LAID OUT by Joyce Eliason


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Publisher comparison shopping refers you to Mary McCarthy (there's no intellectual shaft), Lois Gould (there's no bitchiness), and ""even Jacqueline Susann"" which Joyce Eliason doesn't deserve since she's a much higher-toned writer. Probably because of the Hollywood scene with ail the jacked-up erotica although actually it seems is almost as psychically desolate as Joan Didion's--a referral used when the author was introduced with Fresh Meat/Warm Weather (1974). This begins when film director Wally Beck dies suddenly at 42--his funeral attended by many of his women. A collection of porn will later reveal how many, many. The novel, rarely moving along, but panning here and there, does cover or rather uncover the private thoughts of some of his ladies--his wife Carol whom he conceives of only in the past tense; his secretary Leah, not too fresh off the farm; Glory who has lupus, Vivian who wanted to write a script for him, and especially Susannah whose real death-directing problem is her mother. The book is not without flaws--particularly a certain indistinguishability of both characters and sexual arrangements; but it has energy, humor and considerable style. As someone says, it's ""So there."" Expect others.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1976
Publisher: Harper & Row