I’ve been meaning to focus on Burt Hirschfeld’s work for quite some time. But since life sometimes takes you on a different path, one you least expect (don’t ask), well, here we are, it’s 2017 and still no Hirschfeld blog entry. That is, until now. The novel I chose to discuss is his 1972 CINDY ON FIRE. It’s an unofficial sequel to his mega-hit FIRE ISLAND focusing primarily on a secondary character from the original novel. Those hoping to rekindle with the rest of the well-drawn bunch will just have to look elsewhere since they are scarcely mentioned in this one.
Like the first book, CINDY ON FIRE is a lengthy offering: a 500 plus page romp of sordid lives of the flower power era, or should we say "life" since Cindy, the promiscuous teen from FIRE ISLAND, who is now all grown up and still promiscuous, is the sole sufferer this time around. And suffer she does. Used and abused in every way, not to mention on every continent, Hirschfeld spares no expenses in degrading her in all sorts of uncompromising situations only found in sleazy novels. And make no mistake this is sleaze with a capital S. But great sleaze, the kind that beckons despite your good judgement. Just as in his previous novels, the author has more than a knack for grabbing his readers beyond the explicit sex scenes. His strong narrative, plus his fun attempts at pseudo-analyzing his protagonist always makes for a breezy read.
The one thing missing, however, is the sometimes heartfelt moment needed to make Cindy a more fleshed out character. Nevertheless, CINDY ON FIRE is still one heck of a time waster and should be appreciated for exactly what it is. So go on, grab a copy and follow this young woman's journey of hardship and self-discovery. You'll definitely come back for more. That, this reviewer promises you.
Until next post—Martin