The Pleasure Principle : a Novel by Felice Gordon
New York : Delacorte Press, 1970. First printing. Hardcover. 212 pages ; 22 cm. $5.95 dust jacket. Very Good + copy, with firm binding, clean and unmarked pages.
THEIR overwhelming compulsion is the pursuit of pleasure, a quest that takes them across oceans and continents in search of the best that life has to offer. They are the Beautiful People—some of them incredibly wealthy and powerful, others willing to sacrifice anything and anyone for that same wealth and power.
Central to them all is Toni Millhouse, officially the tragic widow of the Secretary of State, unofficially the royal lady of the United States and would-be queen of the world. With her husband's death she enjoyed the role of America's First Widow and was even more in the public eye than before. But with the next election and a new administration at the helm, her role changed and her position slipped. There was only one way to recover her place in the public eye: by aligning herself with someone bigger, richer, more fabulous than anyone else —in short, with the world's wealthiest man, Archimedes Pendelos, Turkish magnate.
It is on Arki's 400-foot yacht in the Mediterranean that Toni and her entourage assemble—among them, her sister and titled brother-in-law; Victoria, Duchess of Hampton, and Tommy Ambrose-Smith, Victoria's set-designer husband. They are together for five days of partying in preparation for the Countess of Mallacca's gala-ostensibly a charity ball for the benefit of Africa's starving children, actually just an excuse for the most extravagant affair since those of ancient Rome—the ball given by the former Susan Belmont, once Hollywood's Ivory Goddess, and her husband, Paul, sixth Count of the tiny island of Mallacca.
To the island with the world-famous Grand Casino comes Nazem, the ex-king renowned for his collection of erotica and pornography; Maureen, one of Britain's most fashionable models; the beautiful Italian actress Carla, her director-husband, and her leading man and lover; Fritz, the German steel magnate, and his French sex-queen wife; and Marta, the ballerina who was Arki's mistress until Toni's arrival.
These are the people who party and manipulate and try new alliances as they reveal what it means to live by The Pleasure Principle—in an intriguing novel of the Beautiful People at private play.
FELICE GORDON was born and raised in London. She is the wife of Norman Bogner, author of The Madonna Complex and Seventh Avenue. She has had a highly successful career as a theatrical agent. The Bogners have two sons and live in New York City.
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