The strange hunk at the door

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Never heard of the Late Hour Library. Since we see the young man hanging up his coat we can feel that he arrived at the door in more than his briefs. "He came to camp!" it says. Doesn't look a bit campy to me (and I like campy guys). Usually the editors of these old sleazy gay paperbacks were straight. Still looking for early stereotypical images of gay men.

Early gay paperback Late Hour Library


This book was actually written by Victor Banis but published under the “Don Holliday” name, which was one of the publisher’s in house pen names. “Don Holliday” was used mostly for straight pulp, but it was accidentally attached to Banis’ highly successful gay spy spoof THE MAN FROM C.A.M.P.! A series of C.A.M.P. books followed (with titles like BLOW THE MAN DOWN, THE SON GOES DOWN, the Christmas themed HOLIDAY GAY, etc) under the “Don Holiday” name, all of them by Victor Banis (except for the last C.A.M.P. book, THE GAY-SAFE). Banis wrote a LOT of pulp, mostly gay but some straight. THE STRANGER AT THE DOOR was one of the few that was NOT part of the MAN FROM C.A.M.P. series that was published under the name “Don Holliday” (he usually was printed under names like “Victor Jay”, “Jay Vickery”, “Jay Symons”, “Victor J. Samuels”, and some of the “J.X. Williams”-another in house pen name- books are his too). Perhaps the books catch phrase “He Came To Camp” was added to STRANGER AT THE DOOR to get the reader to make the connection between this gay book and the “Don Holliday” C.A.M.P. books? I’ve been trying to track down a copy of this book for some time…

The man from U.N.C.L.E. begat the man from O.R.G.Y. and the one from C.A.M.P?

Thanks for the comment. Wish these old things would show up at my bookshop so I could take a closer look at them. But they probably weren’t widely distributed in central North Carolina.

I got the cover from a site devoted to old paperback covers, mostly straight but I spent about a dozen hours digging for the few gay ones.

I think I can get you a copy of STRANGER AT THE DOOR - if you want, let me know (or try Bolerium Books) - Have you seen THAT MAN FROM C.A.M.P. from Southern Tier Editions - reissue of 3 of the old C.A.M.P. books? Victor Banis

I’m too broke to be collecting vintage gay paperbacks. When I visit eBay to grab cover scans I have to resist the urge to bid even when the books are cheap. Pity they’ve dried up but they were probably never well distributed here in central North Carolina. I enjoy posting reproductions of the covers as a small way of preserving a mostly forgotten part of gay life in less easy days.

Good news about The Man from C.A.M.P. omnibus. I’d just posted scans of a few of the covers on my Queer Pop Culture site and added a note about the reissue.

I don’t remember seeing them when I was younger. Mostly what I recall were the dreary novels about unhappy, very normal men who mostly seemed to kill themselves of wish they had.

Hi Victor! It’s Shawn in San Leandro! I’m glad you found the remark! I hope my history lesson on your book (STRANGER AT THE DOOR) was correct! THAT MAN FROM C.A.M.P. is great! Any other in the C.A.M.P. series going to be anthologized soon? I keep searching eBay for your stuff (I’m still looking for STRANGER myself. i’ll get it one day)…like STRANGER, most slip from my grasp…but I keep trying! I’ve got my eye on SEVERAL now, in fact! See ya! -Shawn

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