Walked in dainty fashion crossword clue

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tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE’s 'literature' books on Goodreads (316 books)

review of
Paul Taboris The Cleft
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - August 8, 2019

Ive read & reviewed one other Paul Tabori bk: The Green Rain (see my review here: https:///review/show... ). Once again, Im amazed at how much time flies b/c it seems like just yesterday when I read that but it was almost 2 yrs ago instead. My life has changed entirely too little since then. The Green Rain seemed a little off — perhaps as if it were written by someone who didnt usually write SF or someone who was writing SF for the 1st time. The Cleft is even more that way. The front cover proclaims:

A wide-open city—two turned-on players in a strange sex game—a bawdy, blistering novel of tomorrow

Now, one expects misleading advertising copy & the above isnt THAT misleading but the cover art shows a somewhat amorphouse cluster of naked bodies that suggests orgiastic behavior. The story is about a crack opening in New York City that gets wider & bigger & more life-disruptive & threatening PLUS its about the promiscuous sex-life of the wife of the city official whose job turns into dealing w/ the crack. Hence wide-open city doesnt mean a city where anything goes or some such. PLUS the tomorrow isnt exactly futuristic, its a tomorrow thats not necessarily that much different from the today of the yrs 1969 copyright. As for the two turned-on players? I wdnt quite describe them that way either. Anyway, Im not complaining, I find the ad copy funny. The back-cover blurb claims that THE CLEFT is a science fiction novel like none other you have read. As wildly visionary as H. G. Wells, as wickedly witty as Terry Southern, Paul Tabori has concocted a devilish brew of far-out sex, fascinating science, and unbeatable suspense. Thats pushing things a bit, I think. I wonder if it worked? Was it a popular bk in its day? You know how much the public loves far-out sex mixed w/ fascinating science!! I looked on the internet to find more info on The Cleft & its popularity or lack thereof & didnt find anything relevant. I did find that he was a much more prolific writer than I expected.

I generally find that its much easier to get sucked into a novel if theres a sympathetic protagonist. That cd also be sd to be the easy route for keeping the reader involved. Tabori doesnt do that. 2 of the main characters, the Pokolis, a married couple, have little to recommend them.

Caesar Pokoli, not to mince words, was a phony who got away with it because his malpractices and misdemeanors were on a modest scale. - p 7

The tomorrow of the novel is the 1980s, long since this reviewers yesteryear.

By the eighth decade of the twentieth century New York had grown into such a huge and complex organism that its very size created seemingly insoluble problems. To get to work and get home had become a major problem. For every yard of super freeways, a dozen new cars were spewed forth by the assembly lines. Parking was a game of snakes and ladders and the city had started to tow away the tow-away trucks before the streets became choked into immobility. - p 9

Sounds like the NYC of the 1980s that I knew (except for the towing away of the tow-ers).

Mariannes married to Caeser. She randomly picks a man in the phone bk & tries to have sex w/ them. This is an everyday occurence. Sometimes she picks up info beneficial to her husbands career.

And she called them all, without exception, Bernie. This was a fad they had to accept—she told them: Look, I cant remember names, I dont even remember faces, I remember other, more essential things, and she demonstrated on the spot what those were. Bernie was the quintessence of all the men she picked up by the most essential instrument of modern living and, whether Bernie was tall or short, white or black, couth or uncouth, a sex master or just a so-so performer, in her wildest transports it was this name she whispered, cooed or screamed.

She was by no means as methodical and orderly as her husband. For her ashtrays could overflow and pictures could dip at most irregular degrees. But in her hobby and lifes work she did not neglect the slightest detail. And she always carried her little Polaroid camera which produced an instant picture of her lovers manhood for a collection which she kept in a safe deposit box, visiting it from time to time like a dowager inspecting the family silver or grandmas tiara. The hours she spent in the vault were among the happiest of her life. - pp 19-20

I wish Id done that, taken pictures of every girlfriends naked center of attn. Oh, well. They wd be such nice non-marital aids to while away my lonely hours w/. Sigh. Well, at any rate, the crack was bound to enlarge.

You have heard of metal fatigue, or should have—even if you arent a Nevil Shute fan. And there was the straw that broke the camels back.

Five million heavy trucks cross a bridge and it just groans and sways a little and holds its peace. Then the five million and first starts to rumble across—and, wham, bang, whizz, steel and concrete split and dissolve. - p 23

Were not talking beaver dams here. Not even a dental dam.

The dam cracks at dawn, almost silent and invisible, the drops of water start oozing through the infintestimal open pores which grow bigger and bigger until, with a wrench and a roar, the millions of tons of cement topple and the flood engulfs a whole countryside. - p 23

Caesar Pokoli is in charge of the complaints dept.

There were a few candidates for the first Complaint of the Month. Hospitals were mentioned and it was quite seriously considered, for five minutes, that people should get medical attention first and be questioned about their financial status second. City facilities were discussed, and it was suggested that something should be done about making less profit on food and drink consumed by municipal employees; but someone pointed out that after all the City paid them and could rightly expect that, in turn, the city workers spend some of their pay in places that would support free enterprise and the true American principle of damning the public and nourishing monopoly. - p 34

Pokoli isnt about to improve upon such situations but he will insure that government is at work enuf to further insure that he continues to get pd.

Caesers spelling was highly individual and Webster-defiant; but then, there was Miss Barbara (Boobie) Mollison, a product of Bennington-Vassar, a white edition of Mandy in ugliness and efficiency whom Marianne had picked as her spouses secretary. Out of Caesers half-illterate srcibblings, out of his mumbling, stammering and stuttering words she could weave webs of perfect oratory and paragraphs of illimitable logic. Sometimes Caeser suspected that Boobie took a special delight in this and that if he had been a model of cogency, articulateness and erudtion, she would have pined away and died. - p 48

Or been put in the Boobie Hatch. Alas, w/ all the aggravations of Caesers job he might just end in there too.

Also, this was the proper occasion, their negotiators hinted, to establish the tweny-two hour work week, two months vacation with pay per year and retirement at forty-seven. - p 71

Sounds reasonable. Might as well add that all pleasures enjoyed by people w/ inherited wealth over 1 million dollars be made available to working & retired working people at no cost. Despite this reasonableness of the workers, the cleft problem deepens.

[]It would be safer to take immediate steps, before your fair city splits into two and pitches most of your citizens into the sea.

But thats utterly impossible. How can we evacuate New York? Three million people live on this island, another three million commute for work. - p 77

This bk being the parody that it is, it just has to have the Soviets exaggerate the problem.

Radio Moscow: SEGREGATION GONE MAD. Pluto-capitalistic America has decided on drastic measures against the rising tide of its oppressed colored masses, our Negro comrades. A beginning has been made in New York though we understand that similar plans are about to be put into effect in all the important communities of these Disunited States. All the nonwhites are going to be herded into a ghetto or concentration camp in the area known as Down Town (which is called so because the downtrodden, poor and exploited people live there in contrast to Up Town which is for the idle and domineering rich) and in order to ensure their complete segregation, a deep ditch or moat is being dug between the two unequal parts of the city. - pp 101-102

I wont give away the climax of everything that comes into the cleft but I will say that a good time wasnt had by all.
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Monday, September 25, 2017

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