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Old 11-28-2007, 09:58 AM
NajaNivea NajaNivea is offline
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Classic Trashy Novels Month

The last couple of years I've declared December "Classic Trashy Novels Month" and will scratch an itch for some great cheesecake reading. Typical selections include Peyton Place, The Earth's Children series, Flowers in the Attic, Valley of the Dolls, and The Thorn Birds.

Anyone have any good suggestions for this year's list? Really the only rules are that they be enjoyable, reasonably well-written and from the 70's or earlier. Extra points if seeing me reading it makes senior citizens giggle.
  #2  
Old 11-28-2007, 10:05 AM
SkipMagic SkipMagic is offline
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How about Krantz's Scruples?
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:09 AM
Surok Surok is offline
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Does Lust for Life by Irving Stone (1934) count as cheesecake?
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:12 AM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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The 70's or earlier?

I'm remembering entertaining books by Frank Yerby, Sidney Sheldon, and Irwin Shaw.

Also Mandingo by Kyle Onstott -- that'd raise some eyebrows -- and Aztec by Gary Jennings.
  #5  
Old 11-28-2007, 10:59 AM
UntouchedTakeaway UntouchedTakeaway is offline
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Forever Amber - Kathleen Winsor
The Best of Everything - Rona Jaffe
God's Little Acre & Tobacco Road - Erskine Caldwell
The Girl from Storyville - Frank Yerby
anything by Kathleen Woodiwiss - The Flame & The Flower, The Wolf & The Dove

Enjoy!

VCNJ~
  #6  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:13 AM
Rube E. Tewesday Rube E. Tewesday is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veuve_ClicquotNJ
anything by Kathleen Woodiwiss - The Flame & The Flower, The Wolf & The Dove

Enjoy!

VCNJ~
Oh yeah, the Wolf and the Dove --total crap, total trash, totally irresistible
  #7  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:26 AM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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There's the lifes work of one Harold Robbins. Of particular note are The Lonely Lady, The Betsy, and The Carpetbaggers, which had the following classic, trashy exchange:

Man to bride: "What do you want to see on your honeymoon?"
Bride: "Lot's of lovely ceilings!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Robbins

He was once billed as "The Worlds most successful novelist" or somesuch, and with 3/4 of a billion sold, definitely ranks up there among the Class of the Trash.

Last edited by JohnT; 11-28-2007 at 11:29 AM.
  #8  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:28 AM
Otto Otto is offline
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If you liked VotD then explore further the works of Jackie Susann. None of them match VotD but they are entertaining. There's "The Love Machine," "Once is Not Enough" and her roman a clef of Jackie O, "Delores." I'd also recommend the biography that came out a few years ago, "Lovely Me," which isn't trashy per se but is a quick and fun read.

There is also a sequel to "Peyton Place," entitled unoriginally enough "Return to Peyton Place." Grace Metalious also wrote what amounted to an abridged PP, "The Tight White Collar" which isn't very good but has the virtue of being quite short.

If you have any interest in lesbian softcore with unhappy endings, there was an entire sub-genre of lesbian pulp fiction. I haven't read any of it so can't offer any recommendations of specific titles.
  #9  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:35 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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What was the one that started with "Which one of you bitches is my mother?"? Is that Lace?

ETA: Yep.

Last edited by twickster; 11-28-2007 at 11:35 AM. Reason: posted first, checked secont
  #10  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:36 AM
Surok Surok is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster
What was the one that started with "Which one of you bitches is my mother?"? Is that Lace?
Yup, that's another good'un. And there's always Lace2
  #11  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:36 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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Oooh, and anything by Arthur Hailey, esp. Hotel.
  #12  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:40 AM
Larry Borgia Larry Borgia is offline
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This might be a bit off topic, but I'd recommend The Godfather by Mario Puzo. It's actually pretty well written, with a sly sense of irony throughout. There's plenty of sex and violence, and a lot of the story didn't make it into the movie. If you like it, also check out Fools Die by the same author.

I may be misunderstanding what you mean by trashy novel.
  #13  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:42 AM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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Harold Robbins! A Stone for Danny Fisher aka Knock on Any Door.

And Harrison High by John Farris -- trash for teens.

I think I've read every book mentioned so far in this thread.

Earl Thompson wrote good trash, but he's probably not well-known enough to raise eyebrows at the doctor's office -- try Garden of Sand and Tattoo.
  #14  
Old 11-28-2007, 12:17 PM
UntouchedTakeaway UntouchedTakeaway is offline
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Wow - another Earl Thompson fan. Glad to know there are two of us

VCNJ~

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntiePam
Harold Robbins! A Stone for Danny Fisher aka Knock on Any Door.

And Harrison High by John Farris -- trash for teens.

I think I've read every book mentioned so far in this thread.

Earl Thompson wrote good trash, but he's probably not well-known enough to raise eyebrows at the doctor's office -- try Garden of Sand and Tattoo.
  #15  
Old 11-28-2007, 12:30 PM
NailBunny NailBunny is offline
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How about something by Mickey Spillane?
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:36 PM
Jodi Jodi is offline
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I can't believe no one's yet included The Ultimate:

Wifey, Judy Blume.

Last edited by Jodi; 11-28-2007 at 12:36 PM.
  #17  
Old 11-28-2007, 12:48 PM
Rube E. Tewesday Rube E. Tewesday is offline
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Oh, almost forgot "Beulah Land" -- slavery, sex, violence -- the total package.
  #18  
Old 11-28-2007, 01:14 PM
Poysyn Poysyn is offline
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Can I recommend Sidney Sheldon?

And Dean Koontz?

Lovely trashy vintage, both.
  #19  
Old 11-28-2007, 01:24 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Another vote for Aztec by Gary Jennings. Sex, gore, warfare, backstabbing, political intrigue, human sacrifice, more sex, religious satire, still more sex, and the collapse of a vast and (in many ways) noble civilization. A big book but a fast read; well-researched, well-written, a real page-turner. I re-read it every five or six years, it seems. It's that good!

Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 11-28-2007 at 01:25 PM.
  #20  
Old 11-28-2007, 01:30 PM
SomeUserName SomeUserName is offline
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The Big O - Rosemary Santini
  #21  
Old 11-28-2007, 01:33 PM
koeeoaddi koeeoaddi is offline
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I was all set to be snotty and dismissive about Valley of the Dolls, until I read this review on GoodReads. Now, I'm going to have to go reread the thing.
  #22  
Old 11-28-2007, 01:35 PM
Don Draper Don Draper is offline
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The first two vampire books by Anne Rice - "Interview with a Vampire" and "the Vampire Lestat" are actually fun, trashy reads. It's only in the third book of the series that Rice's egomania began rearing it's ugly head, and the stories became increasingly schizophrenic and self-important. Also worth checking out is the "Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty" that Rice wrote under a psuedonym - A.N. Rocquefort.

And there's always "the Happy Hooker" by Xaviera Hollander.
  #23  
Old 11-28-2007, 02:31 PM
NajaNivea NajaNivea is offline
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Oh man, I knew I could count on you guys to come up with some real trash.
I'm printing out this thread and heading over to the used book store this afternoon--keep 'em coming!
So far with quick scans on Amazon, Mandingo is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for, and Kathleen Woodiwiss, Sidney Sheldon, and Harold Robbins all look like excellent candidates.
  #24  
Old 11-28-2007, 02:45 PM
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For unbelievable class ridden, English, utter, utter trash there are the Jilly Cooper books - Riders, Rivals, and Polo.

OK - my girlfriend loved them. That's my sole defense.
  #25  
Old 11-28-2007, 06:53 PM
Jodi Jodi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The New and Improved Superman
Also worth checking out is the "Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty" that Rice wrote under a psuedonym - A.N. Rocquefort.
This is only worth checking out if your idea of "trashy" is S&M porn, and I don't mean soft bodice-ripper porn, I mean hard-core porn, with much spanky.

Not being judgey, but it's worth noting that's what Rice's Beauty books are, because some people might not want to buy them. Or may want to buy them right away.
  #26  
Old 11-28-2007, 06:55 PM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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Originally Posted by Veuve_ClicquotNJ
Wow - another Earl Thompson fan. Glad to know there are two of us

VCNJ~
The books you mentioned in your first post are all favorites, so I'm not surprised you've read Big Earl T.

Another trashy page-turner is Celebrity by Thomas Thompson -- it's not pre-70's though, more like late 70's, I think. I took it with me to Lincoln Park one summer day and put the kids in the pool. Didn't let them get out until I'd finished the book. Could not put it down. The kids were quite wrinkly.
  #27  
Old 11-28-2007, 08:40 PM
Gala Matrix Fire Gala Matrix Fire is offline
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Damn, somebody beat me to God's Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell.

I haven't read it since high school and I still remember the male character who was so irresistible that his wife's teenaged sister had sex with him and his wife, her sister, forgave her because he was just so manly that no woman had the power to resist him. I think Erskine Caldwell was in love with the character, too.
  #28  
Old 11-28-2007, 09:07 PM
koeeoaddi koeeoaddi is offline
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Hey, how about Candy, by Terry Southern? IIRC, it's got a dumb blonde, loads of goofy sex scenes and a handy 70s-style guru.
  #29  
Old 11-28-2007, 09:09 PM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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If your still in the mood after Woodiweis, try Shirlee Busbee's Gypsy Lady (not any of the other countless Gypsy Girl, Gypsy Woman, Gypsy Pirate. . .).

Trashy smut? My Secret Garden compiled by Nancy Friday. Not a novel and definetly erotica.

How about The Kent Family Chronicles starting with The Bastard by John Jakes?



Man, this is making me miss trading books with my girlfriends in high school. Not that I was in high school in the '70s. Well, not all of high school. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
  #30  
Old 11-28-2007, 09:43 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Why 70's and earlier only? I'm currently reading a fantastically trashy fantasy author (M.J. Putney), who has hot love scenes every other page, and is a very engaging writer (she's going to become a classic trashy novel writer, I believe). Her stuff is current, though.
  #31  
Old 11-28-2007, 09:55 PM
NajaNivea NajaNivea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by featherlou
Why 70's and earlier only? I'm currently reading a fantastically trashy fantasy author (M.J. Putney), who has hot love scenes every other page, and is a very engaging writer (she's going to become a classic trashy novel writer, I believe). Her stuff is current, though.
I can't really explain. I think mostly it's a stylistic thing, but partly novelty factor, and partly because all through the next month I'm working in a public place, and it's fun to see the reaction when someone sees you reading a trashy book they recognize but haven't seen someone reading in a decade or two. That's why it's "Classic* Trashy Novels Month" and not just "Trashy Novels Month"


*Is "vintage" a more apt qualifier? I dunno. I don't want just old, but old and famous.

Last edited by NajaNivea; 11-28-2007 at 09:55 PM.
  #32  
Old 11-28-2007, 10:57 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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For horror, John Saul. Marilyn French also wrote "The Women's Room" - classic trashy FEMINIST novel.
  #33  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:18 PM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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I didn't even think about horror. Flowers in the Attic then.
  #34  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:21 PM
Darth Sensitive Darth Sensitive is offline
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Robinson isn't exactly good. But pretty dang trashy, in a hardback without scantily clad people on the front, kind of way.
  #35  
Old 11-29-2007, 12:58 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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I read a good smutty book years ago, I think it was called The Tutor, about a Regency-era country home, IIRC, and all of the hanky-panky among the lord and lady of the manor, their young daughter and the servants. Anybody else remember it? Haven't been able to find it online anywhere.
  #36  
Old 11-29-2007, 06:28 PM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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Just thought of another fun read described as a "minor classic". IQ 83 by Arthur Herzog. The United States is struck by a virus that makes everybody dumb.

I'm also posting here because I wanna see more trashy classics. Please?
  #37  
Old 11-29-2007, 09:04 PM
Lunar Saltlick Lunar Saltlick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gala Matrix Fire
Damn, somebody beat me to God's Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell.

I haven't read it since high school and I still remember the male character who was so irresistible that his wife's teenaged sister had sex with him and his wife, her sister, forgave her because he was just so manly that no woman had the power to resist him. I think Erskine Caldwell was in love with the character, too.
God, I love that book. How can you not like a book where they capture an albino down by the swamp and keep him in a pit, hoping he'll bring good luck? And doesn't Ty Ty at one point claim that a truly sexy woman makes you get down on your knees, bark like a dog and want to lick something? Beautiful stuff.

Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson is another good one. Every kind of comical lechery, gluttony, sloth and violence imaginable.

As Jodi points out, Wifey is a great trashy read, although make sure you get Wifey, because most of Judy Blume's stuff is for children.

If you really want shock 'em, get La vie sexuelle de Catherine M, an explicit biographical piece by noted Parisian art critic Catherine Millet. Recently translated, I believe. Not trashy, really, but a fairly shocking read.
  #38  
Old 11-29-2007, 09:27 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggirl
Just thought of another fun read described as a "minor classic". IQ 83 by Arthur Herzog. The United States is struck by a virus that makes everybody dumb.<snip>
Is that fiction?



  #39  
Old 11-29-2007, 11:52 PM
NajaNivea NajaNivea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunar Saltlick
God, I love that book. How can you not like a book where they capture an albino down by the swamp and keep him in a pit, hoping he'll bring good luck? And doesn't Ty Ty at one point claim that a truly sexy woman makes you get down on your knees, bark like a dog and want to lick something? Beautiful stuff.
...Sounds like another trip to Smith Family Books is in order

I went today and for $15 picked up eight pieces of absolutely value-less reading--awesome. Well, actually one's Lonesome Dove, I'm not sure where that fits in, but I've never read it and it was two bucks. Also The Executioner's Song, by Norman Mailer, because, well, what the hell. I also didn't find Mandingo, which I really wanted, but I did pick up another book by the same author, which had this on the back cover to recommend it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tattooed Road
SHOCKING!
LUSTY!
ROMANTIC!
And claims to be:
"MORE TERRIBLE, MORE WONDERFUL,
THAN THE UNFORGETTABLE
MANDINGO

I picked up Memories of Another Day by Harold Robbins, The Sands of Time, Sidney Sheldon. I also discovered that there are two new books in the Earth's Children series, joy!
  #40  
Old 11-30-2007, 08:32 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Nobody's mentioned the classic: Erica Jong's "Fear of Flying." The novel that gave us the term "Zipless Fuck."

That says it all.
  #41  
Old 11-30-2007, 09:15 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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One of the funnest reads I ever enjoyed: Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. When I read it, I didn't know it was a Steampunk classic. It is a scifi, time travel, speculative, Edwardian, Dickensian, mystic mystery with high notes of comedy.

That makes it sound more complicated and complex and no where near as fun than it is.



But it may be early '80s.
  #42  
Old 11-30-2007, 10:28 AM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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Anubis Gates is trashy? 'splain yourself!
  #43  
Old 11-30-2007, 10:42 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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Originally Posted by AuntiePam
Anubis Gates is trashy? 'splain yourself!
Weeellllll. . . there's the poisonings and the werewolves and the Fagin-like underground and the devil dogs and the crossdressing. . .
  #44  
Old 11-30-2007, 11:59 AM
Eleanor of Aquitaine Eleanor of Aquitaine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntiePam
I didn't even think about horror. Flowers in the Attic then.
God, I loved V. C. Andrews when I was a teenager.

But I've been missing out - I haven't read most of the books listed in this thread, although a couple are already on my to-read list. I'm making notes.
  #45  
Old 11-30-2007, 12:07 PM
lobstermobster lobstermobster is offline
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I was going to say Fear of Flying but was beaten to it. I can't remember what nom de plume she uses but Anne Rice writes these other even trashier books. One of which Belinda I was reading on the bus and was blushing so much the person next to me asked if I was okay.

Valley of the Dolls is by far the Queen book of this category. Makes you want to take a doll with vodka on the rocks, get in bed, and just forget your husband hasn't come home yet.
  #46  
Old 12-03-2007, 01:11 AM
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Uncle Tom's Cabin is a prime example of the fact Great Novels don't have to be any good. It's overwrought, overwritten, and about as subtle as a box of handbills to the head. The Jungle is precisely the same way, and The Grapes of Wrath is only saved from it (if it is) because Steinbeck was a poet.

James Fenimore Cooper was not a poet and produced some teeth-gratingly bad stuff. Just ask Mark Twain.

And, finally, I close with the sentiment we should all always close with, regardless of the topic: "Henry James must die!"
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  #47  
Old 12-04-2007, 03:48 PM
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Not from the '70s, but definately trashy are the novels in Liz Maverick's "Crimson City" series - vampires, werewolves, demons, and lots of the required sex.

Come to think of it, should cross-post in the "vampires" thread"!
  #48  
Old 12-04-2007, 06:42 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Naked Came the Stranger.
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