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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 22 September 17, 1969

The Bond Theme

The Bond Theme

Renato Ghiotto : The Slave. 331pp, $4.60. Roger Simon : Heir. [unclear: 147pp,] $8.75 Both published by Macdonald, London and distributed in New Zealand by Whitcombe and Tombs.

Nothing particularly notable about either of these new novels. The Slave is a translation from the Italian by Isabel Quigly of what is commonly called a "hot" book, which says little for it. For those who have read The Story of this will have nothing new. A famous, rich film star hires the heroine (if you can call her that, she's the slave of the title) as a sort of prmanent house guest. The filmstar's tendencies toward sadism enable Silvia to indulge in great flights of fantasy along the bond themes (and Jimmy either), some of which she is able to sustain for days on end. For conneisseurs there's the usual stuff about collars, leather suits and high-heeled shoes with all the trimmings' of masochism, frigidity and narcissism. Unfortunately the writing is as dogged as the attempt to make it all so terribly kinky. The poor girl's imagination soon becomes as tired the reader does slogging through its 330-odd pages.

Roger Lichtenberg Simon is one of those modern American intellectuals who looks as though he works for television—he's too respectable to be a hippie, but a long way from the button-down shirts of Madison Avenue. Heir is a first novel and it's not too bad. There's a lot of pretty pretentious stuff in the writing, but it does provide plenty of colourful background. If you want to see how the Beautiful People are involved in drugs, radical politics, "head parties" and so on it's all here. Which isn't to knock it as it is fairly short and takes little trouble to read in an hour or so.