After the hyper-hype flop American Mischief, Mr. Lelchuk has at least curtailed himself in a second novel half that length even if it transmits the same general impression -- the sexual body heat (actually an exclusive concern here), the gift of nonstop gab, the insistent cleverness and the sometimes genuine humor (""looking forward to playful sex as much as regular fucking. It was like having a backhand as well as a forehand in tennis."" All of it is about Miriam, an ""intellectual"" (hard to prove by this) who after thirteen years of marriage -- more pain than pleasure -- has now discovered the ""body's powers"" she was reluctant to concede. With more than one lover and particularly Jamie Parsons, a real joyboy, and with Harry, an artist, and more vicariously Adrien, a homophile. Endlessly she talks about her new ""sexual bold ways"" and her ""naughty""ness; more and more she fantasizes about being liberated? being sick? until she comes up against the real thing -- rape. . . . By the time you've covered all of Miriam's ""sex stops"" without ever discovering whether she has a heart, the tour has been enervating.