Title: Private Parts In Public Places
Publication Date: 1969
Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket
Edition: 1st Edition.
New York. 1969. Atheneum. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. 211 pages. hardcover. Cover design by Lawrence Ratzkin. keywords: Literature England. inventory # 26751. FROM THE PUBLISHER - Robin Cook’s corrosive new novel blasts the psyche of the British upper middle class, singling out those overbred types who can neither return to the life of their forebears nor adjust to an alien contemporary scene. For these curiously displaced persons cut off from the cultural mainstream by lack of funds and outmoded schooling, survival is a daily challenge. How they meet it is the theme of this mordantly brilliant, often shocking tale. It all centers on the anachronistic Lady Quench, who wraps her tattered illusions about her in a disintegrated milieu. From an enormous country house, with a dying husband and a rude but indispensable butler, she doggedly carries on, issuing commands in the idiom of the twenties and insisting that everyone be tickety-boo. Nobody is. The only activity left to her is cerebral, but, given her background, this comes hard. Her brazen nephew Viper, compromising with fact instead of fancy, has made a fortune running a chain of pornographic shops in London with a blind but perceptive mistress. Lord Michael Mendip, his faggoty cousin and partner, is fascinated by Viper’s hard-headed success, but ineffectually struggles against him to show concern for pathetic human beings like Lady Quench’s elder daughter, Lydia. The gorgeous Lydia poses for dirty pictures whenever her dress allowance is cut off, which is often, and yearns for sexual fulfillment, which eludes her many promiscuous efforts. Her sister, Beatrice, has given up on people altogether and become a theoretical but dismally involved Marxist. The plot boils when a Greek tycoon falls madly in love with Lydia and tries to save her. His appearance at Lady Quench’s estate, along with Viper, Michael and a sodden Lydia, who arrives with a Scruffy-looking salesman acquired en route, is the signal for this black comedy to explode in a horrific climax. Like acid eating into a metal plate to produce a memorable etching, this author’s highly individual style creates a searing vision of a superfluous class in decline. Robin Cook was born in London in 1931 and educated at Eton. His previous books include THE CRUST ON ITS UPPERS, SOMSE SURPRISE and THE LEGACY OF THE STIFF UPPER LIP. Bookseller Inventory # 26751
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