STANLEY: The 2nd Avenue Don Juan by Rick Allmen

STANLEY: The 2nd Avenue Don Juan

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Stanley Polansky's trouble is much more basic than that of his erstwhile hero: at the beginning of this novel, Stanley and the class idiot (and who knows about the class idiot?) are the only ones along Second Avenue who have never had a wet dream. Finally a pal of Stanley's shows him the trusty hand method, and we have a masturbator par excellence, until the inevitable Victorian sex book informs him of the dangers of blindness and mental debility: at the rate he's going, Stanley's sure to end up in a mental institution by the time he's sixteen, and he's already fifteen and a half. Meanwhile Joe Louis knocks Max Schmeling flat in two minutes, ten seconds, which means there won't be a Word War Two, right? Also, although Stanley doesn't mind selling stolen rubbers from his father's drugstore at a hefty mark-up, he doesn't trust them for himself at his first chance of coital bliss with Cockeyed Jenny; embarrassed, he sticks the condom on a cucumber. From then on Stanley's (ex)pals think him about as fruity as Vito who got blown by a transvestite in some 42nd Street theater. A summer in the Catskills later and a couple of tries at both homo and heterosexuality he is still the same virgin -- ah well. . . . This is a reluctantly amusing, occasionally over-cute but sentimental reminiscence of those wonderful pre-Sexual-Revolution days: no doubt abstention and guilt will be the newest shtick in America's nostalgia craze.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1974
Publisher: Harper & Row