79 PARK AVENUE by Harold Robbins

79 PARK AVENUE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

While we are not unmindful of Never Love a Stranger, The Dream Merchants, and A Stone for Danny Fisher, which have cumulatively tallied three million copies, of the recent interest in the Jelke trials, of the past interest in another girl they called madam, this is probably the MOST flesh you will ever get to peddle and it might well be profitable. And in the story of Maryann Flood who became a whore because that is what she could do best- the oldest profession takes on a new aura. Brought up in a slum section, Maryann learned her lessons young; Ross introduced her to money and the gambler's world of Joker Martin; Mike, his friend, who became an honest cop, taught her the meaning of love; but her stepfather fouled up any future she might have with Mike, raped her, and left her to sign away her baby in a Correctional home. On her release, her past blew up a chance to marry a millionaire in Miami, and she returned to New York where many men were to find that they could only buy her time. The war brought a wonderful weekend with Mike, whom she still loved, and the brawl with Ross which followed. The next seven years took her West with Ross- who was never to know that the child they had was Mike's and who- overextending himself- was shot down by Joker Martin. Forced by Martin to take over the ""Model Agency"" at 79 Park Avenue, Maryann is finally brought to trial for procurement, bribery and extortion, and it is Mike she faces as assistant to the D.A.... Mr. Robbins, who would almost have you believe that Maryann is too beautiful to be anything but bad, stacks his heroine pretty much as he stacks the circumstances against her, invests her with the courage of his convictions and permits her to come through all this- to Mike. This is no mean feat of literary license (and the distinction between this and licentiousness is purely marginal) but it will help to prime her for a certain kind of popularity, ultimately on the pornogram of the reprint edition.

Pub Date: July 25th, 1955
Publisher: Knopf