“You’ve got star lust …”

Another recent thrift store find: this time Star Lust, a racy novel about the thirst for fame by Jack Hanley (1905-1963). Below the jump is the cover of the true first, published in 1934 by William Godwin, a New York outfit which specialized in the risqué and erotic, not the 1949 reprint by Grayson which is sometimes called the first.

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I haven’t discovered much about Hanley. Of the nine titles to his name in WorldCat, several are soft-core-ish books with titles like Hot LipsStag Stripper, and Tom Cat in TightsBed For Beginners and Let’s Make Mary are guides to the so-called “science” of seduction. Whether the latter are two different books or simply the same book recycled under two titles isn’t entirely clear. Late in life, Hanley graduated—if that’s the word—to movies and television. IMDB credits him on Roogies Bump, a 1954 movie featuring the Brooklyn Dodgers, Battle of the V-1 (aka Missiles from Hell), featuring a late career Michael Rennie, and two episodes for 1950’s hit TV series, The Millionaire.

The Fine Books Blog adds a reefer madness title to Hanley’s oeuvre and suggests that he was one of the writers (along with the likes of Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin, and Caresse Crosby) comissioned to produce erotica for the Oklahoma oil millionaire Roy Milisander Johnson. I think it’s unlikely that this is all this Grub Street denizen ever wrote, but anything else must be guessed at.

Remarkably, the dust-jacket was intact. It’s signed, but a slight tear makes the artist’s full name illegible. It’s [something] Stover, but I haven’t identified him (or her) yet. Below, the wonderfully over-the-top jacket copy.

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