THE IMAGE MEN by J. B. Priestley


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Acutely disappointing for Priestley's faithful, this static attempt at academic/media satire comes a cropper--and a bumper cropper, to the dirge of circa 550 interminable pages. A brace of impoverished British professors, Cosmo Saltana (thin, gaunt and Philosophy) and Owen Tuby (chubby, charming and English Lit.) become instant sociologists and specialists in something they call ""Social Image."" The mighty potential riches of one gay widow, Mrs. Elfreda Duke, whose Oregon U.S.A. deceased husband had set up a sociology foundation, is the spur. Once handsomely established at a struggling British university, the buccaneers cut a wide and silly swathe through the world of academe, astound TV and other media, rally student protestors to their side in the fight to keep their shaky Foundation, consult in motivational research, revamp a movie vamp, and collect a coterie of passionate, bed-hopping ladies. Since the randy academics are between fifty and sixty, the immensely flattering perspective of an elderly author could be invigorating, but the ladies are all of a dull, dull piece. One does not believe them, or the story, or the two improbable satyrs, in spite of Priestley unction.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1969
Publisher: Little, Brown-A.M.P.