Tobin In Tahiti - click for a bigger version

  • Marks out of 10 for Cover

 The most exotic looking girl to grace a Tobin cover since Tobin For Hire – obviously she is a stereotypical Tahitian beauty. A new publisher for Stan meant a change of cover design. The Bedside Guide would be the only book to feature a would-be "Russ Tobin" model from now on. The Futura editions all feature a lady lying across the back and front of the book – if you open the cover up you get the whole picture – meaning there is nothing but a load of grass skirt and some feet on the back cover. 7/10

  • Cover Notes

 "FREE LOVE IN THE SUN. Silver sand, crystal sea, whispering palm trees and the moonlight over the lagoon…TAHITI The paradise of the South Seas was all the brochures had promised. But when Russ Tobin and Buzz Malone arrived there, they discovered that there were one or two things they hadn’t mentioned. Like the lethal local aphrodisiac whose effects were said not to wear off for twenty-four hours, and the eccentric Frenchman’s all-night parties, notorious for their beautiful and demanding women. Tobin and Buzz had only one day and one night to spend in Tahiti. It was more than enough"

  • Brief Description of the Plot

 As is fast becoming the norm, the book opens with Russ on board a flight to a new destination. He quickly explains that he and Buzz are making a 3 day stopover in Tahiti - which is where it gets slightly confusing, as the back cover clearly says "one day and one night" and then at the end of the book as they are leaving, Russ comments that he can't believe "it's only 48 hours since we touched down". Buzz also tells Carol on the plane there that they are stopping "for a night...a day or two" - then Russ tells Maggie (when he meets her on the plane) that they are there for two days. Suffice to say that if we follow the action closely, they do in fact spend 3 days and 2 nights on the island - arriving at 10am on the 2nd January, spending their first day and evening with Maggie and Carol respectively, then sleeping most of the second day until Buzz surfaces about 4pm and announces that they are being picked up at 9pm and taken to the D'Urville party. Once at the party, Russ slopes off for a couple of hours of fun on a boat with the mysterious Angelique (who he later discovers to be the host's wife!) and then returns to shore and bumps into Buzz, where together they discover the extent of the debauchery going on at the party. Russ then falls hard for Leoni, and regretfully tells her that he's leaving for Australia the following afternoon. He spends the rest of the night with her before they part and he sets off at 10:30am to try and track down Buzz for their 2pm flight. Obviously they cut it so fine that they have to borrow a car, which is what ultimately leads to them extending their stay for several more days as they await the next flight to Sydney. Quite what this meant for Buzz's tennis tournament is not mentioned (as he claimed in Tobin For Hire that it was starting on January 2nd) but they don't eventually leave Tahiti until at least the 9th January.

There is a strangely dated section early on where Russ explains in great detail how the new in-flight movie system works on the plane. Hard to imagine now, but I suppose back in 1976 very few of the readership will have been on a long haul flight, so it's really just Stan giving them a glimpse into the dream life that Russ is living through!

Equally interesting is Russ's anti-drug sermon on Page 105 at the D'Urville party "Prim though it may sound in this permissive day and age, the one thing I won't touch with a punt pole is drugs. A vodka or two and a few fags - yes, I sink my share and thoroughly enjoy them, but I've never felt the need for any more lift than I can get from a couple of stiff shorts"

2 things to bear in mind here are that Stan was in his late 40s by the time he wrote this, 20 years older than Russ and very much of a different generation to the one he was writing about - but more importantly, and despite this puritanical outburst, Russ then proceeds to get well and truly off his nut on Kava Kava (a controlled substance in Europe...) for most of the rest of the book!

Compared to the fast moving adventures of previous 3 or 4 books, there really isn’t much of a plot here, and certainly nothing in the way of suspense. As the book closes – Buzz tells Russ he’s lining him up a job with a Male Escort Agency. Which technically makes Buzz his pimp?! Needless to say that Russ is absolutely thrilled to bits by the prospect.

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first reminisces about a previous adventure

 Page 6 (two pages in)

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first eyes up a lady

 Page 6 (two pages in)

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first gets to know a lady in the biblical sense

 Page 72 but don’t be fooled – Russ is being a gent here and waiting for the moment to be right. He could have started MUCH earlier

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first drinks a Vodka Tonic

 Would you believe it? Russ doesn’t have a single Vodka! He wakes up on the plane with a hangover, has Beer (pg 28), Cinzano (pg 37), Rum Punch (pg 53), Tea (pg 76), Champagne (pg 86) Kava Kava (that Russ is led to believe is a WICKED Polynesian love potion which he christens CUM CUM JUICE) on page 104. Oh yeah - Later on he has some regular coconut juice (pg 127). Was this deliberate? Was Stan simply trying to avoid letting the formula get too staid? We will never know!

  • Serious points raised

 Erm….that there really isn’t much to do in Tahiti except make love, drink, watch mucky films and extend your already rampant libido by guzzling potent herbal drugs. And also – you don’t tip the waiters in Tahiti. Oh...and always ask before you "borrow" someone’s car.

  • Rating on the MORGANOMETER

 The lack of plot makes for a fairly routine three days of love, revisiting the familiar Tobin tropes of random invites to incredibly decadent parties full of available women, dangerous dalliances with married women on boats, and blue movies. 5/10