Celestial Bed

Irving Wallace, Author, Robert Parker, Author Delacorte Press $17.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-29556-7
The notion that unblinking sex makes for interesting reading may be forever dispelled by veteran writer Wallace's new novel. The plot focuses on sex therapist Arnold Freeberg's efforts to treat his dysfunctional patients by using sexual surrogates. Driven from Arizona by state law, Freeberg moves his practice to presumably liberal California, taking his best surrogate, Gayle, with him. The new clinic is soon under fire from foam-at-the-mouth religious fanatics, muckraking journalists and ambitious politicians. This material may be ripe with promise, but Wallace is defeated by it. Major characterizations are thin, minor ones are nonexistent. Situations fare no better: Gayle and fellow-surrogate Brandon hardly meet before they fall in love, and the romance that follows is puerile in the extreme. Wallace's prose is more lackluster than ever; he so artlessly details the human body that readers might be studying a list of the nuts and bolts comprising a gasoline engine. Major ad/promo; Doubleday Book Club dual main selection; Literary Guild alternate; author tour. (April 17)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-20026-0
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