#308 - PP JM
a novel by Jerome Martin
An Original Unique Book, UB-123
Buffalo, New York
This is one of the few ebooks we offer
that has no pictures in it.
Paul and Marge Copley play bridge with Dick and Jill Sidney on Friday nights. In pursuit of variety, our story opens on the Friday they experiment with strip poker. Although all are young and attractive, Marge is coaxed to dance undressed for her husband and friends, offering a graceful display of her “fabulous body.”
When they are again clothed, Dick introduces a small East Coast publication that's nothing but personal ads. He proposes that the four of them develop a modest personal ads publication for the West Coast, as they live in Los Angeles.
Like a baker who eats too many of his pastries, each of the four becomes involved with an advertiser who seeks some kind of offbeat sex by corresponding with readers of The Pacific Swinger. All first encounters are sublime, life-changing experiences. Chapters end with the word “when,” quoting the married person who yearns for another sensuous excursion.
Each second visit turns out to be an uncomfortable ordeal that makes these searchers feel ashamed.
-Beautiful Billie gives Dick what his wife does not in the front seat of the car. When he asks for more, he meets her room mate, Frankie, an ex-con with a pistol. In Billie's apartment with the two of them, Dick discovers that Billie is a man in drag and Frankie has a perverse agenda.
-Jill meets a beautiful couple who enjoy being watched as they make love. Seeking more voyeuristic pleasure at a second soiree, a coarse, ugly couple intrudes their rough manners into the bedroom and shatters Jill's idealistic fantasies.
-Paul seeks tough gals and finds two young women who show him a spanking good time. When he finally gets to meet their teacher, fat Big Bertha gives him a lot more than he bargained for.
-Ingrid and Brigette enchant Marge with appreciation and beauty at their comfortable home. The repeat visit involves five other women with bad habits and deviant objectives.
The 1967 novel makes reference to technology that has become antique. Characters use a mimeograph machine to duplicate their pamphlet of personal ads, which is produced on a typewriter. They receive a photograph taken with a Polaroid camera. Instead of video, they watch adult movies on a wall by means of a movie projector.
Maybe the biggest surprise about this book is that each episode is possible and plausible. It's unlikely that characters of the first contacts would choose the unappealing partners who appear in second encounters, but any of these get-togethers could happen.
Creating real-world situations, Jerome Martin's novel moves nimbly from scene to scene. His easy-to-read prose tells us about bodies, thoughts and feelings. He spends few words describing settings and attire, which permits complete episodes in short chapters and a nice pace.
Some personalities and attitudes are revealed through letters sent to The Pacific Swinger and by its four owners, who send surreptitious replies. In the paperback book and in the ebook, letters are distinguished by typography.
The text has been completely re-set for the ebook version. Editing changes only a small amount of spelling, punctuation and words. 35,000 words.
An obscure relic of 1960s erotic culture, Pen Pals delivers a good read about alternative sex styles and interests, using the now quaint vocabulary of its time. In the end, characters realize errors of wayward curiosity. By some measure, this is a cautionary tale and warns that actual circumstances are often different from how they first appear.
One digital replica ebook, delivered by download link.