Friday, February 6, 2015

Road Show by Kevin North

Celebrating a month of Love and Lust!
Road Show is part of Neva Paperback’s Playtime series which were adult paperbacks featuring sexual plotlines. Not to be confused with straight pornographic sex paperbacks, although the Playtime books could be explicit depending on the author. Road Show is less explicit than some. Road Show is credited to Kevin North who wrote several Playtime titles. I don’t know if Kevin North is a pseudonym or if that was his real name. As for Road Show itself, it’s not bad. Written in the first person, the prose is masculine and doesn’t waste any time. Ex-rodeo cowboy Ross Hilton encounters a dish taking a bath in a creek near Yuma City. Her name is Coena Madison and she’s the sister of one of Hilton’s old rodeo and movie stuntmen pals. Coena has a hard-luck story and Hilton falls for her. Their new found friendship is consummated right there in chapter one: “When I touched her with my lips, she made a guttural sound deep in her throat, and pushed her young body tighter into my embrace. And at last we made love – in the awkward way lovers find necessary in a car.” Of course there are far more explicit descriptions but that gives you the flavor. What surprised me about the book was the plot’s complexity. Coincidences and old connections come into play here as they stage a rodeo show featuring half-naked girls on horseback. With billboards announcing “Coena Madison’s All-Girl Extravaganza” and a punchline of “Sex on Horseback” the profit margin should be high. Hilton tells Coena “You jiggle at a trot, it’s maddening.” And Coena replies “And you men all love it!” Basically, it’s a burlesque nudie show on horseback. Things get murderously complicated when a goon named Sol Benedict begins harassing them. His interference leads to murder and degradation. There are some wild scenes here in a cock-pit (yep!) where the roosters are let loose in the pit with a dancing naked woman, all orchestrated by Sol Benedict. I thought the conclusion was flat, lacking a satisfactory comeuppance; which struck me as funny as I typed that sentence. Road Show was published in 1963 and Playtime paperbacks are not terribly difficult to find although prices vary dramatically. The cover art is probably by Robert Bonfils.

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