PRIG by John Dexter (1964)
John Dexter was a Reed Nightsand/Greenleaf house pen name, and just about all their writers had a title or two under the name — often used if they had two books by the same writer in a given month. Thus, the quality and style of every Dexter book varies. I ‘m not sure who wrote Prig — the clipped style resembles Lawrence Block’s early writing, but the title is not listed under his pen name books, and supposedly Block stopped writing for William Hamling after he left the Scott Meredith Agency in 1963 (he had plenty of work at Fawcett Gold Medal and other publishers). It might be Donald Westlake or William Coons, who wrote under Block’s usual pen name, Andrew Shaw; it is definitely not Silverberg.
This a funny, fast-paced romp about a priggish, shy 27-year-old virgin male, engaged to his sweetheart who are both saving themselves for the honeymoon night…he lives in a small nowhere town in Nebraska, leading an unevntful life as a stationary clerk.
Then his rich uncle dies, a man he hardly knew but was worth fifty million from oil investments. The uncle has left him $1 million, but with a stipulation: in order to get the money, he must travel the U.S., mever more than two days in one city, and sleep with 20 women in 30 days — they can’t be hookers, he has to seduce the women. As witness, the dead uncle has sent one of his call girls and a $5 thousand in traveling money.
This book reminded me a lot of Roland Dahl’s My Uncle Oswald — the same kind of humor mixed with funny sexual experiences. It’s a nice break from the dark and serious Silverberg novels.