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Are You Ready For The Coxeman?

Probably not. At least I’m not. I simply can’t jump in at #32 in the series of vintage Coxeman novels, no matter how intriguing the I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole Thing title is. (Published in 1973, the title is clearly a play on the old Alka-Seltzer slogan.)

Thanks to Spy Guys & Gals, we can get caught up pretty quickly:

Rod Damon, the Coxeman, is an agent for a secret U.S. government agency.

Born in Wisconsin, Damon enjoyed a normal childhood and went on to college. At 21, he received his B.S. in Sociology before entering the service for a 3-year stint as a U.S. Army Intelligence officer. Graduate school came next but for the next few years, he was a grad student, struggling with the studies of Kinsey and getting nowhere, until he thought of a better approach.

Finding several willing co-eds and a few ancient manuals on sexual practices, Damon set about to recreate each activity in order to determine the ‘emotional responses of contemporary collegians to practices of civilizations past.’ Three months and a lot of fun later, he had enough material to finish his doctoral thesis. This research was published, became famous in academic circles, and the newly titled Dr. Damon was awarded a huge grant by a prominent research foundation to continue his excellent work.

That is how Rod Damon, now a professor of sociology at one of America’s major university, became the founder and director of L.S.D., the League for Sexual Dynamics. This position gave Damon the chance to earn a good living and continue the constant research on sexuality that has been so important to him thus far.

As exciting (or thrillingly campy) as that may sound, the series is given a D+:

A series written primarily with sex as the emphasis and adventure secondary is not going to win any awards. Furthermore, series written by different authors have a terrible time with continuity. So the Coxeman series has two major strikes against it at the beginning. It is, therefore, no surprise that the Coxeman does eventually strike out.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are several of the books in the series that are quite good with thought-out plots and darn good writing. They are the exception, however. It is interesting that those books that are good have one main facet that the other authors, most notably Michael Avallone, seemed to ignore. If the sex comes as a part of the adventure, it can be titillating and fun. If the adventure comes as a sometime interlude between sexual bouts, it is usually a bore.

I’m still left considering reading it; but I’d still prefer to start with the first book. Here’s hoping I can stumble into that as cheaply as I did this one.

PS In rereading the review of these pulp adventure paperbacks, I am still left wondering if the Coxeman’s co-eds “studied” and additional exploits included man-on-man action. Probably not, as it is not mentioned. But I think Kinsey, and several readers, would tsk-tsk that lack of authenticity.

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