Raffish wiseguy Boston professor Thomas Carlyle Theron (Doubting Thomas, 1984) is back after too long a sabbatical, drafted into a political demonstration at an adult bookstore and set adrift in a sea of pornographers. Thomas' new colleague, noted feminist Emma Pierce, unimpressed by his protests that his barhopping and horseplaying don't constitute slumming (""Think of me as a Diane Arbus who doesn't take photographs""), demands he join her in picketing a bookstore called The First Amendment. Pierce is convinced that her cause will be helped by a sex videotape (The Right Stiff) she's just been sent by a former student, but she's not sure why--and before she can guess, she and Thomas are caught in an explosion that leaves Pierce dead and Thomas notorious, subject to bullying by scabby explosives expert Teddy, and cajoled by his ex-wife Beth into investigating Venture Productions, the video's producer. His predictably ensuing adventures are enlivened by his paranoid predictions (""PEEPER PROF HITS DAILY DOUBLE: ASS BLOWN OFF IN SECOND BOMBING""); his reluctant audition for an adult video; his unwilling success when blackmailing porn producer Byron Choate forces him to star in a short subject opposite doped starlet Sheena Sands; his reenlisting of strongman Gerald Valetin as his enforcer; and his attempt to one-up the crass editor of his own to-be-published first novel by citing Ezra Pound's famous advice to T.S. Eliot (""learn to spell, asshole!""). The bad guys are always one step ahead of credulous Thomas, and most readers will be too, but the mixture of bright dialogue and serious banter about that other First Amendment makes this an irresistible sequel.