed yourself… although I have to wonder how you found me seeing as I’ve been blacklisted from WordPress tags yet again. Sigh.

  3. Maxwell Bodenheim was a noted avant garde literary figure from the 1910s through the early 1950s, writing a number of books of poetry, criticism, and several novels. NAKED ON ROLLER SKATES was written in 1930. Bodenheim and his 3rd wife were murdered by an acquaintance in 1954.

  4. Crikey Moses, you are knowlegable… are you related? Or perhaps a scholar. I know many of these novels were written by very famous writers..

    Thanks for the information…:)

  5. I think it’s funny how absolutely literal the titles are. NAKED ON ROLLER-SKATES: the story of a girl who is naked on roller skates! NURSES AND ANAL LOVE… hmm… I wonder what that one’s about?

    Although I’ve often considered “pulp” to be a genre, that’s not really true. The pulps covered a ton of genres (adventure, crime, westerns, sci-fi, erotica, romance, porn). It would probably be more accurate to say that pulp is a style all its own.

    You should showcase some cover art from the classic pulps: Chandler and Hammett.

  6. Oh, totally agreed… on all fronts. There are so many sub-genres within pulp. I suppose I mustn’t have made that point.

    Porn pulp is my favourite, but I’ll be covering a bunch of genres as time goes on. I’ve got that many pictures..

  7. I totally want a first edition copy of “Nurses and Anal Love”.

  8. Wow. “Nurses and Anal Love” – you couldn’t get away with a title that crass nowadays. I did buy a 1920’s-set gay murder-mystery called “Back Passage” but even that title is slightly more subtle!

    Interestingly, Mills and Boon seem to have moved from poetic titles (“A Single Rose”) to very literal ones (“A Mother for The Doctor’s New Baby”) sometime recently. Yuck.

  9. Can you remove my links from your sidebar please? Doesn’t matter if they are awards or otherwise – that domain got bought out by some spammer who’s using my domain to display nothing but advertising.

    Basically, I don’t want him to have the pleasure of using my old domain, just so he can get ad impressions. I’ve created a new website now and you can link to that if you want. Other than that, I hope all is well.

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