I'm only in the very early going in BALLS! but the cover is starting to make me mad. You've got John Dean on the phone at the White House, and an Arab, and a blond guy from a suit ad -- and that's all very exciting. What's John Dean doing on the phone? Is he ordering a suit? Where does the Arab come in? Then you've got this huge cool-as-balls supertanker.
It's like BALLS! is short for "cool-as-balls."
And then the book itself turns out to be about how Buffalo needs home heating oil.
If they made a Mad Libs of thriller premises and one line was:
"The fate of the world hangs in the balance as ________ demands ________."
And you wrote in the words "Buffalo" and "home heating oil" you'd win at Mad-Libs. Every other answer for any other Mad Libs ever could only be the second best answer.
I'm hoping this is one of those Rohmers were he loses interest in the original story a couple of chapters in, and PEI decides to separate from Canada while the PLO hires the mob to kill the Shell Answer Man.