Side Piece – It’s Just the Beating of My Heart

lonelyRichard Aronowitz’s book will have you thinking more about the beating of your head. The book is about an Amer-Anglo art dealer who has separated from his wife and as a result picked up the pace on his drinking. Far from fretting, Mr. John Stack takes his breathtaking alcoholism very much in stride as he takes many a stride pursuing his second favorite amusement of hiking the local countryside. The author describes the drinking and hiking in such rich detail that you will find yourself starting to crave a drink or a jaunt. But not so fast…his descriptions of the morning-after after 2-bottles of red wine and sleeping all night in the dry heat of forced air will have you craving water over wine. It will be hard to find more opulently described hangovers or commercials for a humidifier.

As for the rest of it, you’ll have to suspend reality to believe that he lands the piece of ass he does, but maybe he’s wine-goggling and she isn’t a 9, but more like a 4. He has some predictable mental disturbances, the source of which becomes clear in the final reckoning.

The book isn’t a Jason Bourne novel and is slow and internal, but Aronowitz comes off as a plus writer and an even keener observer of single maleness than Warren (Charles Grodin) in The Lonely Guy. Here’s a snippet…

“There is one set of footprints in the snow behind me; there will be one pint glass at the pub table at lunchtime; there was one bowl and one spoon in the kitchen sink this morning. I am bloody fed up of speaking in monologue.”

No shootouts or piles of coke on a black desk. Just stuff like that.