And, as Unfogged reminds us, let us not for an instant forget his role as alternate-history thrillerwriter; of which the undoubted tour de force was his description in Saving the Queen of his CIA hero bedding the (alternate) queen -
"He rose, extended his hand, and brought her silently into the bedroom. She pulled away the covers, dropped her yellow gown, and lay on her back as with her left hand she turned off the bedlight. The flames from the fireplace lit her body with a faint flickering glow. She arched back her neck and pointed her firm breasts up at the ceiling, and he was on her, kissing her softly, saying nothing. Her thighs began to heave, and she said in a whisper, "Now." He entered her smoothly, and suddenly a wild but irresistible thought struck him, fusing pleasure and elation—and satisfaction. He moved in deeply, and came back, and whispered to her, teasingly, tenderly, "One."
And a second,
Sixth—her excitement was now explicit, demanding, but he exercised superhuman restraint—
Eight—she was moaning now with pain—
and, triumphantly, nine!
As the Unfogged comments pointed out, anyone who thinks six strokes constitute superhuman restraint may have issues, but the really flamingly odd bit was that - and the fact that I remember this from reading the book in the early sixties says something - the irresistible thought in question was a recollection of being caned with nine strokes by a sadistic master at his English boarding school. Buckley presented it as the Yank finally getting an appropriate revenge on the Brits, which is one way to think of sex. I suppose that there are some other interpretations which are even nastier.
After Saving the Queen his thriller universe dropped pretty well back into the usual one, which I suppose makes it more likely that the alternate universe bit was added in specifically to let him write that scene.
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