MEMOIRS OF A VENUS LACKEY by Derek Marlowe

MEMOIRS OF A VENUS LACKEY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There's a certain glitter to the malevolence here. It's a super-surface puzzle-drama, strictly Wilde. First in the diary of a young boy from the time he waits out his dying father's (not seen in ten years) last days when he meets the sensuous, enigmatic Antonella who seduces him. Later, as a rich legatce, the boy discovers that Antonella is pregnant, supposedly with his child but she is also the mistress of the strange Catesby, a man who has attached himself to the boy as valet. The boy becomes emotionally caught up in a weird manage-a-trois as he marries the now untouchable Antonella. Years later, we are confronted with the narrator as man, a lecherous playboy prone to affairs with married women and on a continuous sexual pilgrimage in search of . . . Antonella. This figure also keeps running into Catesby, now a deiform of religiosity and platitudinal restraint. But the voice, now telling the tale comes to us from the grave from the depths of an insane asylum and is it Catesby himself? Quite a switch from his A Dandy in Aspic but the same occasional icy spark. But most readers will be put off by a jaded intellectual pretentiousness that leaves one with an aftertaste--a sneer in the snob appeal.

Pub Date: May 27th, 1968
Publisher: Viking