Books: Is Sex Necessary?

ITS UGLY HEAD (183 pp.)—Derek Monsey—Simon & Schuster ($3.50).

If news of Derek Monsey's novel reaches the right ears, he will surely be barred for life from the Book-of-the-Month and P.E.N. clubs. His book is didactic, and his thesis—previously embraced by Savonarola, Bowdler and certain 17th century New England pastors, but expounded by no fiction writer within memory—is simple: among the higher primates, sex is nasty.

The book begins safely enough. The narrator, who can be described redundantly as a discontented newspaperman, hates his job. In the process the author (movie critic for London's Sunday Express) pokes some sharp fun at British journalism....

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