Children of the Void by William Dexter is a tale of a group of humans who work to rebuild a post-apocalyptic Earth. The Earth is then plunged into a journey through unknown dangers of space…

Children of the Void William Dexter Vintage Paperback Science Fiction Sci Fi

Earth’s chaotic voyage is watched by alien races. Who is friend? Who is foe?

This copy is a first printing October 1966 by Paperback Library. I love the cover art.

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Sin Street (originally titled Scarlet Patrol) by Dorine Manners is a vintage tale of call girls, crime, and the vice racket.

Sin Street Good Girl Art pulp book about vice prostitution and crime

This book rips “the veil off modern bordellos, fake massage parlors, and ‘dance studios’. It is the cold, hard truth…”

Nice example from the era of good girl art, pulp books. I love the green hand contrasted against the woman’s intense red dress.

That’s right,  back in the day, paperbacks based up on the the smash hit tv series Dallas were published.

Enjoy the classic evil genius that is Larry ‘J.R. Ewing/Major Nelson’ Hagman.

Dallas Paperback Vintage Used Book Retro TV Show

Very nice cover artwork, though.

 

Most people know that Gustav Hasford’s short, powerful novel, The Short-Timers, was the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, yet I’m sure not that many people had a chance to read the novel.

The book first came out in the late 1970s. Hasford’s prose is short, sweet yet powerful. In a 1987 Rolling Stone interview with Tim Cahill, Kubrick explained his attraction to Hasford’s novel:

“It’s a very short, very beautifully and economically written book, which, like the film, leaves out all the mandatory scenes of character development: the scene where the guy talks about his father, who’s an alcoholic, his girlfriend — all that stuff that bogs down and seems so arbitrarily inserted into every war story.”[1]

And Kubrick is correct, The Short-Timers is a masterpiece of economic prose.

The novel’s structure is slightly different than Kubrick’s film, which ends with the main character, Pvt. Joker, and his platoon, marching off into the darkness of the bombed out city of Hue.The Short-Timers Gustav Hasford Kubrick Full Metal Jacket Vietnam Paperback

Hasford’s novel has an extra section after Hue, a fire fight in the jungle, which is very emotional, and, in some ways, perhaps, would not jell with Kubrick’s vision.

The novel opens on Parris Island and the main characters, Joker, Cowboy, and poor, dim-witted Gomer Pyle (Lawrence), are introduced, as in the movie.

The drill instructor in the novel is called Gerheim, and, although he is as condescending, brutal, and vicious, as the film’s Sgt. Hartman, Gerheim’s dialog is different. That’s because real life drill instructor, Lee Ermey, who portrayed Hartman, improved his beautiful, poetic, verbal abuse.

But that is neither here nor there, because Gerheim and Hartman serve the same function, turning young boys into killing machines.

References

[1] Cahill, Tim (1987). “The Rolling Stone Interview” at http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0077.html