ALL THE GIRLS by Martin O'Brien

ALL THE GIRLS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It is, quite simply, the record of a journey that lasted several months during which time I deliberately sought out and allowed myself to be drawn into any professionally sexual situation which offered itself."" So begins young British journalist O'Brien; and, as promised, he then proceeds to describe 27 encounters with prostitutes around the world--in one surprisingly drab, usually earnest, not-too-graphic vignette after another. In Buenos Aires, there's a subtle pimp and video-taping of the bedroom action. In Rio, there's a two-girl team with cocaine. There's a transvestite surprise in Caracas; a mixed-up girl in Sydney (""the daytime Lucy was not even remotely aware of what the nighttime Lucy did""); fat/elderly experts of fellatio and massage in the Orient (""Like a housewife examining Tupperware she took me into her hands""); a mini-orgy and a sadistic thief in Bangkok; a quickie in Frankfurt; a generous-hearted hooker in Leningrad (she offers O'Brien half of her precious orange); a sex-show in Munich, an Israeli brothel, etc., etc. And even O'Brien himself--who, aside from some hypochondria about genital infection, shows little emotion (or personality, for that matter)--is soon commenting on ""the old routines--the bored dialogues that filled my days, and the dry, mechanical couplings that filled my nights."" (To relieve this ennui, he tracks down a sado-masochistic specialist in Paris--and discovers the pleasure of pain: ""My skin no longer stung but tingled hotly as the blood surged up and down my legs and deep into me and for the first time I became conscious of a rising, urgent response to her beating."") The most engaging sequence in this un-erotic odyssey? Oddly enough, it's the least exotic trip of all: a visit to the sort of legal brothel (in Nevada) made famous by The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas: ""I felt safe, secure and pampered; impressed and sustained by the sudden legitimacy I found in the deserts in Nevada."" Vaguely informative, only occasionally titillating, and virtually devoid of travel-book charm, then--but the Prostitutes-Around-the-World gimmick is sure to attract a certain audience.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's