Suburban Affair – David Challon aka Robert Silverberg (Bedstand Book #961, 1960)
Suburbia angst, ennui, and sex is another common sleaze book topic and Silverberg tackled it in a number of books, from Don Elliott’s Summertime Affair to Loren Beauchamp’s The Wife Traders (a truncated version of Challon’s Suburban Sin Club) and The FiresWithin
Joan Macklin is 30 and gave up her book editor job in Manhattan when she married Ed, a stock broker who makes good money; she now spends ide hours in suburbia and is bored out of her head.
Walking around the neighborhood one day, she sees a man sitting on his porch and wonders why he is not, like most men around here, in the city. His name is Nichols and he is an artist; his wife recently left him and he is seeking inspiration. He quickly asks Joan to pose nude for him. She’s shocked but intrigued.
There are problems in her suburban martial bliss — Ed is not interested in sex anymore. When she hears a rumor he has a mistress in the city (she doesn’t believe it) she goes back to Nichols and agrees to pose, thinking if she gave Ed a nude portrait of his wife, their sex life might spark up again.
Of course, she is seduced by the erotic nature of it all and has sex with Nichols. She vows never to do it again, it was a one-time mistake, but she still needs to pose each day, and each day she desires sex from the painter since her husband isn’t giving her any lovin’.
This may be the weakest of Silverbrg’s sleaze books, the ones I have read thus far. It moves rather slowly. That isn’t top say it is not readable — like all Silverber’s work, it is a good read; unlike his old cohorts Lawrence Block or Donald Westlake, it was never hit-and-miss with these earlier works.
Yet, the languid nature of the prose works to show how slow-going and boring the days are for Joan in suburbia. She yearns for her old life, the hustle and bustle of Manhattan life, and sex.