Male Virgin By /

Some things can’t be taught in books… 

College psychology professor Tom Tallant is a virgin who knows nothing about the psychological or physical aspects of sex…only what he’s read. Yet that’s what he’s hired to teach. Joan Cannon, one of his prettier students, decides it’s imperative to teach her teacher about the little things, like seduction. Then comes Josy and her sister, who take on the task of demonstrating the infinite ways of finding pleasure. And, finally, there’s Lenthe, who teaches him all of those things…but also about love. 

This was the first published novel by John Burton Thompson (1911-1994), a Louisiana native and World War II veteran who went on to write 75 books under his own name and many pseudonyms, including Kevin McLeod, Bowie Morton, Gordon Greene, Todd Marshall, and Burton St. John.

He broke into publishing in 1950 at age 39 by writing a fan letter of Jack Woodford, author of two books on writing, and a controversial (and highly writer of “sleazy” fiction. Woodford encouraged Thompson to send him copies of his unpublished manuscripts. Thompson did, and Woolford immediately sold them, adding his name to the manuscripts and beginning a professional co-authoring and publishing relationship that would last for several years…and get them both into trouble in the early with New York City police for writing “indecent work.”

But Thompson’s many novels, racy at the time and tame by today’s standards, were clearly a cut above what other authors were doing in the “sleaze” genre. He had literary aspirations and, surprisingly, often achieved them with his strong characters, rich writing, and provocative plots, which were psychological and cultural dramas mostly set in his native Louisiana.

He wrote one western, Gunman’s Spawn as Ben Thompson, and it sold 250,000 copies, but the publisher went out of business and he wasn’t able to break into the genre again, much to his disappointment. Although he wasn’t known as a crime writer, many of his “sleazy” books were dark, hard-boiled noir tales, as well written and sharp as anything being published  in that genre. But his work went unnoticed as noir, doomed by the marketing and packaging of his work, though plenty of hard-boiled novels in the 1950s and 60s had equally salacious covers.

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