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He-Men, Bag Men & Nymphos: Classic Men's Adventure Stories by Walter Kaylin (The Men's Adventure Library)
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“Walter Kaylin, come back!” — Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather
“He looked like a divinity student, always buttoned up. Then the stories would come in. They were special ... seamless and outrageous and wonderful. I let him do whatever he wanted and he rarely, if ever, disappointed. He really deserves a tribute. I think of him as a treasure.”
—Bruce Jay Friedman (Stern, Lucky Bruce), Kaylin’s editor at Men, Male and True Action
Scores of great authors wrote for men’s adventure pulps — Elmore Leonard, Jim Thompson, Richard Matheson, Lawrence Block and Harlan Ellison, to name a few. But the one writers for Man's World and True Action envied most was Walter Kaylin.
Leaving an indelible mark on three decades of sweat-soaked pulp fiction, Walter Kaylin tackled testosterone-fueled subjects from Westerns to war, secret agents to sex sirens, Nazis to noir. His frequently over-the-top plots and characters scaled new heights of ingenuity and invention, while setting the standard for the kind of unapologetic savagery and excess that made men’s adventure magazines notorious — then and now.
Robert Deis of MensPulpMags.com and Wyatt Doyle (Stop Requested), editors of the acclaimed Weasels Ripped My Flesh! anthology, rescue a whopping 15 high-intensity Kaylin classics from pulp fiction purgatory, along with the jaw-dropping illustrations that accompanied their original magazine publication ... plus reminiscences by Kaylin, his family, and his former editor, writer Bruce Jay Friedman.
He-Men, Bag Men & Nymphos rips the lid off the pulps’ best kept secret to introduce Kaylin’s unique brand of tension and tough-guy thrills to a new generation of readers. But be warned: These are not stories for the delicate, or faint of heart. He-Men, Bag Men & Nymphos hits like a clenched fist; get yours or get out of the way!
Top customer reviews
Back in the 50s and 60s, as the pulps were in the process of morphing into paperback originals, a bevy of men's magazines flourished. With titles like Men True Adventure, For Men Only, Male, Stag or just plain Men, these magazines offered up action yarns, "true" crime accounts, "true" war accounts and the like. No messages, no political agendas, no hand-holding and no political correctness, the tales in these pages were unleashed upon an unsuspecting world for one reason and one reason only: to entertain! Violence, bloodshed, unrelenting action and just plain, flat out fun, was the order of the day. Grab the reader by the throat and choke the life of out of him.
Now thanks to editors Robert Deis and Wyatt Doyle the best of these rip-roaring tales are being collected for new readers to marvel at. HE-MEN, BAG MEN & NYMPHOS collects 15 fantastic tales by Walter Kaylin. Considered by many to be the king of the testosterone tale, Kaylin does not disappoint. These tales start hard and fast, rocketing along and you've just got to keep turning pages to find out what happens next. And that "gotta" begins with the titles: "Meet Our Terms Or We Destroy 500 Million People", "Surf Pack Assassins", "Snow-Job From A Redhead", "The Helicopter Hero and the 100 Ladies of 'Undress Atoll'"... Reading titles like these, how can you NOT want to read the stories?
Well, now you can! This collection is the very paragon of reading pleasure. Kaylin knows how to tell a story and does an excellent job with each approach he employs here. Action abounds, bullets fly, the world is saved a time or two and character pieces present us with three-dimensional glimpses into tough guys in the thick of the action. Reading through the collection I was taken with how fresh the reading experience was. Sure, the stories are dated but the approach, the pacing, the quick characterizations were such a great change of pace from modern day doorstops where it takes 300 pages for something to happen. In these tales it takes about 300mm of text before something blows up.
If you want to see what fiction was like before the branding, corporate-controlled, ghost-written, careful pap we are spoon fed these days, then this collection is the place to start. This was when fiction was fun! Even if you're not a fan but are simply in the mood for something different to occupy your reading time, this collection fits the bill. The retro cover design, reproductions of the original magazine covers and title pages, essays on Kaylin and words from the man himself take you back in time to the newsstand of the 1960s where you've got a dollar and a hankering for some escape. I loved the book start to finish and I can only hope another Kaylin collection is in the works. Pick it up. You'll be glad you did.
“He-Men, Bag Men & Nymphos,” is an entire collection of Kaylin’s amazing work with fifteen stories featured within its pages. They represent the entire spectrum of this he-man brand of pulp fiction; from modern day gangsters, to south sea island sirens to western outlaws and surfing assassins. This book has it all making us marvel at the boundless imagination that produced these outlandish tales. There are even a few factual articles mixed amongst them. Of these, the most gripping is Kaylin’s account of the U.S.S Indianapolis and its fate when sunk in the last days of World War II. It is a harrowing tale comprised from documented naval records and survivors’ testimonies.
Going from fact to fiction has no diminishing effects on any of Kaylin’s work, all of it is brilliant and written with a flare, no matter how boring the subject material. Which brings us to the one piece we feel should have been omitted; “The Army’s Terrifying Death Bugs and Loony Gas.” It is dated 1960 and is report on the state of the military’s research into chemical warfare. It is the only piece that doesn’t belong here. But hey, fourteen bulleyes out of fifteen shots is a damn impressive score.
Which is as good a way as any to describe Walter Kaylin’s wrtings. He was a master at his craft of spinning pulp tall tales and the fun he had writing them infects his readers as well. Bravo, Bob Deis and Wyatt Doyle; that’s two homeruns in a row. Please, keep swinging for the fences. We love this stuff.