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From Klavan (Face of the Earth, 1980), a curiously flat, pointless erotic comedy about a supposedly irresistible young woman. Twenty-five-year-old Samantha Clementine (""My cunt, to begin with, is an orchid. . .Other times it is a gap, an abyss, a gaping scar"") is seeing a therapist, with whom she naturally falls in love, but she is also quite recently and happily married to an assistant New York City D.A. by the name of Arthur, whom she likes to spank and sodomize--when he's not doing the same to her. In between reminiscing about old boyfriends from her days at Columbia and wandering through the singles bars of the Upper West Side, Samantha writes pretty dreadful poetry (""The giant beast falls/and vestal whores, their bare breasts idled/To the holocaust skies""), works as a reader for a film company and fills in on a suicide hotline in the basement of a church on 48th St. There, one day, she gets a call from God, who is upset with His mother (who caught Him masturbating and punished Him severely) and may just commit suicide. But God, it turns out, is just your garden-variety lunatic who takes over a day-care center in one of the few bits of real action in the novel; Samantha becomes a heroine for talking him out of offing the kids and himself. A convoluted literary exercise that goes nowhere, is often distasteful, and never stops trying too hard for laughs.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Permanent Press