Saturday, February 16, 2008
Made in Miami -- Charles Willeford
Made in Miami is the Point Blank reprint of Lust is a Woman, a Beacon Book from the '50s. According to the blurb, this is the first time the novel has been reprinted (not counting the Softcover Library edition, I guess). It's a pretty sleazy story about an art student named Ralph Tone, who takes a summer job in a hotel in Miami, where he meets Maria Dugan, a beautiful young woman who goes a long way downhill in the course of a few pages.
Ralph introduces Maria to a wealthy man named Donald McKay, who turns out to be a pimp and pornographer. With a little guile and money, McKay easily adds Maria to his stable. Ralph decides he has to get revenge, but not before a good bit of sordid sex, none of it graphic but some of it brutal. Obviously this was aimed right at the Beacon Books market. It's just fine as a historical document, and the quirky characters, the downward spiral, and the wry Willeford observations make this one worth reprinting and reading. Check it out.