THE VOLUPTUARIES by Betty E. Ullman

THE VOLUPTUARIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A faded but fairly readable carbon of Rosemary's Baby, an example of what the book jacket describes as the ""endangered children"" genre. Since no reader will care in the least what happens to Sharon Crane's baby, this novel is mislabeled. Sharon has just emerged from a mental hospital after dropping both her tranquilizer habit and her screenwriter husband. Flying to Washington, D.C., to start a new life, she meets Corintha Byrom, who gives her a hit on a strange silver cigarette--and suddenly Sharon's being seduced by Philip Hawk, bon vivant, and is pregnant and imprisoned in a super-fashionable D.C. apartment dwelling. This building is the home of a world organization of voluptuaries whose practices include rare-food rites and very novel forms of cannibalism. Somehow Ullman manages to tell her hideous story without aid of the supernatural, which oddly makes it even less believable. Some of the luxury items produced by the chef are imaginative, others less so (a ""tremendous"" suckling boar cannot be both tremendous and newborn). Pregnant readers may identify with Sharon's overweight problem or may lech for Philip's caddish attentions. But few will be happy with the climax, which fails to deliver enough furious nonsense to justify the furious nonsense that's gone before.

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 1978
Publisher: Putnam