Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Review: Carla

Carla Carla by Sheldon Lord
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was Lawrence Block's first published novel. Marketed to men of that era (1958) as a sex book about a nymphomanic, but it could just as easily have been marketed under a different name and with different art and jacket copy to women as a romance. This is a censorship era book so the sex scenes are veiled and euphemistic but I'm sure it was quite scandalous at the time. There is one particularly gruesome scene, a flashback to when Carla was fourteen and her mother takes her to to get a back alley abortion, that shows off the kind of writer Block would become. Otherwise, the writing here is similar to what Orrie Hitt was writing at the same time. Page after page of shallow psychology passed off as the character's, mostly Carla's, thought processes.

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