Hellcats and Honeygirls by Lawrence Block
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Before becoming successful crime fiction writers, Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake broke into the industry by writing soft-core porn novels. The three in this volume are books they collaborated on.
A Girl Called Honey: Honor Mercy Bane goes to Newport to become a prostitute and gets mixed up with a spineless Air Force deserter named Richie Parsons. Honor, now called Honey, and Richie flee to New York. Things go well until a rich man wants Honey for his mistress...
To be honest, this isn't much of a porn novel. I thought there was going to be a lot more smut. Aside from that, I enjoyed it. Block and Westlake blended seamlessly. The story is actually pretty good, enough twists to keep it moving. If I hadn't read the intro, I wouldn't have seen some of it coming.
So Willing: Seventeen year old Vince is looking to have sex with a virgin. But are there any left?
So Willing was hilarious, more akin to American Pie than a porn novel. Block and Westlake managed to recreate the experience of being a 17 year old male and thinking about sex 99.5% of your waking life. Vince's sexual misadventures were pretty funny. My only complaint would be that the ending seemed tacked on.
Sin Hellcat: Ad agency exec Harvey Christopher meets up with an old college girlfriend who became a prostitute. In between reminiscing about old conquests, Harvey gets roped into helping Jodie, the old girlfriend, smuggle something into Brazil.
Sin Hellcat was by far the most enjoyable story of this trio. It had the most smut, the most laughs, and actually was pretty damn good. Harvey Christopher was kind of a bastard but I liked him anyway. I had not idea where the plot was going but I have a feeling Block and Westlake didn't either when they were writing it.
Hellcats and Honeygirls, while not the best work of Block or Westlake, is a pretty good read for those wanting to see how the masters got their start in the business. While not as good as their later works, there are still flashes of brilliance in each of the stories.
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