THE BYRDWHISTLE OPTION by Robert H. Rimmer

THE BYRDWHISTLE OPTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From the author of The Harrad Experiment: another Utopian sex-community novel--this time with the emphasis on business and farce as well as sex. Ralph Thiemost's W.I.N. conglomerate does $2(apple) billion in annual sales but has taken a sharp drop in earnings the past fiscal year. Should W.I.N. absorb the new Byrdwhistle Corporation? Thiemost sends Ronald Coldaxe, 47, to investigate the prospective acquisition, which is a $200M mail-order business. And Ronald soon learns that Byrdwhistle makes its money from love charms and sex aids. Moreover, the company, led by a trio of lusty senior citizens, practices what it preaches: at Byrdwhistle's sealed-off factory in Everett, Mass., employee relations are modeled on the sex/work ethic of the Oneida colony--with free love; Zen sex (Maithuna), a longlasting, low body movement sex act (""continuous, noncompetitive"") that reduces stress and promotes long life; nude workers; and love rooms for making work fun and hedonism productive. Ronald, of course, in mid-life crisis, is soon melted by VP Marge Slick (who shaves him bald), then by her daughter Sylvia during a saturnalia in which he becomes an awakened sexual giant. And there's a contrived comic windup when the acquisition goes ahead. Vulgar nonsense, despite Rimmer's pseudo-seriousness about the sex/commune notion--but the Harrad reputation for quasi-philosophical titillation may still manage to attract a low-level readership.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1982
Publisher: Prometheus