Friday, February 17, 2017

The Love Seekers by Jay Carr

This vintage 1963 paperback might once have been described as “sleaze.” Sleaze is now called “erotica” which is the academic community’s way of applying manners to frank discussions about the horizontal bop. It’s all about sex, complicated relationships, and more sex. The cover artwork appeals to the testosterone crowd and generally gets across the book’s theme. Published by Beacon-Signal, whose phallic lighthouse logo was an indication of the lively prose one would find in their books, The Love Seekers is far less explicit than you might expect. The Love Seekers is about three girls in a boarding house – Nina, Joyce and Jerri – and the ignited passions they experience with Eddie and Martin, the two very lucky males who, if you’ll pardon the expression, come onto their radar. I think “boarding houses” must also be a thing from the past. I don’t know of any boarding houses any more (essentially, cut-rate dormitory style hotels). After reading The Love Seekers you’ll want to hitch-hike across the country, check into a cheap boarding house, and frolic with girls like Nina, Joyce and Jerri. There are worse things you could be doing with your time. Books like The Love Seekers are about desire, physical and emotional, and the trouble it causes under certain circumstances. Nina is the granddaughter of the boarding house owner and involves herself with men out of boredom; Jerri is a wealthy heiress also bored with life who finds excitement giving herself to men; and Joyce is married but unfulfilled. Martin and Eddie find themselves saddled with some unique problems in addition to their own wacky lives. The tag line makes it all clear: “An intimate glimpse of life as it is really lived behind the respectable facade of a down-at-the-heels rooming house.” Sounds like a good place to check in.

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