Borderline by Lawrence Block
Fun to the last word, Borderline was written by Lawrence Block under a pseudonym back in 1958 to obviously make a few bucks. I hope he did, because this book is late 50’s drive-in trash to the hilt. The story revolves around five main characters and the sleaze they produce while slipping back and forth across the border between El Paso and Juarez.
Marty is a professional gambler who plies his trade on drunks in Juarez. Meg is a bored divorcee on the road looking for “excitement.” Lily is a curvy hitchhiker that decides being a Juarez prostitute is a good career choice, and Cassie is the sneaky femme fatale who helps Lily’s career along. Then we get Weaver, a psychopath with a straight razor who figures his time is already running short so why not keep killing till the police put him down? Put all these nice folks together and you get a recipe for pure, unadulterated fun. That is, if your idea of fun is fifties sleaze and innuendo written with tongue firmly in cheek.
The pages literally felt scuzzy in my fingers as I quickly turned them in anticipation of the next assault upon societal norms in Eisenhower’s America. Lawrence Block’s literary career went on to much bigger and better things, but for my dime, Borderline is the best pulp fiction has to offer an unsuspecting reader. Did I mention this book is about sex?
Dan @ Central