ECHO CHAMBERS by Richard Himmel


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After the somewhat promising The Twenty-Third Web, Himmel got excessively kinky and farfetched in the unpleasant Lions at Night; and now he's fallen even further--with a cartoony nonsense-thriller that features one of the year's most unappealing heroes. He's young American fashion tycoon Angus MacGlendon, son of a long-dead Trotskyite, whose biggest problem is satyriasis (""Would love be the lotion that would salve his infernal itch for sex?""). . . until Peking chooses him to be part of a new, secret, international super-consortium that will help turn Red China into an industrial mega-power. Russia is not too happy about this plan, of course. And the CIA is determined to get inside info on the consortium. So MacGlendon (in Paris for the fashion shows) is soon being trailed, bribed, threatened, terrorized, blackmailed, and otherwise inconvenienced by all the forces involved: his spacey new girlfriend (who may herself be a spy) is sexually assaulted; his bodyguards are injured; Angus is kidnapped and sort-of-tortured (""the Eurasian woman was pouring hot oil down the length of his torso""). And, eventually, after further s/m-accented tussies--""she began fingering her clitoris without wavering the aim of the pistol between MacGlendon's eyes""--MacGlendon learns of his chic mother's role in the Chinese evil (she's a longtime Communist agent with a Chinese lover) and of the consortium's real purpose: ""to destroy the Western world."" Fu Manchu plotting, un-sayable dialogue, vulgarity galore: the sort of thriller that seems out of place between hard covers.

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 1981
Publisher: Delacorte