IMMEDIATE RELEASE by William Mathewson


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A limp, overdone little satire/farce about Manhattan's chic fashion crowd--vaguely reminiscent of 1950s movie comedies and centering, more or less, on ex-journalist Tom Spence, a faceless hero who half-unwittingly becomes the hottest PR-man in town. Hired as a flak by couturier Purina (nÉ Clyde Purine), Tom wins instant, accidental fame when a Purina party goes awry--it's sabotaged, you see, by Purina's former flak Sam Salt--and the posh guests, looking for a special subway-party car, wind up taking real, dangerous subway rides instead. So now everybody wants Tom's press-agent services. The Princess von und zu Zug wants him to promote her new Soho art gallery, for instance, And a low-profile mobster/tycoon named Stanley Lacquer figures that Tom is the fight guy to help out with his latest nasty scheme: a plan to abduct a crowd of chi-chi types to Plague Island in the Caribbean and hold them for ransom. Before this kidnap ensues, however, Tom falls hard for Lacquer's gorgeous young wife, arranging for her paintings to be shown at the Princess' gallery. (Again the opening party is sabotaged--with, again, accidentally successful results.) But finally the jet-setters are indeed lured to the island with promises of super parties; and, while Purina tries to turn their imprisonment into yet another exotic party, Tom (along with Lacquer's fed-up lawyer) must arrange a rescue. Strained, tired stuff--the hoods are bad-imitation Runyon, the jet-set caricatures (Capote, et al.) are stale--and, at 128 pp., more a cartoony film scenario than a novel.

Pub Date: March 8th, 1982
Publisher: Simon & Schuster