Penelope Ashe, back in print.

I know I’ve written about “Naked Came the Stranger” in this space before, but damn if I can find it, and I don’t have time for a house-to-house search. Anyway, even if you’ve never heard about the crap-tacular ’60s pulp novel, written as a prank by a passel of Newsday reporters and editors, this fun piece in Seattle Weekly is a good primer.

All I can say is: Man, the newspaper business sure was fun, once upon a time.

Posted at 8:33 am in Uncategorized |

3 responses to “Penelope Ashe, back in print.”

  1. deb said on April 6, 2004 at 7:38 pm

    how did i miss reading this? maybe because i was graduating from eighth grade in 1969.

    went online to request it from my county library system, which has 28 libraries but — shockingly — only two copies of this book. worse, not one of the branches has mike mcgrady’s out-of-print sequel, “stranger than naked, or how to write dirty books for fun and profit.” that’s the one i REALLY want to read.

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  2. Nance said on April 6, 2004 at 9:35 pm

    It is truly a hoot, and perfectly structured for a group-grope writing circle: The main character, Gillian, sets out to avenge her husband’s cheating by seducing all their neighbors out in Long Island suburbia, each one of whom constitutes a chapter. They consist of, as I recall, a mobster, an overextended debtor, a homosexual, a pornographer, a Mr. Fix-it and an abortionist with a drug problem, among others. And for all their protests about how bad the writing is, there is some real wit to it, particularly compared with some of the dreck published today. I remember reading something about the continuity memos the editors issued, so Gillian’s hair, eyes, etc. would remain the same colors throughout. A Normal Mailer stand-in makes an appearance toward the end. You should really look it up.

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  3. Michael G said on April 7, 2004 at 8:55 am

    Reminds me that I once knew a guy who worked his way through law school writing dirty books. You know: “Pool Side Stud” or “Swinging Stewardesses”. He had an arrangement with some outfit in West Hollywood. They would send him a plot outline and he would flesh (if you would) it out. He could knock out a book in a weekend and was paid several hundred dollars per for his efforts. Pretty good money for a starving student in those days.

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