Email this review


How long can a 128-page novella seem? Very long, when it's as torpid and humorless as this pretentious, trendy meditation on adultery. Diana loves Michael, but both of them are married and have kids and furthermore Diana and Michael's wife Susan are good friends--or were, till Susan found out. So the situation is reviewed from each spouse's perspective. Diana stews over Michael's lack of commitment to her, over his withholding of sex from her (she ""dared not think of fucking him and sucking him and of how he loved to watch her come""), over the pitfalls of having, as she does, this terrifically deep ""consciousness."" Susan, once an espouser of open marriage, is furious to lose both husband and best friend, but vows to hold on to Michael and even try to enjoy sex with him though he's not her type (""She let him feel her the way he wanted to, she let him fuck her from behind""). Diana's husband Julien cries a lot and sheepishly confesses that he wants ""a conventional, monogamous marriage."" Michael is afraid to leave Susan despite the great sex with Diana. (""'Why do I love to suck you so much?' she says quizzically as she sucks, insatiable. 'I guess because I love it so much,' he answers in a straightforward tone. They have these crazy conversations with each other while they make love, when they laugh and giggle and talk about their desire. . . ."") And they all worry a lot about whether they're being ""open"" or ""closed"" in their relationships. ""On the surface the whole thing could seem terribly banal."" Yes indeed--and not just on the surface.

Pub Date: April 16th, 1980
Publisher: Dial