________A Novel by James Nathan Post

[Formerly published as LOST ILLUSIONS.]

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This novel is about sex, drugs, and religion, taken as the great addictions of that most seductive decade, the 1970's. Those who judge books to be obscene, subversive, or blasphemous might find all they need to do so in these pages, though it is a serious work about a young couple struggling to understand and adapt to a very turbulent time. Set in the wine country of northern California, and rated X, it explores the darker side of the middle-class counterculture during a decade of self-exploration.

It is about the baby-boomers, Vietnam vets, the first 'gap' generation, and the myths and illusions of the World War II years. It is about life in the middle-class underground, and a generation who went looking for the truth, in places their parents said should not even exist. It is about speaking the unspeakable.

There are those who say God writes books, and would ban other books. There are those who say any sex is pornography, and letting characters enjoy it is inciting immorality. There are those who say it is subversive to create characters who promote breaking the law or violating taboos. By the book-burners' standards, SEDUCTIONS might be the sort of book they burn authors to ban. If forbidden words might offend you, forbidden acts might shock or disgust you, forbidden viewpoints might tempt you, or frighten you, perhaps it should be prudent to suggest this book is not for you.

One of my heroes has always been the little girl who pointed to the naked Emperor and said, "Look, he is wearing no clothes at all." In years of trying to emulate her, I have learned the last chapter of the real story has always been left off.

"Look how fat he is, and what a funny little weenie he has," said Little Lily loudly.

Immediately her father grabbed her arm and slapped her smartly across the cheek. "Don't you ever say anything like that again!" he commanded.

Little Lily's mother snatched her away and put her hands over the girl's eyes. "She must be protected from seeing such things," she protested piteously.

The Minister of Public Truth came huffing over and said, "She is making slanderous false statements about His Majesty, and must be silenced."

The Minister At Arms came marching over and declared, "She is causing a public disturbance with this subversive outburst, and must be arrested."

The Minister of Bishops walked across the goldfish pond and said, "Come now, confess. Don't you know it is a sin to call The Emperor a liar?"

"Wait!" cried The Minister of Wardrobe. "This only proves The Emperor's Royal Tailors are right. Only a genuine fool would utter treasonous blasphemy in His Majesty's presence."

Little Lily's folks agreed The Emperor and his Ministers could not possibly all be wrong, so they permitted them to lock her up for observation, give her a good enema and a prescription for tranquilizers, and send her back home. It is said she stayed in her room and never spoke another word until The Emperor announced the opening of a new school, and a new hospital, and a new park, while she could see construction had begun only on the new Security Residence for Fools. But that is another story.

Perhaps the older and wiser Lily would keep her mouth shut, and the little girl in the story truly did speak out only because she was a fool. "Write what you know about," the advisors always say. I've seen The Emperor's weenie from more than one side ...hell, I've been The Emperor's weenie. I still think Little Lily is a hero, which I guess must mean I'm still a fool, and which is why SEDUCTIONS was written. So let me just say, "Caveat emptor, and bon appetit!"

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