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You mightn't think that, with all our homegrown gambling-sex-and-money sleazaramas, there'd be a need to import; nonetheless, London sends us Mike Grover and Harry Samson, classmates at the East End's Thornton reform school who bootstrap their ""bent"" way up to the top of the junketeering game--arranging those exclusive Las Vegas fortnights for high-rollers Boeing-ed in from around the world. Deal-maker Harry is gross, money-whiz Mike (our narrator) is conscience-stricken, and author Broat is feverishly listless, spinning the wheel of plot from now to flashback and from Vegas to London to Cannes to Miami. While ""Neon City, U.S.A."" is subjected to the vivid personalities of the junketing clientele ""I been here two weeks already and I ain't got laid,"" observes 70-year-old Mrs. Wolsey), Mike is busy befriending an underage hooker and arranging Sam's downfall; he blames his buddy for the long-ago suicide of Mike's wife Gayle and the just-yesterday suicide of has-been film star Heidi Singer. Mike isn't, of course, so busy that he's oblivious to the passing groin parade, whether it's crude (""We're all gonna screw you"") or less crude (""Was that good? . . . I wanted it to be good""). As always, everybody's got everybody else either ""by the balls"" or ""by the short and curlies,"" and even the most sensation-seeking reader will want to take his or her vicarious junkets elsewhere.

Pub Date: March 21st, 1977
Publisher: Atheneum