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Royston EllisSweet Ebony (paperback) ... Book
Norton/Kicks, Late 50s/Early 60s/2013. New Copy ... $12.99
The first book in the Kicks Books Blue Series – a thicker, bigger paperback than the "hip pocket" entries – and it's a doozy, penned by Brit beat lit legend Royston Ellis! Sweet Ebony is a knowingly seedy, swingin' 70s set novel about 4 free spirited California woman who travel to Kenya to find some wild thrills and exotic fulfillment. Amazingly, this is more than 300 pages long, and it's only the first of a 12 book Royston Ellis series for Kicks Books to appear on a monthly basis. The author and Kicks Books don't sleep! Book

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Harlan EllisonPulling A Train – Violent Stories Of Naked Passions (paperback) ... Book
Norton/Kicks, 2012. New Copy ... $6.99 14.95
Gritty prose from the legendary Harlan Ellison – a writer known best for his science fiction work, but who's represented here by some very early material that's plenty violent and salacious! The writing should be taken in the spirit of the title and cover – and Harlan himself does a great job of situating the work in his introduction to the book – telling the tale of the somewhat sleazy roots of this read, which is almost as titillating as the stories themselves! Yet despite the obvious apology for the schlock quality of the stories (some weren't even originally billed under Ellison's own name!) – there's a real force to the writing throughout – a youthful, powerful feel that bridges the gap between classic noir and underground exploitation – as you'll find in stories like "Sex Gang", "Jeannie With The Bedroom Eyes", "A Girl Named Poison", and "Both Ends Of The Candle". Book

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New Nick ToschesSave The Last Dance For Satan (paperback) ... Book
Norton/Kicks, 2011. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Yeah, THIS is the Nick Tosches we want! Tosches has a way of chronicling the diseased, mobbed up underbelly of the 20th Century music rackets that's simply unrivaled – it's gut level brilliant and street smart writing like no one does anymore. Save The Last Dance For Satan is a more fleshed out and newly spun continuation of material published more than a decade ago as Hipsters And Hoodlums in Vanity Fair (boy, mainstream magazine content sure has changed a bunch since 2000) – chronicling the sleaze and criminality at the core of the 50s & 60s music biz. It's great! His best stuff has often read with the sweaty, intoxicating allure of seedy pulp storytelling, so it's with the utmost pleasure to see his work put out by Kicks Books - which literally puts Tosches' work in just that kind of old school hip pocket paperback! He joins Andre Williams (whose "Jailbait" single is mentioned early in this book as the badass antidote to mid 50s candy-coated rock & roll that it most certainly was) and Sun Ra at Kicks. A couple of Tosches' more recent books have been a tough slog – more about his own near obsessive search for impossibly hidden subjects than anything else – but this slim 120 page tome is the opposite – it has us slobbering for more! Book

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New Sun RaProphetika – Lost Writings Of Sun Ra Vol 1 (paperback) ... Book
Norton/Kicks, 2014. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The prophetic poetry and prose of the one-and-only Sun Ra – and the first of a promised trilogy of unpublished predictions, prognostications and end-times visions from one of the most distinctive artists ever! If you're a fan of the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra, or even his earlier sci-fi doo wop/R&B work, you'll be amazed at how ingeniously his poetry fits in alongside his musical canon, in a thematic sense. The prose and poems touch hit oft-traveled territories – from ancient Egypt to the outer realms of the cosmos – and it's truly brilliant stuff. Kicks Books has been one of our favorite independent publishers for the the get-go, doing it with genuine love for their authors/artists/raconteurs, and printing on cool little back pocket-sized paperbacks, the way you might find a seedy pulp press back in the day. They get better and better with each new book – and we can't praise 'em enough for giving us rare Sun Ra writings! Paperback, 106 pages, and featuring a foreword by Charles Plymwell. Book

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New Sun RaThis Planet Is Doomed – The Science Fiction Poetry Of Sun Ra (paperback) ... Book
Norton/Kicks, 2011. New Copy Book ... Out Of Stock
The Science Fiction Poetry of Sun Ra – complete and unabidged – in a great, kinda old school hip pocket paperback-styled tome from Kicks Books! As revered as Sun Ra is, was, and will forever be as one of the great avant garde bandleaders and all around musical innovators of the 20th Century, his work as an Afro-futurist poet is overlooked. This book aims to change that, but not in a precious way at all. It's sort of presented as a fun little pulp paperback. Includes a nice forward by Amiri Baraka and an intro by science fiction historian Bhob Stewart, who does a terrific job of detailing Ra's 60s poetry and his quite genuine relevence in that realm! Paperback, 124 pages. Book

Close matches6
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New Kim FowleyLord Of Garbage (paperback) ... Book
Norton/Kicks, 2012. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Kim Fowley, an author? Stranger things have happened – and given Fowley's penchant for putting his finger in just about every pie that came within reach, the whole thing's no surprise at all! The book is a stunning account of Fowley's important years in the music business – working in the sometimes lowest reaches of the LA scene, yet sometimes hitting the highest heights too – all told in really interesting detail, with a pacing that's completely unique! At lots of points, it kind of feels like Kim's telling you the story of his life over a few dozen drinks at the bar – with all the tangents you might expect – but at other times, there's this lucidity that's right in line with the Fowley genius in the studio – that way of being and going crazy while still holding all your cool – summed up perfectly in these few lines near the end of the book: "Well this is my version of what happened to me. I don't know if it really happened or not, but I think it did. I'm holding back a lot of stuff because it's too overwhelming in its darkness and it would be a sad read." Book

Close matches7
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New Charles PlymellBenzedrine Highway (paperback) ... Book
Norton/Kicks, 2013. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Fanastic early work from hip lit figure and underground publishing pioneer Charles Plymell – whose friends and contemporaries include Beat legend and San Francisco housemate Allen Ginsberg and fellow Kansan William Burroughs – and while Charles Plymwell's name isn't quite as iconic, his writing is truly up there in greatness! Benzedrine Hight collects Plywell's brilliant early poetry collection Apocalypse Rose from the mid 60s, along with his wild early 70s opus Last Of The Moccasins – together in a hip pocket paperback from Kicks Books! Book

Close matches8
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New Royston EllisGone Man Squared (paperback) ... Book
Norton/Kicks, Late 50s/Early 60s/2013. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Whoa! The genius early writings of Beat inspired Brit lit/poetry legend Royston Ellis – the man who purportedly inspired The Beatles' "Paperback Writer" – compiled here, in paperback naturally, by our pulpy print heroes at Kicks Books! Royston would go on write novels and more, but early on he was a youthful rebel poet – one of the first figures to recite with a rock 'n' roll band backing him – and he inspired SO many writers and rockers to come! Gone Man Squared compiles the long out of print Jiving To Gyp and Rave collections, plus other select early work – and it's as incredibly cool as ever! Paperback, 128 pages – and featuring a forward by Jimmy Page! Book

Close matches9
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New Harlan EllisonGetting In The Wind (paperback) ... Book
Norton/Kicks, 2012. New Copy Book ... Out Of Stock
Tough, dirty and stylish late 50s short stories by the great Harlan Ellison – who would go on to be hailed as one of great science fiction and suspense writers in print, film and television – but working here as a very young man, under pseudonyms, on seedy crime and pulp stories! It's gritty, yet charmingly trashy stuff – with story titles that let you know what you're in for here – including Dead Wives Don't Cheat, God Bless The Ugly Virgin, Gang Girl, Portrait Of The Artist As A Zilch Writer, An Episode Of Sunbathers and more. A treasure trove, rescued from pulp obscurity by Kick Books! Paperback, 174 pages. Book
 
 
 



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