Identity Theft is a pointedly unashamed and fascinating novel involving Alzheimer's in America and kinky sex in Thailand. It is a type of cult fiction novel perhaps somewhat in the style of B.S. Johnson. It is the story of a man attempting respite from dealing with his mother's Alzheimer's by creating and entering a bizarre world populated with Thai go go dancers, bar owners, and other colorful characters; until his real world meets with his fictional world.
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Notes for Harassed Reviewers Who have no Time to Read Entire Novels
This is the story of Dan Richards, a once happy teacher living in Mystic, Connecticut. In his spare time, Dan is writing a novel on Thailand but is lured by a clever mother (Julia Willeford) and her two, fabulously fetching teenage daughters (Deborah and Babs) into degradation and humiliation. And it is also the story of Stephen Avery, a mild-mannered insurance actuary living in Bangkok, or rather who lives inside the novel on Thailand being written by Dan Richards. It is also the story of the Bangkok bar manager, West Texas Andy, who also exists inside Dan's novel; and - unable to resist an appearance - it is the story of and apparently by Dean Barrett who is writing a novel (this one) about this teacher supposedly living in Mystic, Connecticut, and so on, and so forth.
Other characters include a Catholic priest who may or may not have done something rather reprehensible (but certainly, given their wanton natures, completely justifiable) with Deborah and Babs; several wacky, lust-filled nurses and nutty, lascivious surgeons - the type whom you would definitely not want operating on you; Colonel William Ledyard, who fought the British during the Revolutionary War and is still at it; and, of course, last but not least, this being a novel set mainly in Thailand, there is Lek, the obligatory (but quite unusual) go go dancer. Lek, as we shall see, not only tantalizes Stephen Avery to the point of near-insanity, but is so alluring, so enticing, and so incredibly sexy, that even Dean Barrett takes her to bed which may be the first time in literary history that an author has slept with one of his characters. As a patient reader will discover, Lek not only uses her intelligence and sexual power to manipulate chapters and events, but eventually criticizes the quality of the novel she is forced to be in to such an extent that the author is obliged to use footnotes to defend himself.
The novel seems to be about the nature of existence and delusion and states of consciousness, and suggests that non-sequential distorted versions of reality are all that we may be experiencing, indeed, all that we may be able to experience; but in fact the novel may be nothing more than a sex-crazed writer's overpowering need to write erotica.
Finally, the reader must also take into consideration the chapters set in Florida dealing with a stressed-out family living with someone with Alzheimer's. Perhaps the author intends to suggest that much of the novel exists only inside the atrophied brain of the Alzheimer's patient; and that the plot twists and turns are no more than the plaques and tangles of a badly damaged and rapidly deteriorating mind.
Be that as it may, it should be understood by one and all that these characters are not bad people; nor did they ever set out to do bad things. Of course, by the end of the novel, there may be those who disagree.About the Author:
Dean Barrett has lived in Asia for over 25 years as writer, soldier, teacher, editor, photographer and publisher. He has written more than a dozen books of fiction and non-fiction on China and Thailand. His plays have been staged in nine countries and his musical set in Hong Kong was selected by the National Alliance for musical theater.
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Book Description Village East Books, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. This is a used book in good condition and may show some signs of use or wear . Bookseller Inventory # mon0002054740