Customer Reviews for

The Caveman's Valentine

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  • Posted September 16, 2011


    A very gritty, realistic look at mental illness and the impact on Caveman's whole life.

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    Homeless man is more than he seems

    Romulus (Rom) Ledbetter lives in a cave in Manhattan's Inwood Park, wears a sauce pan on his head, and believes a corporate businessman named Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant is trying to kill him by sending out Y-rays through the air after him. However, Rom also fights his classification of "homeless," has a police officer daughter with whom he's on good terms, is a Julliard-trained pianist, and has a brilliant mind in "The Caveman's Valentine."
    Rom and his wife Sheila divorced after Rom's mental illness became too much to live with. Rom stays in contact with his family and they come to his cave annually to throw him a birthday party. They still love him, they just cannot understand his paranoia about the imaginary Stuyvesant.
    Therefore, when a frozen corpse is deposited at the entryway of Rom's cave one night, no one believes him when he goes on about how he witnessed a car leaving the scene, and how he's sure that famous photographer David Leppenraub is the murderer.
    The corpse, a homeless teen named Scotty, was known to be Leppenraub's model for a series of famous photographs. Scotty's lover, Matthew, lives in the same park as Rom and has told Rom stories that Scotty had passed on about the level of torture and sexual abuse that went on at Leppenraub's home, that eventually led to Scotty's death. Matthew convinced Rom that Leppenraub was behind the murder, and Rom went to his daughter Lulu and another police friend of his, Detective Jack Cork, to try to help them in their investigation.
    The problem is, what Rom believes and what is reality are often inconsistent. Rom decides to take matters into his own hands, forcing him to enter the real world he chose to leave years ago. He begs a suit from a businessman he often sees walking past and the businessman also offers Rom a shower, shave and all-around clean-up when he realizes Rom is more than just a dirty bum.
    Rom then goes to the Leppenraub estate under the guise of a pianist/professor who is there to perform after a charity dinner. He gets involved with Leppenraub's sister and finds out a lot of background information before his brain fails him and he has a fit that causes a phone call to the police.
    Rom decides there's enough to the story that he must investigate further, however after his fit he has given his investigation away to Leppenraub and is now being chased by people who want to murder him to shut him up.
    An interesting mystery and an unusual hero lead this strong story, a great debut novel. Originally released in 1994, this has been re-released in paperback to support Green's newest novel, "Ravens."

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Wild amateur sleuth tale

    At one time, talented musician Romulus Ledbetter was a loving spouse and father until he went insane. Rom now lives in a cave in Upper Manhattan's Inwood Park. He grocery shops in garbage cans and alleys. Rom is so gone he believes in an evil presence, Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant, who is responsible for destroying mankind with the evil Y and Z rays. <P>Rom¿s weird outlook is intruded upon when he finds a corpse just outside his home. Rom believes the forces of Stuyvesant killed the victim and begins his own brand of investigation, especially when the police write off the case as the death of a frozen homeless loser. His inquiries take the schizoid lunatic meandering throughout the elite of the city¿s most 'civilized' neighborhoods, who would not mind leaving another homeless corpse in Inwood Park or some other woody environs in Manhattan. <P>Readers will quickly understand why THE CAVEMAN¿S VALENTINE is an award winning novel filled with an amusing indictment of society¿s ability to push the needy out of sight and thus out of mind. The story line is cleverly written, but clearly belongs to its weird superstar, as strange of a an amateur sleuth as a reader will ever find. Rom never becomes a huggable as his paranoid comments leave the audience wondering if he is dangerous to any of them. That sense of a maniac wandering the streets of the city adds to the overall feel of absurdity yet plausibility that makes the novel work. George Dawes Green heads to the top of the irony amateur sleuth tale with this Valentine gift to sub-genre fans, who will want to read his second novel, THE JUROR. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2009

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