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JAMES WEIR
Free Wheeler


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New English Library, London, 1975
(price: 30p; 112 pages)

dedication: For Paul Griffiths, one of the fish-tank vigilantes


The blurb on the back:

With a broken marriage behind her, no job and no money, Doreen faces a future that has little to offer in the way of happiness or fulfilment. She is depressed, frustrated and alone, The sort of woman that is helpless without a man - that is, until she sees the nice shiny real-leather wallet unguarded and bulging with notes.
The contents of the well-filled wallet take her to Leeds, home of happy memories, but soon Doreen finds, no longer the land of promise. Till a man comes into her life, a man of sophistication and understanding. Understanding that the way of women like Doreen lies out there in the streets. Soon she is earning her 'understanding' pimp good money as mistress of the leather boot and lash.
Money brings independence, emotionally and materially, and for once in her life Doreen goes too far. Her little streak of sadistic involvement with the human leads to her downfall, and her final compromise as a woman.


For once the New English Library comes up with a trashy sexploitation novel that actually delivers some of what it promises. The reason why this works and, say, In The Club doesn't, is that this is dealing with a bit of S&M. Nothing too heavy, of course - this is still supposed to be sold in mainstream shops - but it is possible to press some of the right buttons when writing about S&M without going into particularly overt detail: possible to be porno without being graphic, as it were. You can get away with more.

Mind you, those passages are few and far between. And the rest of it's rubbish.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
3/5


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