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Talking to Richard
by Gary Sherbell

Category: Fiction / General
241 pages; ISBN: 193119047X

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Paul Lappen


Steven Goren is an Administrative Law Judge in the Subway Division of the New York court system. He is the person who decides how much of a fine must be paid by people who jump the turnstiles or smoke on the subway platform. He has grown to loathe Richard Rankin, famous defense lawyer. Rankin does whatever he can to get his clients acquitted, usually by painting them as political victims or by playing the race card. One night, sitting in a bar, Goren hears, and is very glad that, Rankin has died of a heart attack. An older black woman sitting next to him asks Goren to take back his words about Rankin. He refuses, not knowing that the woman is a voodoo priestess. The next morning, Goren finds that Rankin has been resurrected from the his, shall we say, male sex organ.

One can imagine the problems this can cause. The two come to an agreement, where Rankin stays quiet during the day, while Goren is at work. Rankin knows the priestess who did this, but refuses to take Goren to her until he gets a chance to properly say goodbye to his family. Meantime, Goren has several sexual opportunities with other women. When Rankin cooperates, the sex for her is mindblowing. Later, the two have a test of wills. When Rankin doesn't cooperate, the results are disastrous.

Rankin and Goren show Rankin's widow, Jane, everything, and the two have a final farewell of their own, with Goren in the background. Anne, Rankin's estranged daughter from his first marriage, eventually agrees to see Goren. She happens to be gorgeous, and Goren falls head over heels in love with her. But Rankin refuses to, in effect, have sex with his own daughter. Eventually, Rankin makes his peace with Anne (by tape recording) and takes Goren to the voodoo priestess to get the curse undone.

Get past the bizarre central premise, and this is quite a book. It's easy to read, and it's got something to say, including about liberal politics and the American justice system. For those who are not squeamish about sex and talking body parts, this is recommended.



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