|Vintage Pulp||Jun 7 2021|
We decided to read another sleaze novel after being underwhelmed by Robert Silverberg's Passion Peeper, and ended up choosing Michael Knerr's 1962 effort The Sex Life of the Gods. Big mistake. It's adolescent nonsense, which is too bad, because the title intrigued us. Basically, a bunch of aliens kidnap a human and—for reasons we'll leave aside—plan to replace him with an exact duplicate. So the duplicate wings his way to Earth, but his ship crashes, and he comes out of it with amnesia. He has just enough intel to find the human's wife Beth, she fills in some facts for him, he thinks he's really her husband Nick, and voila!—they're soon boning on a bearskin rug. Nick was an artist, and when his impossibly hot studio model Janet learns he's devoid of memory, she sees it as a long awaited opportunity, sneakily lies that she's his mistress and voila!—they're soon boning in a secluded cabin. Clearly, in sleaze amnesia isn't so bad. Naturally, throughout all this, faux-Nick's alien buddies are searching for him, as are the local hick cops, and some federal types. When he finally clues in that he isn't really Nick, he decides the only just solution is to return the real Nick to Earth. Since Nick is imprisoned on the mothership, faux-Nick finagles his way back there, where he encounters his fiancée Jela and voila!—they're soon boning in zero g. We won't criticize the plot, the structure, the message, or the genre. It's sleaze fiction. You know what you're signing up for. The problem is Knerr should have had his writer's license suspended. We're going back to detective fiction.