Muscle Beach (novel)

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.

Muscle Beach
Cover showing blond athlete holding a big dumb-bell in the foreground. Various other tanned body-builders (and one slight, pale figure) cavort on a yellow field around the title "MUSCLE BEACH" in the center; at the bottom is "IRA WALLACH". Blurb at the top left: "An uninhibited tale of love and laughter among the guy and gal body builders of Malibu"
First paperback edition cover by Dick McCabe
AuthorIra Wallach
CountryUnited States
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
Dell (paperback)
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover and paperback)
Pages236 pp (1st edition)


Carlo Cofield, a 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 Quartet. Impulsively 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 joins them to get close to the beautiful Jocelyn, but eventually he finds happiness and fulfillment with Toby.

Film adaptationsEdit

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, a review in Kirkus was more critical: "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]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Levin, Martin (28 June 1959). "Narcissits' Lido" (Book Review). The New York Times. p. 22. Retrieved 21 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Muscle Beach". Kirkus Reviews. 15 June 1959. Retrieved 23 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit