Summertime Affair by Don Elliott (Robert Silverberg) NB #1509
Summertime Affair is the third Nightstand Book (#1509) Robert Silverberg wrote for William Hamling — the first being Love Addict, the second Gang Girl (to be reiewed soon); Party Girl came right after it (#1510).
Note above the differences in the covers from the 1960 original and the 1973 reprint — hairstyles are updated, her skirt is shorter. The one thing that bigs me is the woman in the story is blonde, not a brunette. Don’t these artists ever read character descriptions? (I had a long-running beef with the Avalon art dept. who would never match covers right to the novels for Blue Moon.)
This is a bit of a mundane and predictable story, the moral: “Be careful what you wish for…”
A married man with two kids, 34, who has never cheated, is having a mid-liife crises and desires to have an affair or two. His wife has been distant. His wife and kids go upstate New York for the summer and he stays behind, a bachelor on the prowel in a modest Queens apartment building.
He sets his guns on Janice, a 22-year-old woman married to an army guy stationed in California. She resists, gives in, then falls in love with him. He falls in love with her. There’s no way out. What he had hoped to be a short fling is now a complication, as his brother-in-law and another couple find out about the affair…they plan to leave heir spouses and marry…and then the army husband pays a surprise visit…and there’s a fist fight…
Normally I read these books in a day, often one sitting in 2-3 hours, but this one took me 3 days because I just wasn’t into it. I knew what was coming 40 pages ahead.
That isn’t to say the writing is not good; it is. It is vintage early Silverberg. In fact, it has a calm, mundane, New Yorker-ish feel to it; I bet that had Silverberg sent this book off to Random House or Lippincott, at the time, instead of Nightstand, it would have been published as a quiet little urban literary novel.