Angelica's Grotto by Russell Hoban
A Novel

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Altogether original, at once searing and amusing, this darkly comic novel confronts Harold Klein, now in his infirm seventies, with a strange malady -- the loss of his "inner voice" -- and introduces him to the steamy world of Internet sex. Inexplicably bereft of the mental faculty that would under normal circumstances keep him from blurting out, uncensored, the first thought that pops into his head, art connoisseur Klein wanders one evening into a pornographic Web site, Angelica's Grotto. An ongoing on-line dialogue, totally without verbal inhibition on Klein's part, eventually brings him face-to-face with the brains behind the grotto, an academic sex researcher named Melissa Bottomley. Harold Klein's erotic odyssey takes him not only through unimagined erogenous zones but also into arcane corners of the art world, as he seeks to meet Melissa's need for funding and she his for sexual gratification. As Klein strives to reconcile new desires with old habits, author Russell Hoban compellingly explores the dark relations between art and pornography, acts virtual and real, culture and politics, revelation and privacy.

About Russell Hoban

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Russell Hoban was born in Lansdale, Pennsylvania on February 4, 1925. He attended art school in Philadelphia and during World War II, he served in the Army and earned a Bronze Star. He taught art in New York and Connecticut, and also worked as an advertising copywriter and a freelance illustrator before beginning his career as a writer. He began publishing children's books in the late 1950s, including What Does It Do and How Does It Work?, Bedtime for Frances and the six other books featuring Frances, The Story of Hester Mouse Who Became a Writer, What Happened When Jack and Daisy Tried to Fool the Tooth Fairies, and The Mouse and His Child, which was adapted as an animated film in 1977. In 1973, he published his first adult novel, The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz. His other books for adults include Turtle Diary, Pilgermann, and Ridley Walker. He received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award for Ridley Walker. He died on December 13 at the age of 86.
Published June 9, 2001 by Carroll & Graf. 288 pages
Genres: Erotica, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Harold Klein, the 72-year-old art historian protagonist of this quirkily charming book, reflects at one point that "pornography has always been part of the visual arts."

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