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Death of a Transvestite [Paperback]

Ed Wood
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 21 1999
Hero/heroine Glen Marker sits on Death Row and offers to tell his life story in all its sordid detail in exchange for his last wish: to die in drag! In vivid pulp style, the author paints a portrait of the luscious Glenda on a one-way trip to the Big House.

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About the Author

Ed Wood, Jr., was a director, producer, screenwriter, actor, novelist, and cross-dresser. He died in 1978.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Recently Discovered Missing Chapter! Feb. 8 2003
Format:Paperback
L.A. POLICE REPORT #9
Patrolman Kelton: "Why do I always get hooked up with these spook details? Monsters, graves, bodies, drag queens. There's a full fledged riot going on and I have to investigate the DEATH OF A TRANSVESTITE, not to mention a KILLER IN DRAG lying wounded next to him, his blood oozing out like whiskey from a broken bottle."
Lieutenant John Harper: "No doubt about it, that's the ugliest drag queen I've ever seen. He's dead...murdered...and somebody's responsible!"
Patrolman Kelton: "The ambulance is on the way but, with the riot going on, the traffic is jammed up tighter than this drag queen's sweater. Do you think the rioters will let the ambulance through? What do you think will be the next obstacle they'll put in our way?"
Lieutenant John Harper: "Well, as long as they can think we'll have our problems. I don't believe what I'm seeing!"
Inspector Daniel Clay, recently shot dead in the line of duty, is approaching them. He is a huge hulk of a man. Although he was buried in his finest suit, he is wearing red high heels, pink capri pants and a pink angora sweater. Atop his huge, bald head is a disheveled blonde wig. He approaches them in a menacing manner and, acting on instinct, they begin shooting at him. They empty several rounds into him at point blank range, but it has no effect on him.
Patrolman Kelton: "Clay is dead, and we buried him. How are we going to kill somebody that's already dead? Dead! And yet there he stands! I don't believe what I'm seeing!"
Just then a flying saucer buzzes them. It projects a beam of blue light on the scene as an ambulance screeches into view.
Ambulance Driver Criswell: "That flying saucer has been following us since we left the hospital. It guided us right to this spot.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless March 29 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
What a wonderful trash wallow!!! This represents the best (or worst, I guess) of pulp fiction. It's all here-- the mob, a redhead who gets thrown into the East River in a weighted bag, lots of kinky sex, plenty of murder, and a truckload of hookers with and without hearts of gold. But Ed Wood gives the whole package a new twist with his genuinely fascinating and complex portrayals of transvestites(something not easy to find when this book was written, nor when the movie (Glen or Glenda, and it is essentially the same character) was made.) Ed Wood comes across as a potentially brilliant writer who, unfortunately, never had the chance to develop his craft in a disciplined way. READ THIS BOOK!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ed Wood's literary Bride of Frankenstien Dec 12 2001
Format:Paperback
Death of a Transvestite is Ed Wood's sequel to his previous pulp novel, Killer in Drag. As in Killer, the main character is angora-loving, cross-dressing, professional killer Glen Marker who is now sitting on death row. Mere hours before his execution, Glen agrees to provide the sympathetic the Warden with a confession to his crimes in return for one thing. What is Glen's price? He wants to be allowed to meet his fate not as Glen but as Glenda. As Charlie, another sympathetic guard, goes off to ransack his daughter's bedroom for a proper outfit (yes, the entire book is like this and God bless it), Glen gives the details of his sordid final days of freedom in Hollywood. And from there, Wood spins a tale of two cross-dressing killers, a young actress with sadomasochistic tendencies, and hippies (though Wood, unknowingly proving just how endearingly unhip he really was, insists on referring to them as not Beatniks but just simply 'niks). The hippie subplot (essentially having to do with outside agitators slipping LSD to Hollywood teenagers in order to turn them into cop-hating zombies) is perhaps indicative of the style of the book as a whole -- it comes out of nowhere, is obviously the product of an out-of-touch mind desperately trying to make a socially relavent statement, and it somehow works within the demented world that Wood creates in this book. No, this is not an undiscovered masterpiece of a book. In fact, its pretty sordid and at times, one can see signs of the alcoholic dementia that would destroy Wood in his later years. But, if you're an Ed Wood fan, its a must-read. And, unlike Killer in Drag, Death actually does (in its own twisted way) work even if separated from the campy reputation of the man who wrote it. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Real" pulp fiction... Oct. 6 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Wow, If you're into the Ed Wood stuff, this is really something for you. Just the idea of mixing cross-dressing with a killer story... Anyway, I had fun while reading it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ed Wood's literary Bride of Frankenstien Dec 12 2001
By Jeffrey Ellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Death of a Transvestite is Ed Wood's sequel to his previous pulp novel, Killer in Drag. As in Killer, the main character is angora-loving, cross-dressing, professional killer Glen Marker who is now sitting on death row. Mere hours before his execution, Glen agrees to provide the sympathetic the Warden with a confession to his crimes in return for one thing. What is Glen's price? He wants to be allowed to meet his fate not as Glen but as Glenda. As Charlie, another sympathetic guard, goes off to ransack his daughter's bedroom for a proper outfit (yes, the entire book is like this and God bless it), Glen gives the details of his sordid final days of freedom in Hollywood. And from there, Wood spins a tale of two cross-dressing killers, a young actress with sadomasochistic tendencies, and hippies (though Wood, unknowingly proving just how endearingly unhip he really was, insists on referring to them as not Beatniks but just simply 'niks). The hippie subplot (essentially having to do with outside agitators slipping LSD to Hollywood teenagers in order to turn them into cop-hating zombies) is perhaps indicative of the style of the book as a whole -- it comes out of nowhere, is obviously the product of an out-of-touch mind desperately trying to make a socially relavent statement, and it somehow works within the demented world that Wood creates in this book. No, this is not an undiscovered masterpiece of a book. In fact, its pretty sordid and at times, one can see signs of the alcoholic dementia that would destroy Wood in his later years. But, if you're an Ed Wood fan, its a must-read. And, unlike Killer in Drag, Death actually does (in its own twisted way) work even if separated from the campy reputation of the man who wrote it.
Death of a Transvestite picks up directly where Killer in Drag ends and features most of the same character but in style, it is a very different book. Written two years after Killer, Death of a Transvestite has a streak of fear and paranoia running through it as well as several caustic and bitter comments on the state of the Hollywood film industry. Whereas Killer featured a bizarre sincerity to its plea for tolerance, Death is almost a work of nihilism. As such, in tone and style, it is far different from the work that proceeded it. In that way, it resembles the first two Frankenstien films directed by another bitter casualty of Hollywood, James Whale. Whereas the first Frankenstien was almost somber, Whale's Bride of Frankenstien, while obviously continuing the story of the first film, was a deliberately insane, middle finger to the Hollywood establishment. The same analogy can be applied to Wood's two Glen Marker books (though he'd, undoubtly, perfer an analogy involving Bela Lugosi's Dracula as opposed to the classic Karloff films). If Killer was one of Wood's last attempts to turn pulp into art, Death of a Transvestite was his final admission that sometimes, pure trash is preferable to both.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death of a Transvestite Sept. 14 2009
By Jason Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Death of a Transvestite is the sequel to Killer in Drag (see our review). When last we left former Syndicate hireling, hit man Glen Marker (a.k.a. Glenda Satin) s/he was on the run to California, and a Syndicate hit-man had just been put on her tail (no pun intended) This volume explains what happened next.
Wood gets far more ambitious in this work, even framing it nicely. The opening chapter finds Glen in a prison cell, on the eve of his execution. Yup, the law has finally caught up with him. He has one final wish, and in exchange for it being granted he will tell his story. The wish ? To die as he lived -- in drag.
The warden thinks about it, and then agrees. And so we get Glen/da's confession, or rather a cobbled together account of what happened to him/her after the close of the last book. A new major character is Pauline, the sorry looking drag hit-person sent out to chase Glen/da down.
The Syndicate gets on Glen/da's trail by getting the information about his/her whereabouts from Rose "Red" Graves, the friendly prostitute Glen/da had packed off to New York. Wood actually does a nice pulp turn here as the Syndicate deals with her. Brutal, but true to the genre, no punches held.
Glen/da settles in in Hollywood, making a nice friend, Cynthia. A kept woman -- hell, a [...], but with a heart of gold, 'course. Touching to watch them get together.
As Pauline closes in on Glen/da, Wood defends his character's transvestite lifestyle. No question, the book is a manifesto of sorts, half earnest, half hilarious. Glen/da's problems are big, and Wood relates them with touching concern. S/he wants that operation (yup, s/he wants to get rid of that bulge in his/her [...]that completely destroys the line of those tight-fitting dresses), but s/he's concerned about his/her sex-life afterwards. S/he never much liked sleeping with men (tried it, but not won over), and s/he can't imagine becoming a lesbian (really) -- but then since his/her only turn-on is the clothes s/he wears, maybe it will work out ..... S/he doesn't like skin against skin -- even when having sex s/he like to have some comfy nightgown or [...] on .....
When Cynthia and Glen/da are finally ready to get it on Cynthia is a bit unnerved by Glen/da's transvestism. Proudly, Glen/da insists that she take him/her as s/he is. "There I stand in my panties," s/he states, unapologetically. It's a stirring moment.
A tragic end is in the coming, though, as the Syndicate hit-man lurks in the background. S/he's a pretty sad hit-thing, the ugliest drag-queen around, and none too impressive in doing his/her job. Glen/da practically falls into his/her lap; we don't see how s/he could have gotten at him/her otherwise. On top of that, s/he gets blasted before going after Glen/da. Not very professional. But still fairly realistic for a Wood-creation
The end comes, as we knew it would, and we're back on execution row. Glenda's all gussied up, and she can die a happy gal. "So the record has spun its measured spin. The story is told," Glenda says. This is a grand finale, and Wood actually manages some poignancy to this absurd scene. It's a sincere and heartfelt effort, and it is, amazingly, not half bad.
The sex in the book is considerably raunchier than in Killer in Drag -- definitely not for the kids. It's decent pulp fiction, though, and perhaps Wood's most accomplished work, whether as book or film. One can't really recommend the book, but it shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Real" pulp fiction... Oct. 6 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wow, If you're into the Ed Wood stuff, this is really something for you. Just the idea of mixing cross-dressing with a killer story... Anyway, I had fun while reading it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as many things wrong with it as an Ed Wood movie Sept. 2 2009
By Leonard Franks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wow. I knew that it was possible to be a bad writer, because I am one myself, but I really had no idea that anyone could possibly be this bad of a writer. What Ed Wood was to filmmaking, he is to writing too. The storyline is bizarre and stupid, the dialogue is stilted beyond belief ("The foremost thought in any honest transvetite's mind is to die in female attire") and the narration is even worse (Isn't there some law against saying that a woman's navel is a "valley of untold secrets"?). But like everything Ed Wood, it has a kind of sweetness to it, so you can't not love it. I seriously adore this book, though I'm not sure I could handle its prequel.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless March 29 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful trash wallow!!! This represents the best (or worst, I guess) of pulp fiction. It's all here-- the mob, a redhead who gets thrown into the East River in a weighted bag, lots of kinky sex, plenty of murder, and a truckload of hookers with and without hearts of gold. But Ed Wood gives the whole package a new twist with his genuinely fascinating and complex portrayals of transvestites(something not easy to find when this book was written, nor when the movie (Glen or Glenda, and it is essentially the same character) was made.) Ed Wood comes across as a potentially brilliant writer who, unfortunately, never had the chance to develop his craft in a disciplined way. READ THIS BOOK!
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