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Download The Pleasures of Helen epub

by Lawrence Sanders

First Edition of the second book from the author of "The Anderson Tapes".
Download The Pleasures of Helen epub
ISBN: 0491003188
ISBN13: 978-0491003186
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Thrillers & Suspense
Author: Lawrence Sanders
Language: English
Publisher: Putnam (1971)
Pages: 251 pages
ePUB size: 1877 kb
FB2 size: 1120 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 688
Other Formats: rtf mobi lrf azw

great condtion, great price, speedy delivery, typical lawerence sanders read.not my favorite,but that is just personal taste. am totally in love with mcnally series.
I felt the story was very disjointed and didn't hold my interest. This is the only story by Sanders that I've been disappointed with.
The Pleasures of Helen (1971) may be the Seinfeld of its day, a story almost literally “about nothing,” or at least nothing terribly dramatic. It follows the life, mostly the love life, of titular heroine Helen Miley, a 30-something career girl desperately looking for love and commitment in late 60s New York. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary happens to Helen, unless you count the lackluster parade of men she hooks up with, from a pudgy near-virgin mama’s boy to a pixilated septuagenarian and a narcissistic but dull-witted Lothario. The most interesting character in the book, other than Helen, is Harry Tennant, a conflicted black professional who is clearly Helen’s best prospect, racial attitudes of the day aside, except that his demons won’t let him alone.

One chapter literally describes in minute detail Helen’s activities as she spends a quiet day at home. This book is literary naturalism at its most reducto ad absurdum though I admit there is a certain fascination in watching a male author dare to delve so deeply into the emotional and sexual life of a female character. I’m a guy so I have no idea if he pulls it off but it sounds believable.

Sander’s previous book, his first, was the celebrated The Anderson Tapes, which used a hyper naturalistic approach (taped conversations, report transcripts, etc.) to detail the planning, execution and aftermath of an elaborate robbery, but that book had a compelling center to the plot—the robbery—while The Pleasures of Helen is left only with the, er, pleasures of Helen, or lack thereof. It doesn’t even qualify as chick-lit as that would require some compelling romantic interest.

Mostly, The Pleasures of Helen is interesting today for its portrayal of life in New York among the bottom feeders of the swinging singles set.
I liked Lawrence Sanders' The Pleasures of Helen (first published in 1971 in harcover by G.P. Putnam Sons)for its humanity and forward thinking. Helen loves men no matter who they are, be they short or tall, old or young, black or white, handsome or not. And because she sincerely wants to be married and to have a family, readers route for her to succeed.

Perhaps the longest chapter in the book for me was Chapter 19. The author experiments and numbers each paragraph starting with 1 and ending with 74. It was excruciating to read, trying to stay focused enough to understand what I was reading, and trying to get to the end of the chapter, to that elusive paragraph 74.

I found the following passage in Chapter 21 amazingly fresh to have been published 43 years ago:

'"Now look," he started, "there's no natural law that says one man has to marry one woman. If you've ever researched the history of marriage you'd realize it is a historical imperative. That is, for the sake of survival of the human race, one man married one woman and they had as many children as they could. It was the need to exist. Children died very young. Adults died at twenty and thirty. Diease, poverty--all that. The human race had to survive. That was the way to do it: marry and breed. It worked. But things are different now. Infants mostly live. People keep going to their eighties and nineties. It's all in the books. Now we've got too many people. Medicine and better living conditions. So maybe there are better ways. Maybe people should live alone. Maybe there should be double marriages--you know, two men and two women, or two women and one man, or communes. There are lots of combinations. These are new times, and we need new ways of living. Man-and-women marriages isn't the only answer anymore. There are plenty of other possibilites. We can-"

His voice began to drain; the Master Illusionist of Them All began to run down. She could hardly hear him: "New man, one ways to...meaningful...we can..."

His voice dribbled away, just faded away, his eyes closed. Until, finally, he whispered (so low she could hardly hear him): "Yes. You're right, Helen. I am afraid,,," '
The Pleasures of Helen is one of those disappointing books where the author has a very good idea but does not write well enough to do it justice. Sanders was mainly a writer of thrillers but decided to try his hand here at a straight novel. Helen is a thirty-something single Southern woman living in New York; with a reasonably well-paid but dead-end kind of a job in PR, she is very lonely and aching for love. Her best friend has just got herself a man; Helen is desperate for love but will settle for sex, and the three men she is involved with during the course of the novel are all disappointments in various ways.

Sanders' empathy with Helen is obvious, and his description of her predicament is clear-eyed and accurate. If only he could write better! There's a much better novel inside this struggling to get out. {Maybe it's called Bridget Jones's Diary :-)}