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Last Tango in Brooklyn
     

Last Tango in Brooklyn

by Kirk Douglas
 

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In this, his most satisfying novel so far, Kirk Douglas exhibits the brilliant versatility that he has showcased so vividly in his many decades as an actor. Here he tells the story of two ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances - circumstances that wait right around the corner for each one of us. Ellen, a small-town girl from upstate New York, is

Overview

In this, his most satisfying novel so far, Kirk Douglas exhibits the brilliant versatility that he has showcased so vividly in his many decades as an actor. Here he tells the story of two ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances - circumstances that wait right around the corner for each one of us. Ellen, a small-town girl from upstate New York, is trying to make it as a modern woman in the big city. She is doing well in her career as the librarian of a large Brooklyn hospital, but her personal life is a mess. Her boyfriend, Richard, a world-renowned heart transplant specialist, is unfaithful. Her roommate has moved out leaving her with a mountain of unpaid bills. She is broke. Then she meets Ben at a screening of Last Tango in Paris. Ben, a fitness instructor, is twice her age, but he is a vigorous man able to challenge and out-perform men young enough to be his sons. A recent widower, Ben is frantically scrambling to find a temporary place to live, because his house in Flatbush has sold much faster than he expected. Ellen rents Ben a room, but what begins as friendly business relationship slowly turns into something more. Ben feels a surge of vitality in which passion knows no age and no limits. Ellen, full of life spirit, and mischief, seems his perfect match. Yet Ellen and Ben's startling and consuming affair faces a gulf even wider than the gap that separates May and December. Ellen's best friend is appalled, Ben's daughter, a psychologist, condemns their relationship as a Freudian nightmare. A terrible accident and then a mysterious death - which could be murder - threaten to doom their love. Soon, life's expectations shatter on the rocks of the unexpected. Roleschange in astonishing ways. Yet, ultimately, Ellen and Ben's love will prove stronger than reason - in a powerful finale than will haunt the reader long after he or she has closed the book.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The celebrated actor-turned-author ( Dance with the Devil ; The Gift ) serves up some interest and a few surprises in his third novel, but ultimately this hackneyed tale of a May/December romance between an aging personal trainer and a young medical librarian suffers from too many cliches. After a chance meeting, Ben and Ellen cohabit when Ellen's previous roommate leaves her with a stack of bills and Ben's house is tied up in escrow following the death of his wife. When Ellen's boyfriend, Richard, a world-famous heart transplant specialist at the hospital where both work, betrays her for a sexy nurse, Ben convinces Ellen that age and beauty are a compatible combination, despite the fact that virtually everyone around them disapproves of their relationship. Several trite subplots include Ben's near-fatal helicopter crash, Richard's scheme to procure a heart illegally so he can save a dying Japanese millionaire and, as the book ends, the vague possibility of an illness that could incapacitate Ellen. Douglas's rudimentary storytelling skills are stretched beyond their limits in this one. Author tour . (July)
Library Journal
This tale of medical suspense features librarian Ellen and fitness instructor Ben improbably involved in a romance. Predictably, their love affair is threatened by disapproving family and friends, a serious accident, and a scheme by Ellen's former lover, a transplant surgeon, to procure a donor heart by killing a homeless man befriended by Ellen. The supporting cast includes a wife-beating singer, a greedy talent agency executive, and a rich Japanese businessman with irreversible heart disease. Legendary actor Douglas does not read his work well; his pronunciation is indistinct, and he fails to differentiate among characters. The marquee value of the Douglas name will attract listeners, making this otherwise disappointing work a necessary purchase for many public libraries.-Linda Bredengerd, Hanley Lib., Univ. of Pittsburgh, Bradford, Pa.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446516952
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
07/01/1994
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)

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