Mon. Apr 6th, 2020

Read 4 Fun

Read the short reviews, read the book, comment

Three Professors and a Blog

5 min read

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Cruel Men, Stupid Women by Dan Roentsch has a title that hints at humor. This hint is supported immediately in the first “chapter” as the reader is introduced to Barry Fest, Nefertiti Snorkjutt, and Desmond Cork. Barry is an academic frustrated by the inability to reach vast audiences with his messages published in academic journals. He has discovered the internet and blogs. The World is open for business. Nefertiti is a feminist obsessed with fighting misogyny on all fronts and by sometimes extreme measures. Desmond is a professor of rock history with a teaching style that might be called “winging it.” Minor characters abound. One of the first we meet is Todd the computer geek morlock (unsung hero). Barry wants to know how many readers the recently launched blog might reach. Todd tries to explain the concept of bandwidth and Barry, with a hand calculator and a skewed idea of bandwidth, guesstimates a possible readership of one billion. This reading experience is starting off well.

The blog starts on January 5th and ends on December 31st with fifty-two selected posts (chapters). A look at the Table of Contents confirmed for me that there would be lots of snark. The language used throughout the novel is not vulgar. I can’t remember seeing one instance of the F-bomb. But all kinds of strange sex are described in creative ways that could only be missed by the very obtuse. Barry Fest is one of the dimmest lightbulbs in this collection. Desmond Cork runs a close second. Nefertiti knows what she wants and occupies two opposite roles. While leading a campaign against misogyny, she also exploits any exploitable males. There are several of those in this account, more than just Desmond and Barry. Each of the blog entries will be written by one of the three main professors. Resident Professors at Belverton University, Nefertiti joins executive editor Barry as Professor of Human Chattel Studies. Their blog posts will be the flagship of Belverton University Press. Desmond will contribute posts about the development of rock scholarship.
Some readers appreciate an entertaining, humorous work with wine or other alcoholic beverage of choice. This read would be best accompanied by wine sold in boxes from the nearest convenience store. The humor is weird and can produce the type of euphoria alcohol might provide, without the alcohol. Think Rocky Horror humor or Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I liked it enough to give five Amazon stars, but it is not for everyone. If you like weird humor, this is it. Don’t worry about how anecdotes and separate blog posts by the three main characters appear at first to be unconnected. The author will make some creative and unusual connections between major and minor characters. Again, not for everyone, but it worked for me.
Here are just a few things a reader will encounter.
Desmond, the rock star guy, will answer an email about the gender of Lola in a song by that name by the Kinks. The sender insisted Lola was a male and cited the lyrics of the song to prove his claim. Desmond at first pointed out that the sender had misinterpreted the lyrics and that he, Desmond was sure that Lola was female. {I took a break here, went to YouTube, and listened to the song}. Desmond later expresses doubt about his earlier disagreement.
Nevertheless, the song has inspired Desmond to travel the streets in search of Lola. He will meet “Lola” in a coffee shop, and they will develop a relationship that will last the entire novel. Desmond will call her “Babecat” for reasons which will become obvious to the reader. Babecat and Desmond will not be in an exclusive relationship.
Nefertiti heads a group known as Misogyny Watch. The members can deprogram an obvious, offensive misogynist. Nefertiti has successfully deprogrammed Bruce but in two-week aftercare follow up, she notices he has done quite a bit of backsliding. Nefertiti will take full advantage of this.
Barry Fest spends a lot of time in his office, away from his wife, Dr. Wharton-Stone, a psychiatrist. Ever since she had discovered a long-hidden tattoo advising her to choose another man to marry, she had been reluctant to share house or bed with husband Barry. He was relegated to the office for as long as it took for the hair to grow back that would conceal his wife’s tattoo. Barry had an office assistant, Goth girl Moliere, who developed an innovative exercise program for Barry. Barry’s wife would not be amused.
This novel was published in 2011. The author references a couple of presidents, but not the current one as of the date of this 2019 review. Here is a passage that caused me to think.
Slappy Goering has run an unsuccessful campaign for US President. Nefertiti has been given a task to organize a children’s rally protesting the unfair election. A twelve-year-old child was chosen to read her poem of protest about the defeat of her candidate, Slappy. The girl’s parents are high school gym teachers, and Nefertiti points out that grammar was not the family’s strong suit. The poem:

“They stoled my Slappy from me
They stoled him sure as shit
While he was out campaigning
The wringer had his tit.

My folks both voted for him
They said his balls were brass
But someone stoled my Slappy
Democracy my ass.” (p. 161).

Written in 2011 as humor, I would not be surprised to see something like this in present day tweets.

This novel was a fun Sunday morning read for me. I will read more by this author. This is available on Kindle Unlimited as a free read.


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