Virtual Love

Overview

The quest for love - however erotic, bizarre or even violent its outcome - is at the heart of Avodah Offit's startling novel. Both a psychological cliff-hanger and a love story, Virtual Love explores the variety of sexual impulse with daring, intelligence, and stunning insight. Corresponding across the continent by E-mail, Aphra and Marc, two psychiatrists, agree to the roles of teacher and student so that he may learn sex therapy from her. Marc, at war with a childhood distorted by an enigmatic and almost ...
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0671874365 Only 1 copy left! Clean, unmarked copy. Hardcover, with dust jacket- In excellent shape! I can send expedited rate if you chose; otherwise it will promptly be sent ... via media rate. Have any questions? Email me; I'm happy to help! Read more Show Less

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Overview

The quest for love - however erotic, bizarre or even violent its outcome - is at the heart of Avodah Offit's startling novel. Both a psychological cliff-hanger and a love story, Virtual Love explores the variety of sexual impulse with daring, intelligence, and stunning insight. Corresponding across the continent by E-mail, Aphra and Marc, two psychiatrists, agree to the roles of teacher and student so that he may learn sex therapy from her. Marc, at war with a childhood distorted by an enigmatic and almost invisible father, unable to cope with his own failed marriage, is threatened by a dangerous and obsessive passion for a doomed and beautiful patient.... Aphra, inquisitive, unflappable, the haunted chronicler of her patients' sagas, is menaced by the demons of her childhood: her omnipotent mother and her remote father, who themselves play out a complicated drama of betrayal and revenge. When Marc writes to Aphra, with feelings that men rarely communicate to women, they fall - almost wordlessly - in love, only to discover in a breathtaking and unexpected climax that they have more in common than they bargained for. The theme of Virtual Love is both sexual betrayal and betrayal by sex, although a vision of love offers hope of redemption for each disloyalty and each surrender. Wise, passionate, compassionate, astonishingly original, and, ultimately, forgiving, Virtual Love is a love story for the nineties, a Liaisons Dangereuses for the electronic age, at once shocking and, in the most subtly complex sense of the word, romantic.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her flawed first foray into fiction, therapist Offit, author of The Sexual Self and Night Thoughts: Reflections of a Sex Therapist , attempts to dramatize the lives of two analysts. Never having met, Aphra Zion and Marc Martell begin communicating in 1991 via computer E-mail. Some correspondence deals with their patients and their sexual disorders; the remainder looks back as far as 1942 to chronicle their respective pasts. They share guilt about their dead brothers and fathers, and both have stormy marriages: Marc wrestles with wife Trish's hatred; Aphra has an unfaithful husband whose clothing she slashes in a particularly cliched scene. Seeking solace, Aphra embarks on an affair, while Marc throws himself into New Age healing and finds a corrupt guru. Though the author cheats a bit by putting exposition too lengthy to be credible correspondence into chapters labeled ``PRIVATE FILE: Do not send,'' her E-mail format is an intriguing attempt to bring the epistolary novel into the computer age. Unfortunately, Offit has not created believable or compelling fiction. Aphra is self-indulgent, Marc unethical, and their family histories are generally banal. In addition, the book's sexual material seems forced, designed to titillate rather than illuminate. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Offit, an established psychiatrist/sex therapist, has written an unusual psychological novel. Marc Martell, a young, angst-ridden psychiatrist in San Francisco, begins an E-mail correspondence with a respected colleague, Aphra Zion, who lives in New York. Marc begins asking advice about a special patient, but his messages are soon telling more about his failed relationships with family and lovers. Aphra examines her own bonds, past and present, largely in E-mail files that she does not send to Marc. The book's ten sections help focus the vivid memories (mostly Aphra's) of the pair's search for love and acceptance. The surprisingly intertwined, cathartic ending is believable, but though Aphra is authentically intriguing, Marc often seems whiny and self-absorbed.-- Rebecca S. Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671874360
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 3/3/1994
  • Pages: 320

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