Coming First

Paul Bryers, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $7.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-87113-224-6
A wealth of wit and pointed observation abounds in this contemporary British satire of sexual politics. Preston Moody painfully bungles his way through relationships with women as gracelessly and miserably as he manages his career as a BBC producer. ""Being embarrassed is a condition of being Preston'' his wife, Polly, declares. He can't seem to negotiate the rules of being a ``New Man,'' and his stabs at feminism go unrewardedin fact, the women in his life miss no opportunity to report on his failings and inadequacies. Polly prefers a hot water bottle in bed to him; his mistress Carla, host of the new and controversial women's talk show that he produces, describes sex as ``An Act of Imperialist Aggression''; and his wife's best friend, the prim and suffering Miranda, expects him to escort her to natural childbirth classes. Even his pre-school daughter Anna invariably kicks him in the groin when she crawls into his bed. He flounders through his daily trials of producing Shrews at Ten, the talk show, coping with a humiliating medical problem and trying to reorder his life. He periodically flees into Time or Newsweek to ``escape into things over which he had no control whatsoever, and for which someone else was to blame.'' Sparkling with a hard brilliance and diamond-cut precision, this novel ironically exposes not just modern tensions between the sexes but also some of England's particular class and race problems. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 265 pages - 978-0-7475-0000-1
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