It is Christmas time in a small, modern, utterly featureless town somewhere in the Home Counties, where Bobby Booth lives. The main preoccupations of its inhabitants are drink – at the pub generally known as the Planet of the Apes because it is frequented by so many long-haired young men – and gossip, which at Bobby’s closest friend Roland’s Christmas party turns into violence…
Bobby manages a launderette for Roland, who is gross, periodically rich and a man without illusions. Previously Bobby was a school teacher whose class was interrupted one fateful day by slim, blonde journalist, Caroline. Despite Roland’s warning – he believes in sex, not marriage – Bobby marries her.
One evening an attractive brunette wanders into the launderette. It is her second visit, and in no time she has dragged Bobby into bed. Some time before, Bobby has been pronounced sterile. Caroline wants a baby – a baby by a real man, even if it is a milkman. The temptation to yield irrevocably to the charms of the brunette grows powerfully in Bobby. Whether he will yield forms the climax to the novel.
Guy Bellamy was born in Bristol but has lived mostly in Surrey. After National Service in Germany with the RAF, he went into journalism and has worked on newspapers in Cornwall, Bournemouth, Brighton and Fleet Street including the Daily Express and Sun. He is married with a daughter and now lives in Hampshire.
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