Re-printed at least 8 times in paperback and with three different covers that we've found! The original hardback edition has a completely different cover and is jolly rare! The book was recently sold to a Russian Publishers so there is indeed a Russian version
with a title that roughly translates to "Sold Mini and Maxi"
The hardback cover features a painting by Shyam Varma - all the requisite elements are present. Naked girl? Check! Half naked fella? Check! Sewing Machine? Check! 9/10 The original paperback cover is either a pregnant woman or a woman clutching a pillow/cushion to her stomach. not entirely sure of the relevance - but I vividly remember the day my sister gave me this book. She had found it in the day-room of Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, where she was working as a nurse. It was my first taste of TOBIN! 1/10. Cover Two shows a youthful-looking Russ sat at a table with a Sewing Machine. But the Sewing Machine appears to have a shapely pair of lady's legs! A bit surreal - it was the late 60's I suppose 4/10. Covers Three & Four are our first introduction to the CLASSIC Tobin Series theme (one with a tagline and one without). A different Russ to the chap on Cover Two - This time looking a bit sheepish as he clutches a Sewing Machine and has a completely STARKERS bird leaning on his shoulder. Brilliant. She's lovely! 10/10!!
The Russian edition is a partocular dull picture of a sewing machine! Where's the ladies Vladimir??
Typical of his generation, Russ Tobin is a lusty, charming, zip-along young man desperately seeking a purpose in life. Bored with the dull, futureless routine of his office job in the grime of Liverpool's dockland, he turns to the opportunist world of "switch-selling" in search of money and adventure-and finds both.
From the start he is successful but realises, to his confusion and delight, that many of his lonely, lady customers are more interested in his charms than in his sewing machines. Interpreting in his own special way the salesman's motto "The Customer Is Always Right", he does his best to leave each one wholly satisfied.
Sadness, wit, laughter and downright kinkiness flow into his life from contact with a host of diverse characters, leaving Russ wiser-though still floundering -at the end of the story.
Paperback EDITIONS 1-3
It's the door-to-door seducer's Book Of The Year! Tired of office work in Liverpool's grimy dockland, Russ Tobin decides to become a salesman. After a crash-course in the psychology of selling things to people who don't necessarily want to buy them, and armed with the Ritebuy Minor (decoy for the Ritebuy Major), he feels ready to knock on any door. It is a revelation. Behind each door, it seems, is a frustrated housewife. Interested less in the Ritebuy's capabilities than in Russ Tobin's. Remembering the maxim The Customer is Always Right, Russ does his best every time to leave a satisfied customer behind him. One way or another
Paperback EDITION 4
He keeps the customers satisfied! Behind every closed door is a frustrated housewife. And right next to the housewife is Russ Tobin, Stud of the Seventies, the man who can slip his way into any home when armed with a Ritebuy Minor (cunning sales decoy for the Ritebuy Major) and a well-oiled, no-hitch action of his own. Russ is a sewing machine salesman, and like all such men he knows that action without deeds turns bachelors into weeds. And when the customer wants a bit of the action, then the customer's always right. Right? Trust Tobin to know all the tricks and then tell!
Roughly translates as "A little gel, a little perfume, the smile with a hint of mystery, a mysterious look ... Add to all this an ideal manner ... and ... even the purchasers of sewing machines could become more closely acquainted in an intimate atmosphere, and the most common and desperate of housewives can become a passionate and burning tigress ..."
Tobin decides to quit his dull office job and chance his arm at flogging Sewing Machines.
Page 10. Russ describes Jean - the niece of his Landlady. She is 16 and has a "beautiful bottom"!
After some severe flirting and cavorting with Jean, and some even MORE severe flirting and cavorting with Gloria from the office - he finally gets his wicked way on Page 48. With Gloria of course - it seems like a revelation to both of them. Russ has only had hurried, furtive encounters in the past and Gloria is stuck in a dead marriage. Little does Russ realise that he is soon to become a GLOBAL LOVE MACHINE!
Russ goes to the pub to discuss the selling job with Jim Stanford. Jim buys him a Light Ale. Soon customers are forcing all manner of alcohol on Russ - Gin and Orange, Champagne and VODKA! On Page 118 he decides Vodka is the best drink to consume "on the job" because it has no smell. In future adventures Russ is a confirmed Vodka Tonic drinker. This is where it all started - although he takes his Vodka here with Bitter Lemon.
Obviously this category doesn't really apply here, but it will come into its own in future novels
Working in an office for a living is crap, whilst selling sewing machines in a not altogether honourable way is much more fun, and you get tons more loving with the ladies!
A magical 10 for Stanley's debutů.nothing else will do