In a used book store you walk by titles like “Watership Down”, “The Hobbit”, “Fried Green Tomatoes”, “Satan was a Lesbian”, “Martian Chron…wait what? You go back, pull “Satan was a Lesbian” off the shelf in it’s plastic wrapper, the lurid cover is a illustration of an leather momma beating the hell out of a coat and tie little wimp with a whip. Whats the price…what? Thirty fucking dollars for a book from 1966? Heart in your throat its either you eat and drive home on a full tank of gas, or you buy this book, drive home hungry and almost hit the empty on the fuel gauge. Whelp, hungry and empty fuel tank it is. “Sin Rama” is the book that gives the history of those weird, creepy, perverted, unsettling and hilarious soft porn books of the 1960’s and their lurid covers. Put out by the king of weird publishing, “Feral House”.The first part is dedicated to the history of the soft core paperbacks of the 1960’s: the fly by night publishers, the authors who wrote under 100’s of pseudonyms and the artists of the lurid, goof ball covers. In fact it was the covers that normally sold the books, normally the stuff in between the covers was amateurish, stupid and ridiculous. The laws were still strict against pornography so they really had to tiptoe around a lot of talk about genitals and sexual intercourse.
A good amount of the authors went on to write under their real names and became successful, Robert Silverberg and Maron Zimmer Bradley are some names that might sound familiar who started out writing these things. The soft core adult paperback industry gave authors just starting out a chance to make some money and most of them wrote these things on typewriters. Some of the fly by night publishers who put these books out were run by mafia types which isn’t a surprise. Artists like Gene Bilbrew and Eric Stanton did the covers, got paid very little and went under assumed names. Gene Bilbrew was black and a rarity among cover artists, his covers in particular really jump out. Eric Stanton is known as a fetish, leather artist.
Books like these kind of piss me off, not because their boring but because they make me look for the titles in the book, I call books like these “Wallet Emptiers”. Again, another obsession I can’t afford, I have a few soft core 1960’s titles which I found on Abe’s Books, other used book web sites and used book stores, they aren’t cheap either. “Sin A Rama” collects these covers and interviews the authors still alive who put out these pulp novels.
Reading these is the equivalent of watching low budget, sleazy, softcore 1960’s B movies, movies put out by the likes of Doris Wishman and Russ Meyer. Their a hoot, and a laugh and they aren’t 500 pages long or in movie length speak, two and half hours long. Its fast food reading, not healthy but boy is it good going down. Sometimes I’ll pick up one of these books and read a random passage. I always get a chuckle.
This is a beautiful book it has slick pages and its in full color, the interviews are really interesting and it gives a breakdown of what the industry had to deal with: pissed off judges, puritan cops and hypocritical moral guardians going after books that are child’s play compared to what is in a young adult novel these days. The authors had to be more creative when talking about sex, which makes the dialogue and some passages hilarious.The visuals were the main selling point and the goofy titles. “Sin A Rama” is a must have for visual white noise fanatics. Get your paws on this thing, I was glad to have found it in a used book store. Feral House always does a good job on their books “Adam Parfrey, RIP”. This thing is good to have lying around when you have visitors, it causes laughs, scoffs and conversation. This is something that will brighten your life and that is always good.
To get a copy the best place would be amazon, and Feral House released a expanded edition which I will need to get and it can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Sin-Rama-Expanded-Paperbacks-Sixties/dp/1627310282/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Sin+A+Rama&qid=1608751353&s=books&sr=1-1
So plunge spheres deep into “Sin A Rama”.