PRINCE VALIUM by Anton Holden


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The title may tip you off, and the publisher will tell you--though the author doesn't: Anton Holden is the lover-turned-sadist of Barbara Gordon's account of her escape from valium addiction, I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can. Here, Holden parades his injured dignity in 300-odd pages detailing his three years of live-in bliss (until almost the very end) with the ""independent"" yet unaccountably overanxious Gordon. The sex, we hear (in detail), was terrific; and lifelong loser Holden (three failed marriages, three kids spirited away by their mothers) was dazzled not only by Gordon's personal and professional charms, but also by a bank-and-bond balance that neared a million. Everything was OK--sort of--until Gordon quit her pill-and-bottle habit, cold turkey, to make herself ""clean"" for their scheduled marriage. Then Holden had an emotional wreck on his hands; and though he massaged, bathed, and comforted Gordon for weeks on end, her loony behavior escalated until she turned into a snarling, ""atavistic"" attacker who stabbed him with some handy pliers. Any force he applied, Holden insists, was simply to prevent her from hurting (punching, scratching) herself. He even refused to sign her into a city hospital, he maintains, where his public testament to her violent behavior might attract unfavorable publicity. After her hospitalization, she told a series of lies about his role in the affair to doctors and mutual friends, then unceremoniously dumped him. Chiefly for those who want to check out the two accounts--but there may be quite a number.

Pub Date: May 21st, 1982
Publisher: Stein & Day