#66 – Death Is A Ruby Light, Paul Kenyon BOOK REVIEW

August 17, 2018
krauserpua

I have been very interested in the new-to-me discovery of many long-running schlock adventure / spy paperback series from the 1960s onwards. I’m talking about Mack Bolan The Executioner, Remo Willians The Destroyer, Matt Helm The Remover [1] So far I’ve been choosing them almost entirely based on the lurid covers. I mean, it’s an established fact that books are best judged by their covers.

Are you a faggot

If you didn’t gasp “Coooooool!” you need your testosterone checked

Paul Kenyon’s Baroness stories didn’t run very long but they’ve chalked up a fair following to judge by the paperback prices on Amazon [2] and they are at least as preposterous as the Remo stories. The set-up is that the Baroness Penelope St. John-Orsini is the boss and top model of an international supermodel agency, and it’s the cover for her real job as a ultra-highly trained killing machine working for the NSA. James Bond with tits. To give you an idea of just how silly it is, consider the back cover blurb:

“Penelope St John-Orsini, NSA’s crack double agent, is sent on a secret mission across the Russian steppes into the desolate wastes of Easter Siberia. Her objective: to track and destroy a Red Chinese scientist who has invented a formidable laser death ray.

Masquerading as Mongolians, Penelope and her team of professionals have to face hostile Tartar warriors, and the savagery of the Kinghan mountains before they reach the shores of the mighty River of the Black Dragon – the threshold to Red China, and the second round in the game of death.”

So, we’re talking about Fox Force Five. Charlies Angels ramped up to level 20.

The book was written in 1974, so you have to expect this kind of thing. This was the era of disco, Bruce Lee, and muscle cars. As a work of genre fiction it fits the bill. The story makes sense, it’s clearly written, and the colourful cast of characters keep it lively. I enjoyed it. One thing really stood out though: the mismatch between the child-like imagination and accessibility of the writing (suggesting a teen or young adult audience of marginal IQ) and the lurid, brutal and highly sexualised violence. Let me give examples.

Penelope’s team link up with a Russian GRU team to do a joint infiltration of the Chinese base in snowy mountains. Their guides, Mongols, turn on them and Penelope is cold-cocked with a rifle butt. She wakes up in their yurt:

“She hurt. Her whole body felt sore. She had a crashing headache. The air was smoky, with an overpowering smell of grease and sweat. She opened her eyes.

Her arms were tied behind her. She was naked, lying on a pile of greasy furs. She was inside the yurt. It was hot, stifling. She was dizzy for a moment, and the felt dome reeled. She was surrounded by leering Mongol faces that bobbed like tennis balls until she shook her head to clear it.

There were finger marks on her breasts and thighs. There was a burning sensation in her vagina. She’d been raped. She wondered how many times.”

That strikes me as a bit salacious. Fear not, she escapes her bonds and violently murders almost every Mongol. Her Russian-US team come to her aid just as she runs from the yurt, which is now burning down after she kicked over a brazier to blind an attacking Mongol.

“There were two sprawled bodies at his feet, rifles lying beside them in the snow. Those were her two pursuers. Their bodies were stitched with slugs from the AR-10. A third body lay closer to the smoking ruins of the yurt.

The Russians stood around in a little knot, silent. Penelope took a step forward. A blackened body lay within the charred framework: the man she’d knifed in the belly.

Something was writhing weakly at the Russians’ feet. The man she’d treated to a faceful of hot coals. He must have managed to crawl, blinded, outside. She started toward him. If he could talk, perhaps she could get a clue to the plot to take over the expedition.

Before she could get there, she saw Alexey turn to speak to Tania. The blond girl nodded eagerly, and with unholy anticipation on her face knelt beside the blinded Yakut and sliced his throat with a knife.”

That’s what really jumps out in this book. It is chock full of sex, violence, and sadism in addition to the high adventure and tally-ho courage. The Baroness herself bangs two different Soviet spies, one in the beginning in her swimming pool and then that Alexey character in the mountains. Both scenes take about ten pages each and my fingers refuse to type sample paragraphs. It’s like reading a soccer mom’s kindle porn. I literally skipped those pages [3]. The violence is described as if those creepy pervs who directed the Hostel and Saw movies were writing it.

Dunno, man. I didn’t like that aspect. Revelling in sexual sadism just doesn’t sit right with me. I get that it’s written for the titillation of young lads, but I’d rather it played the action straight like in the Bolan and Helm books. I’d like something more like Fox Force Five.

Spice Girls Ginger Slag

Or if the Spice Girls were actually hot.

Anyhow, salaciousness aside this was a fun read of the kind of hi-jinks that never get made into TV shows or books. About the closet thing to it is the beginning of that crappy Zak Snyder movie about the tarts. What was it called? Ah yes, this one….

suckerpunch-retrofront

Nowhere near as good as it looks here

If you’d like to read an equally silly adventure in Russia with lots of salacious sex scenes, consider buying my memoir Adventure Sex. Or any of my many fantastic products here.

[1] and also The Silencer, The Ambusher, The Shadower, The Ravager, The Devastator and pretty much every other bad-ass sounding verb one could use as a code-name.
[2] Sadly, no Kindle unlike the £0.99 Destroyer volumes.
[3] And I never skip or skim-read pages. I consider it an unholy sacrilege against books.

8 Comments

  1. Huge fan of your work, Krauser. Just asking…would you consider another Womanizer’Bible series for youtube? Or doing a guest appearance on the red man group for youtube? Thanks for everything you do.

  2. testing testing 123

  3. hi nick, i’ve tried numerous times to post this on the win bigly page but have been endlessly frustrated in my efforts, so i’m hijacking this comment thread, my apologies.

    do what you will, cut it and paste in the other comment thread or ignore it whatever …. btw i got no axe to grind and content to agree to disagree but i thought it was worth a response at least

  4. (try again)

    as for the video, it’s more of the same. a disingenuous hit piece full of finger pointing and name calling with little actual substance

  5. vox is an sjw in sheeps’ clothing. using the same tactics as “the left” have been using. and a scroll through the comments section reveals his followers playing the same identity politics game that JBP has been railing against. black and white, us vs them with zero nuance

    comments like

    I’ll have to check back in a few days for the delicious tears of Peterson disciples.

    I have not been able to find a single sane JP fan. They all go nuts the moment you start criticizing the man and his ideas.

    Great video Vox, now let’s wait for all the Peterson fanboys to tell us how jeleaous and bitter you are, without providing any good arguments to refute what you defend in the video.

  6. with the more thoughtful comments coming from the so called “fanboys”

    the video itsels is the same as the others, vox talks a lot but says nothing, while liberally peppering his “argument” with ad homs and strawmen.

    he might have a point. he might even be right. but his valid arguments get lost amongst the noise, the editing and the smearing and the obvious agenda [You’ve managed to completely miss the point. It’s ludicrous to accuse Vox of being an SJW, that just shows you don’t know what an SJW is. Using tanks in a blitzkrieg doesn’t make you a Nazi. Tactics are not the same thing as political philosophy, objectives, identity or any of the other massive differences between Vox and an SJW. You are also throwing around “ad homenin” as a buzz word without any clue what it means. It is not ad homenin to quote a Peterson video saying “I’m of the Left” to support your claim he is of the Left, nor is catching and proving someone to be lying the same as an ad homenin of calling someone a liar. You quite literally ignore Vox’s arguments because you don’t like his tone. Lastly, identity politics is the point. Peterson is explicitly trying to prevent nationalism and to rehabilitate the Left. The clips shown conclusively prove this. Do not comment about Peterson on this blog again. You are so far up his arse you can’t think straight about him. Stick to other topics where you are more logical. K.]

    • i can say with some certainty that almost everything vox says about peterson, every soundbite and quote , is either misquoted, taken horrendously out of context, or straight up wrong. it’s a pure smear campaign.

      good day

  7. ok ,,, is there a word limit per post??? i had to chop it up into segments. goddamn it how annoying. apologies again for the trouble

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