FACE TO FACE TO FACE: An Experiment in Intimacy by Gordon & Chris Downing Clanton

FACE TO FACE TO FACE: An Experiment in Intimacy

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An account of a group marriage by the three principals who keep a journal, plus an essay by two authors whose specialty is the study of ""changing forms of intimate association."" Actually the set-up was more of a menage a trois than a marriage, as the man (rich) brought together his wife of four years (Amy) with an old mistress (Karen) he had not seen in three. A sociology professor with interests (suspiciously?) similar to those of the authors, Rich is also a male chauvinist so caught up in his own jargon he does not see that his behavior is coercive: he is bedevilling the women into bed with him and each other, forcing them to keep journals of their intimacies, hounding Karen into taking psychedelic drugs, participating in group sex, and signing up for academic credits in his field--so that she will be able to help him with his work! Amy is a passive observer of what is clearly Rich's experiment; liking Karen sexually but somehow unable to get much of a relationship going, Amy increasingly sits on the sidelines as Rich bulldozes both women with insecurities and jealousies. As for Karen, this unpleasantly progressive duo was ill-suited to her apparent search for what turns out really to be a traditional marriage. The three amazingly congruent accounts of their mismatched alliance are occasionally provocative--but by now the halcyon days of 1970 seem very far away. Karen went back to her former lover; Rich is now having regular sex with his and Amy's housekeeper--it may turn into a group marriage, but then again, both of the ladies are considering leaving him. Sic transit Gloria--and Amy, and Karen and Marian and. . . .

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
Publisher: Dutton