Caught in the Ultimate Male Fantasy
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Frustrated novelist and self-described “Gay-Seeming Straight Male” Ueland is tapped to write a daily dispatch describing his adventures on Playboy's “Playmate 2000” search bus.

Despite his concerns that prolonged contact with the Playboy empire may transform him into a “serious pig,” 32-year-old Ueland, living in what could charitably be called bohemian poverty and still struggling to find himself, basically lunges at the chance to become the man who other man envy. How? By taking up residence in Playboy’s rolling casting studio, where applicants dreaming of stardom can't wait to get naked on the couch. Accompanied by a stable of Playboy employees (none of whom make much of an impression after 6 months and 300 pages), Ueland morphs from a man who revels in his feminist heritage to a guy who encourages aspiring playmates to flash him their naughty bits in New Orleans alleys, at Niagara Falls, and in front of the Lincoln Memorial—all for the good of his World Wide Web column, of course. Perhaps feeling some sort of obligatory quid pro quo, Ueland reveals himself as well, reeling off accounts of his therapy sessions, his five years of celibacy, his sexual liaisons with a tastefully small number of aspirants who just can't resist him. No one comes off looking good here: not Ueland, who seems equally anxious about his growing comfort with daily anonymous debauchery and the possibility that he won't bed a single Playmate before the search is over; not the (generally very young) women who can think of no other way to escape the tedium of their existence; not the organization that so expertly turns all of this anxiety into a money venture.

Frothy and creepy in equal measures.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 2002
ISBN: 0-446-52700-9
Page count: 304pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002