From that dopey old movie, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, or whatever they called it.
I don’t know what some of these publicists must think of me. They’re always trying to get me to review books that I wouldn’t read if you put a gun to my head.
Yesterday a publicist invited me to review a novel about “open relationships”–the kind of thing we used to call being a slut, or being a horn dog–written by “an expert about sex and relationships” whose actual background is in the restaurant business. He was once in a punk rock band, too.
In this novel, which I will not name because I refuse to give it free publicity, a married couple in their late 30s go to this hotel somewhere in the Carribees, “a resort that provides sexual fantasies for couples.” You know the whole thing’s fiction because they don’t meet Bill Clinton there.
Anyhow, they get involved in a threesome, and “it breaks your heart to watch the devolving of what was a successful, loving marriage with two children into the hell it becomes,” because of “that one act.”
What have we got here? I could read the book and find out, but I don’t want to find out that badly. It does sound like the ex-restaurant guy is trying to sell us morality and porn at the same time. Is he saying, “If you break the rules, the moral law, you’ll wreck your marriage and mess up your life”?
But there are probably better ways of delivering that message than a story that tries to titillate the reader and get him thinking that maybe a few nights at that special resort might be the most fun he’s ever had in his life.
This is our culture, boys and girls.
When we read, it’s a form of self-education.
This is what we’re pumping into our minds and into our souls.
On the whole, I think I prefer 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.