Muscle Beach (novel)

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Muscle Beach
AuthorIan Fleming
Cover artistRichard Chopping
CountryUnited States
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages236 pp (1st edition)

Muscle Beach is a 1959 novel by American writer Ira Wallach. It was reprinted in 1967 as a paperback under the new title Don't Make Waves.


Carlo Cofield, restless WWII vet in New York City, alternates between work at the Atlantic Novelty Company and hanging out at the Treble Bar listening to the Quo Vadis Quarte. Impusively entering an office of Seaspray Swimming Pools, he pitches a sale to a client on Long Island. A condition of his making this sale is his being transferred to the Seaspray office in LA. During his flight to the Coast he places his neck-tie in an air-sickness bag for disposal, never to be worn again. In LA, he meets Vic Salter and his chimp Simeon in a bar up on Sunset. Vic introduces Carlo to hit songwriter Prescott Tom, whose sister Toby takes him to the beach to see the body builders. Carlo will eventually join them to get close to the beautiful Jocelyn.


  • Carlo Cofield: bored WWII vet who escapes Manhattan by taking a job selling swimming pools in LA
  • Prescott Tom: hit pop songwriter, inspired to write a song about Carlo
  • Toby: his sister, who lives in his guesthouse
  • Harry Fennerman: a muscle-head
  • Jocelyn Killbrough: his girlfriend
  • Pete Winkler: the gym owner
  • Theo Gunder: another body-builder. His credo:
This is my body.
I will protect it.
I will exercise my gluts and lats.
I will be good to my pects.
The cuts on my abs will show
Whether I sleep or rise.
I will eat only natural foods.
I will keep my bloodstream clear
By the process of elimination.
This is my body.
I swear to protect it.

Major themes and Style

Literary significance and criticism

Publication history

This novel was first published in Boston by Little, Brown and Company in 1959, and was released as a Dell paperback in 1967 under a new title, Don't Make Waves.

Film adaptations

Main article: Don't Make Waves The novel was made into a 1967 film directed by Alexander Mackendrick and starring Tony Curtis, Sharon Tate and Claudia Cardinale. Ira Wallach wrote the screenplay and Mort Sahl has a small role.


The novel generated a generally positive reaction in the New York Times Book Review. "Mr. Wallach is one of the deftest satirists at large and a master of the fragile art of parody."[1] However, they weren't so kind at Kirkus Reviews: "This, the author's first attempt at a novel, aims at the Peter De Vries type of verbal wit and falls far short of the mark."[2]


  1. Levin, Martin (June 28, 1959). "Narcissits' Lido". No. Book Review. The New York Times. p. 22. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  2. "Muscle Beach". Kirkus Reviews. June 15, 1959. Retrieved July 23, 2020.

External links

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