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A Spy in the Family - Alec Waugh

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Author: Alec Waugh / Genre: Fiction

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      12.07.2000 19:13

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      An 'erotic comedy' is how the author Alec Waugh describes A Spy in the Family. Waugh explains that he had for a long while wanted to write a novel that followed the typical pattern of innocent maiden initiated into the mysteries of love making but set within a framework of a credible dramatic plot. This he certainly achieved. When this book was first published it was not kept on the open shelves of the library. It was considered along with some other books, such as John Updike's Couples, too risque for the general public. It was only because I worked in the library that I was aware of the 'green spot' books kept in a back room and available only on request. By today's standards it may be considered tame and may be compared to many of the books published by Black Swan where middle class housewives get involved with various relationships and intrigues although it is perhaps more explicitly erotic. The story concerns a Treasury official and his wife Myra living a normal boring life until Myra's suspicions are aroused when she discovers that the normally predictable Victor has changed his routine. She takes her problem to the family doctor who suggests that she takes a holiday by herself. In Malta Myra becomes involved in a relationship which leads to a tangled web of international intrigue, illegal activities and blackmail which has only as a side effect the revitalisation of a tired marriage. What made this book so risque in 1970 was probably the fact that the innocent maiden was initiated by another not quite so innocent maiden...

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