Pulp Friday: Open House

“To protect her young daughter she would have to expose the truth of her own affair with their virile young boarder.”

Sounds complicated.

This Friday’s pulp offering is Open House by Joan Ellis. It was published by Star Books, Crow’s Nest Sydney, and printed by Griffin Press in South Australia. There’s no publication date.

To the best of my knowledge, Star Books was a local outfit that did Australian mass market print runs of overseas pulp authors. It was active in the late sixties and early seventies. One day I’m actually going to have to spend a bit of time and track down the details of some of these local pulp publishing houses, as I’d love to know more about them.

Through the wonder of the Internet I discovered Ellis certainly was a prolific author, mainly erotic pulps and campus exploitation tales very popular in the US in the early sixties. So prolific, in fact, I suspect it was name used by several authors to ghost under.

I’m not sure whether Joan did her own titling. If so, she certainly had an talent for creative sleaze. Some of the titles I was able to track down, included Campus Pet (“With her one-track mind and breath taking body, she was bound to be a hit on campus”), Campus Jungle (She wondered if he’d still want her once he found out about the things she’d done at a not-so-private campus party”), High School Hellions, Faculty Wife and Cool Co-Eds (“They came in search of knowledge, the kind not found in text books…”), and Third Street (The place where questions were asked, the street where few men were ever seen”).

If your interested, there’s a great selection of these covers at a site called Those Sexy Vintage Sleaze Books. It’s one of several good sites on the Internet dedicated to celebrating cover art and writing from the hey days of pulp publishing.

The back cover blurb for Open House is a ripper.

“A new man in town.

They came at him from all directions…. love starved spinsters, sex-hungry windows, restless housewives… and worst of all, the hot eyed nymphets who wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Like Lottie, the landlady’s daughter, who always managed to appease her over-developed-sexual hungers in the dangerously brief time they had before her mother returned home from the grocery store!

Like Elise, the next-door-neighbour, who visited him on the pretext of borrowing a cigarette and who ended up by stripping him of his last shred of decency!

Like Fran, the lovely virgin, who surrendered her body feverishly in the back seat of a car while pretending she was with a man who loved another.”



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