Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Revolt of Mamie Stover and Hotel Mamie Stover by William Bradford Huie

Revolt of Mamie Stover  by William Bradford Huie 1951

Hotel Mamie Stover by William Bradford Huie 1963

Revolt of Mamie Stover
My husband came home from a yard sale one day with a bunch of old paperbacks for me which included the Revolt of Mamie Stover. At first glance I just thought it was some pulpy novel since by looking at the cover nothing would suggest that this is set in Hawaii. The cover just had some busty blond looking really pissed off, I assumed since she had to "service" 51,840 soldiers.

The fictional author, Madison, meets Mamie on board a freight to Honolulu. He finds out she is from a small southern town and went to be an actress in Hollywood but that didn't go so well for her. She got in trouble with a gangster who roughed her up and sent her packing to a whorehouse in Hawaii. Madison is sympathetic and tries to give her money to start a different kind of life but she is determined to be the best damn whore in the south pacific. It is nice to have a goal.

Madison is successful writer who lives in an exclusive part of Oahu and seems intrigued and disgusted by the whole prospect.

They keep in touch and she uses him to help squirrel her money away since she isn't allowed to open a bank account.

Once World War II hits she can really make her mark. She breaks all the 13 rules that the Hawaii whores are suppose to abide by. She also builds a "bullring."This is some multi-roomed structure where she can service as any men as she can. She makes her millions, invests in property, takes over the whore house and retires from the business. A true American success story.

Despite the book being about a whore, there is hardly any sex in it and nothing remotely graphic. I would think folks in 1951 might of been bummed by it. Here they think they are getting a raunchy sex book but instead get a meditation on the class system. It is a strange book that is actually more a commentary about social status in America and the minorities rising in the ranks. When I finished the booked I googled the author to try and get some insight and found out he was from the south and was very involved in the civil right movement in the south. Then the book made a little more sense.

Thanks to the magic of YouTube you can now watch the 1956 movie version with Jane Russell here. Though as you can imagine it is a bit cleaned up and there is no bullpen. It does appear to be filmed in Hawaii so worth watching for that alone.

The end of the book left me hanging and with a little googling I saw there is a sequel from 1963 called Hotel Mamie Stover, I ordered a used one off of Amazon and with promises of "A veritable Sexual Disneyland" pull quote from the San Francisco Chronicle on the cover I thought surely this has to be saucier.

What I received instead was kinda of a slog to get thru. And it hardly had any Mamie in it. It picked up a
Hotel Mamie Stover
few years after the first book. Mamie and 2 business partners are now running a sex resort on Maui. First you go to a Luau that Mamie puts on in Waikiki then you submit your application to the resort. They do no advertising, just word of mouth. But OH NO, James Madison is back and is suppose to write a story about the luau and resort for a Hawaii vacation magazine that will blow the lid right off!! Sound exciting? It's not. Really.

The story then turns to be centered around a late 20's virgin from the midwest who wants to loose her virginity at the resort. The other stories are about couples who go to the resort. And like in the last book there is no sex, nothing erotic just lots of talk about "like sex." Which is what you have when you are not in love.

I feel bad for the readers in the early 50's and 60's who picked up these books thinking they where going to get a titillating beach read. They must of wanted their 60 cents back.

I can lukewarmly recommend the Revolt of Mamie Stover, it was interesting in a historical way and Mamie was a spitfire of a character. I can't recommend Hotel Mamie Stover unless you have insomnia and need some help in that department.

Hotel Mamie Stover

Revolt of Mamie Stover

1 comment:

mrmikojay said...

I was introduced to James Monroe Madison in "The Americanization of Emily", which was made into a film starring a young Julie Andrews and a young James Garner. Excellent read, one i return to every few years.