May 04, 1981 12:00 PM

by Richard Schickel

The subtitle for this savvy, brightly written book is “A Civilized Guide to Sex and Sensibility for the Suddenly Single Man—or Woman.” Schickel, 48, TIME film critic, found himself adrift after 15 years of marriage and turned his post-divorce experiences into this guide. He is a man who somewhere lost all fear of revealing the most intimate details of his life. His advice is neither old-fashioned nor conventional—he recommends a discreet affair if a marriage bogs down in bedroom boredom. The chapters have titles such as “Michael Caine as Role Model,” “Foreplay—and Foul” and “Finally, the New Celibacy.” Through it all, Schickel manages to maintain a tone as romantic as Ladies’ Home Journal fiction. The book will prove consoling to anyone who, like the author, finds himself marooned in middle age. (Viking, $8.95)

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