WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH!
Edited by Deis, Friedman & Doyle
Telling you this book is amazing would be perpetuating the biggest understatement of all time. It is a fantastic collection of over-the-top fiction and articles from those garish, exploitive men’s adventure magazines that proliferated throughout the 50s, 60s and ultimately died in the 1970s. Chief Editor Robert Deis gives the reader a brief history of this macho movement, connecting it with the post World War II era wherein millions of American veterans came home after having saved the world from the dictatorial evil of fascisms. They returned home heroes not afraid to challenge whatever the future might throw at them while rebuilding a new, brighter society.
This was the macho nature of times, particularly in the 50s where a John Wayne attitude pervaded both in literature and on the giant silver screen. So it’s no surprise magazines that lauded brave, he-men protagonist willing to take on overwhelming odds, battle ravenous beasts, and take on tribes of love hungry nymphomaniacs. It was the age of the tough guys and dozens of publishers eagerly flooded drugstore racks with their fantastic exploits. Deis makes a solid case that these were the direct descendants of the cheap pulp mags of the 30s and 40s; something he has been extremely passionate about and this collection bears out his theory wonderfully.
What is also startling about this anthology is the caliber of writers it showcases; writers who later went on to earn accolades and awards in the more sophisticated, accepted publications of the times. Names like Lawrence Block, Harlan Ellison, Mario Puzo and Robert Silverberg all cut their literary teeth writing for these men’s adventure titles thus making them a training school for the best of the best.
Then there are the bogus scientific articles dealing with drugs and sexual proclivities, never mind the outlandish battles with maddened beasts of all types from the cover spotlighted weasels to ravenous snapping turtles and killer-mad monkeys. “Weasels Riped My Flesh!” not only entertained the hell out of me, it also educated me in the process. No self-respecting pulp enthusiast should be without this tome. We tip our fedora to Misters Deis, Friedman & Doyle. Thanks for the oh-so enjoyable lesson.