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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.
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