Friday, April 17, 2009

Forgotten Books: MAD FOR KICKS -- Jack Lynn

Fans of Jack Lynn's Tokey Wedge haven't forgotten him, of course.  Wedge, all five feet, six inches of him, is the private-eye who appears in such classicas as Nympho Lodge and Torrid Twins, mentioned on the back cover.  I couldn't resist putting the back cover up because how could anyone resist reading the book after reading a blurb like that one?  (That's Wedge in his Triumph in the picture, in case you were wondering.)  For that matter, how could anybody resist reading a book with a front cover like this one?

Wedge narrates his adventures in the first person, but this time the action begins in a third-person prologue that describes a brutal rape.  Wedge is hired to find the rapists, which is how he gets involved with the syndicate hoods and the thrill-mad beatniks.  It's all pretty complicated, but Wedge's wise-cracking narration carries it right along.

Naturally, there's plenty of sex.  But since the book was published in 1960, it's all very sedate. No descriptions of the act, no dirty words.  There are, however, plenty of descriptions of naked women because women just can't resist Tokey Wedge.

Here's what Men's Digest supposedly said about the book:  "Mad for Kicks outdoes Lady Chatterly's Lover and any book you care to name for the strong stuff that you men like.  Not recommended for women or children.  This Novel Book powerhouse will make you do a double-take every time you pass a beatnik."  

They don't write 'em like this anymore.


Anonymous said...

Tokey Wedge passing for a beatnik?

No way!

Sounds like a classic, and the cover is George Kelley-worthy.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I so wish I was twenty-five and had time to read all these books. And for other reasons, of course.

George said...

I agree with Jeff: the cover is George Kelley-worthy!

Scott Parker said...

Brother! Where is the nearest used bookstore! I'm going hunting for this one. I actually like this type of blurb, where the character talks to the future reader.


This guy sounds like me.

Max Allan Collins said...

I loved these books when I was a kid, but it was hard to track them down even then. Novel Books republished them under various titles, and I could never figure out how many Tokey Wedge books there were.

The other great series, from Novel Books' secondary (!) line Merit Books, was Ennis Willie's Sand novels. Sand was to Mike Hammer what Tokey Wedge was to Shell Scott.

Juri said...

Sounds and looks great, Bill. Is this the same Jack Lynn who wrote a mafia-themed bestseller in the early seventies or late sixties? THE PROFESSIONAL or some such? Or THE PROFESSOR?

Bill Crider said...

I've seen those books, but I have no idea if this is the same guy.