How can I find and buy a trashy erotic novel called Labels?
January 30, 2015 12:04 AM   Subscribe

When I was around 11 or so, a thick mass market paperback that had been sitting in the book cabinet my whole life finally caught my interest. It turned out to be incredibly filthy; so much so that I marked every sex scene with a Post-It and spent a lot of intimate time with the book until an older cousin borrowed it and never returned it. It's named "Labels," due to a setting in the high fashion world of the 80s? I remember basically everything about it except the author, including a LOT of sex scenes, which I will enumerate for you:

-There's a desperate older harridan character; at one point she pulls the cock of a reluctant younger fashion designer named Frederico out of his pants in the back of a cab and he's like "um, weirdo" but she blows him and he gets hard and it's like nine inches and she's like "oh my god it's like a horse!"

-There's a young fashion designer named Mackenzie (???), she sews herself things like cutting apart two pairs of tights so she has a new pair with two different colored legs, eventually has her own fashion label. In high school she fucked a bunch of guys on the floor somewhere for money to buy a leather jacket. She marries a pale skinny douche named Alastair who is into coke. She's pregnant and Alastair mentions what an eightball is, heroin and coke. He says he's been saving it for a special occassion. She says "isn't that what our daughter is supposed to be???"

Later after Alastair obviously od's off an eightball a handsome down to earth guy meets her and she's like "don't I know you from somewhere?" and he says "I'll remind you: you were in high school and you would have fucked anyone for a leather jacket...."

He is the leather jacket john from high school who was gentle and took his time and made her come. They have a happy life. His name may be Brad.

-There is a weird rich creep with an island mansion that's full of statues of him having sex with people, like, casually hanging out where people have cocktails.

-I was born in 1987. I remember seeing this book around loooooong before I read it. I have no idea when it was published but hopefully "tights sewn together so one leg is different from the other = tres chic" gives some hints to the era.
posted by Juliet Banana to Writing & Language (21 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
It is available on Amazon.
posted by sacrifix at 12:12 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I didn't see sacrifix's response and I went ahead and looked up the book on Amazon too and found a different, earlier edition. It sounds like a delightfully lurid read.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:44 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

What an amazing sounding book :)
posted by thug unicorn at 1:32 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

by my terrible pedantry i am compelled to point out that an 8ball is a measurement of powder-based drugs and the combo in question is a speedball.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:05 AM on January 30, 2015 [24 favorites]

OMG, I totally have to get this book.
posted by xingcat at 7:15 AM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'll say that this book sounds a lot like a down-market version of Scruples. Scruples was equally as trashy a read. The bonus is that there's also a trashy mini-series with Lindsey Wagner and Barry Bostwick.

If you wanted to make a weekend of it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:29 AM on January 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

by my terrible pedantry i am compelled to point out that an 8ball is a measurement of powder-based drugs and the combo in question is a speedball.

poffin boffin is totally correct. apparently this wasn't the part i was paying the rapt-est attention to in the first blush of puberty
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:30 AM on January 30, 2015 [8 favorites]

This also sounds very Valley Of The Dolls if you wanted to go on a serious trashy reading binge.
posted by Sara C. at 8:10 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

Did your description sound so incredibly lurid and surreal that I found myself unable to resist picking up a copy?

Yes. Yes it did.

I made sure to avoid the hardcover and regular paperback and went down to mass-market paperback because a book like this deserves nothing better. I want people to see that I'm reading something trashy and magical.

Hope you bought your copy already. If not, I'll loan you mine when I'm done with it.
posted by komara at 8:33 AM on January 30, 2015 [11 favorites]

I'm so glad I'm getting other people to read this unforgettable piece of trash. Honestly, it makes Valley of the Dolls seem like a Golden Book. The version Ursula Hitler linked to is the one I remember, and I picked up a copy for like $3 on AbeBooks.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:01 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

The Amazon page on the author would seem to point at other, similar high-concept works.
posted by doctor tough love at 9:05 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

I hopped over to Goodreads to (excitedly) add it to my to-read list and found this review which is kind of blowing my mind since she seems to be deliberately avoiding mention of all of the things that made me want to read this book in the first place. I get the feeling I would not want to hang out with that lady at a party or whatever.
posted by komara at 9:31 AM on January 30, 2015 [9 favorites]

Sales of this book have seen the fist jump in decades bc of this post. (i just added it to my wishlist. Birthday's a comin!)
posted by misanthropicsarah at 2:09 PM on January 30, 2015 [6 favorites]

The version Ursula Hitler linked to is the one I remember, and I picked up a copy for like $3 on AbeBooks.

Oh, cool. I dug it up on Amazon and then came back here to post, saw sacrifix had beaten me to it and I was like, "Aw, dang it." Nice to know my searching was not in vain!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:22 PM on January 31, 2015

My book - an appropriately dog-eared and yellowed copy - arrived today. I have two books out from the library at the moment so I can't truly dive into this one yet but I decided to give myself the luxury of the first page or two. I was not disappointed. Prologue One: two pages, one sex scene. 0 to 60 in 1.5 paragraphs.
posted by komara at 12:08 PM on February 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

I, too, ordered this book based off this thread. And I can confirm its exactly as amazing as everyone else has described.
posted by whitewall at 3:26 AM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

I read the first 300 pages in 24 hours. All my memories were accurate with some variations (Phillipe, not Frederico; bull, not a horse; Eddie, not Brad) except the weird rich creep with the statutes, which must be an entirely different book my brain somehow amalgamated with Labels.
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:00 AM on February 16, 2015

My copy arrived today, just in time for the weekend!
posted by VioletU at 1:27 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Bought it, read it. No regrets. Delightfully trashy and full of bad fashion. Recommend and many thanks to the OP for leading me down the rabbit hole of Labels.
posted by countrymod at 11:23 AM on February 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

This sounds awesome. I read the thread and wondered if it could be as deliciously lurid as Jackie Collins' Lovers and Gamblers or Hollywood Wives. The Amazon description says YES so I will check it out to see if it may challenge my personal Queen of this genre for the crown. Thank you!

But now I want to know where I can read about the weird dude with sexy statues.
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose at 6:47 PM on March 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

My copy of this book has seen all the attention it's going to get from me and I'm ready to hand it off to someone else who needs the Labels experience. If that's you, just MeMail me and I'll send it on its way.
posted by komara at 9:34 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

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