THE HARD R MARATHON by Bruce Goldsmith


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 Serio-sex fiction about the morals of movie folk: a third novel from screenwriter Goldsmith (Strange Ailments, Uncertain Cures, 1986; Blue Numbers, 1989). What can you say about a Hollywood flack whose wife is trading him in for a realtor with low animal sexuality but a high success profile and a $400,000 Porsche 959 in his garage? That's what Saul Bronstein, a self-proclaimed failure even at public relations, asks himself when wife Anita takes up with Rudy Malinowski. But Saul, once also a failure as a stand-up comic, sees that he loves his wife anyway, a woman whose belief in him time and again lifts his spirit and whose love he determines to win back. How to do it? Resist failure! Make an earnings breakthrough, boost himself into a lifestyle not far from Rudy's, become a success! As publicist for a Los Angeles film festival, he talks the main promoter into a marathon of Hard R (a film rating just below X) films by Lucy Montana, an actress who between ages 16 and 20 made 14 Hard R films, then disappeared following a shooting scandal involving two jealous rivals. Saul thinks that the festival could go over the top if it ran all 14 films in a continuous back-to-back marathon. But will Lucy herself appear for the festival, a black-tie dinner, and plenty of p.r.? Saul seeks her out and finds the 35-year-old beauty still a Monroe-Bardot sex kitten who at first doesn't want to go public but then agrees. Saul and Lucy will strike gold at every turn, but the reader questions a determination to win back an unfaithful wife and overcome a profound ``failure complex'' with splashy earnings, while Goldsmith keeps Saul utterly solemn and spouting with moral earnestness like Philip Wylie against the world's latest generation of vipers as he enjoys a Hard R bed romp that verges on an X rating. Schizoid and trivial but strong on jealousy.

Pub Date: May 30th, 1995
ISBN: 1-878179-15-2
Page count: 389pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1995