THE CELESTIAL BED by Irving Wallace
Kirkus Star

THE CELESTIAL BED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Wallace made his name with a sexy novel about sex, The Chapman Report, but of late he has kept pace with more jaded times by churning out sexy novels about politics or religion (The Seventh Secret, The Miracle, The Second Lady) that provide adequate, if hammy, entertainment. Why then has he resorted to this embarrassing throwback, another sexy novel about sex (sex surrogates)--and his worst book ever? Wallace's newest wobbles off to an arthritic start as sex therapist Arnold Freeberg, forced out of Tucson for illegally employing sex surrogates, sets up shop anew in California. To eradicate any doubt about the nobility of Freeberg's mission, Wallace invests most of the opening chapter--and generous chunks of the rest of the book--to the good doctor's portentous speeches about the history, purpose, and successes of sex surrogateship. Freeberg's heroism established, Wallace tosses in a villain in the form of T.V. evangelist Rev. Josh Scranfield, who forces his secretary to give him fellatio when he's not busy persecuting Freeberg by persuading the local D.A. to run an undercover investigation of his clinic. Their agent is would be reporter Chet Hunter, who plans to sell the story to the local newspaper once he sleeps with one of Freeberg's surrogates--the luscious Gayle Miller--so that shell be busted for prostitution, Freeberg for pandering. Problem is, Chet is a premature ejaculator, so it takes a lot of lovin' from Gayle to consummate things--giving Wallace ample chance to get down to the real subject of this book: sex, sex, and more sex, splashed about in sloppy, ultra-graphic scenes in which Gayle and colleagues practice their craft. Finally Chet proves his manly stuff and Gayle is busted, but when the horny Rev. tries to rape a bailed-out Gayle, the D.A. has a change of heart and all live happily and Dustily ever after. This celestial bed sags, badly.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1987
Publisher: Delacorte