Consent by Ben Schrank
A Novel

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Synopsis

Mike Zabusky first sees Katherine Staresina at a party given by Mike’s doctoral-thesis adviser, Matthew Weingarden. They are instantly drawn to each other--so instantly that they have a sexual collision against a bathroom wall less than two hours after they meet.

Mike immediately feels surer of his love for Katherine than of anything else in his life--his moribund thesis about the Golem (an artificial creature in Jewish folklore); Weingarden, who appears to simultaneously support and undermine Mike’s studies; and his lonely, angry stock-trading father, soon to commit suicide and thus further entangle the emotional knot, first tied in childhood, that Mike must try to untie.

While Katherine begins a mystifying game of intimacy and rejection, Mike learns more about her troubled past and seems to lose ground with every effort to win her heart. Finally he comes face-to-face with his own Golem-like existence. Who is controlling him? What can he do to escape-and determine-his own fate? What is the truth behind his father’s death?

Consent paints a poignant, surprising, and ultimately profound portrait of a young man facing the universal challenge of balancing passion with wisdom.
 

About Ben Schrank

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Ben Schrank has been a furniture mover, a teacher, and a bike messenger. He won a Goldwater Fellowship at New York University's graduate writing program. His monthly column for Seventeen magazine, "Ben's Life," was recently optioned by Disney/Touchstone television. He lives in New York City. Miracle Man is his first book.
 
Published March 19, 2002 by Random House. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Consent

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Mike has the good fortune early on to meet the beautiful Katherine Staresina (a domestic-violence lawyer who obligingly introduces herself at a party and takes Mike into the bathroom for some quick but heated sex), who is very appealing in a shiksa sort of way.

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Publishers Weekly

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Mike's attention is diverted from the ever-elusive Katherine (whose own sister was murdered many years ago) to his family's house of secrets in Roosevelt, Long Island, and in his search for answers he uncovers a heap of violently broken furniture, unpaid debts and the news that Dad's distraught g...

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