Thursday, July 30, 2009

Anything That Turns You On, Baby

One of trash literature's most misogynist counterculture heroes returns in the luridly titled SCARLET SURF AT MAKAHA (McFadden, 1970), which is really the most extreme aspect of the fourth Operation Hang Ten novel.

24-year-old millionaire private eye/surfer/spy Bill Cartwright is ordered to cut short his libidinous playtime with the hippie hitchhiker he picked up in his computerized mobile home and fly the whole setup to Hawaii for his latest mission for Hang Ten. He reluctantly teams with a sexy Russian agent named Debbie Kwan to track down $9 million in gold hijacked from an English freighter by a stolen Soviet helicopter. Also on Cartwright's agenda is the kidnapping of a fellow Hang Ten agent. Natch, the whole operation is hidden within a newly constructed apartment complex for swingers built by the villain on a Makaha beach.

Although supposedly young and hip, the arrogant Cartwright doesn't appear to like women very much. Oh, he enjoys having sex with them, but that's about all. I suppose that attitude is par for the course with the men's adventure genre, but one would expect an anti-establishment type to be perhaps a bit more enlightened.

If you're into surfing, you may groove on some of the sea action here. Otherwise, writer Patrick Morgan (actually George Snyder) presents a few mild action and sex scenes, and the climax isn't too bad. Light entertainment that in no way approaches the excesses of a Butcher or a Death Merchant adventure.

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