Ronald Rabbit is a Dirty Old Man
by Lawrence Block
This is a good read for fans of "50 Shades of Grey." If you thought
that book was groundbreaking, Block's novel came out in 1971. Do the
math there. It's a huge departure from the crime novels of Block's I've
read recently like "The Girl with the Long Green Heart," "Grifter's
Game," and "Hit Man."
The story takes place through a series of
letters, most written by one Laurence Clarke. On the same day
Laurence's wife leaves him for his best friend, his bosses at his
publisher finally figure out he's been "stowing away" in their company
for the better part of a year, doing nothing but reading in his office
all that time. It's like in "Office Space" where he was supposed to be
fired but no one got around to telling him, so he just kept coming in
and getting paid.
These devastating events turn out to be
Laurence's liberation. While on a bender he meets a group of teenage
girls who've snuck out of their Catholic school. What they end up doing
would break a number of laws. Eventually he finds a new woman and woos
her with some kinky sex. His greatest triumphs are at the end when he
manages to play matchmaker for his ex-wives and best friend and in the
process solve several dilemmas at once.
If you're prudish or
squeamish it's easy to hate this novel. It's pretty graphic and
descriptive about things like anal and oral sex. At the same time,
Laurence is so delightfully cunning and "evil" that I enjoyed rooting
for the "bad guy." And hey, if your sex life is lacking, there might be
some good tips in there.
That is all.