Author:Ron J. Hutter

Publisher:Lulu Publishing Services

ISBN: 978-1-4834-5008-7 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4834-5009-4 (e)

Before Chapter 1 begins, Ron J. Hutter’s new book is identified as “tales,” a “work of fiction,” a “metaphor,” and a “paravel.” As this last designation does not grace standard dictionaries, the author himself parenthetically explains that this new word is a portmanteau of “novel” and “parable.” Then the author injects a less fanciful note by stating that the book is “Based on actual events [involving]…the oldest known hatred.”

My best guess, and believe me it is only that, is that the “actual events” are the Holocaust and that the “oldest known hatred” is anti-Semitism. But as the author states in the final sentence before Chapter 1, “you decide!”

For a story that the author describes in advance, again before Chapter 1 begins, as “bizarre,” “racy,” “bumpy,” “wacky,” “upside down and inside out” the story itself begins in rather conventional terms. Dr. Peter Kraus, a Melborne-based behavioral scientist, is a popular heterosexual, “…his sensuous mouth featured a tongue that was versatile in both love and war.” Standing out among his female associations are the quasi-nymphomaniacal Bev, and with a name as long as Bev’s is short, Dr. Maxine Feinschmecker, who is Peter’s psychoanalyst.

With the catalytic assistance of Bev, as facilitated by the follow-up therapy of Dr. Feinschmecker, Peter achieves an epiphany—he’s a misogynist. Rather than hiding this orientation in shame, however, Peter manages to parlay it into a growing global initiative. The word is spread through a series of interviews, public appearances, and most exhaustively described, a critical debate with a prominent feminist. In every case, the public acclaim for Peter and his misogyny is hysterical, never more so than when the totally rational and winning arguments of the feminist are virtually shouted off the debate stage. One of the author’s few subtleties is the description of how Peter deals with being lauded for making arguments that he himself recognizes on some level or another are irrational nonsense.

A fair amount of ink is spilled drawing distinctions, some fundamental, others purely semantic. Obviously there’s a significant difference between conduct against women that is violent as opposed to oppressive. Whether not condoning violence is night-and-day different from condemning it is more arguable.

There are several passages that give growing clues that the story is no longer in Kansas, e.g., a scatological test for behavioral disorders, weird minorities singled out for discriminatory treatment, and the influence of social pressure on the popularity of certain foodstuffs. I’d be tempted to add Bev’s willingness to euthanize her beloved pet in order to facilitate a totally absurd trip abroad, but for the fact that I know a former friend who did the same thing.

My theory that the Holocaust is the model for the misogyny movement of Peter et al. is based on the fact that in both cases a publicity-crazed charismatic crazie sells his nonsense to the public by referring to historical precedent.

But, as said earlier, it’s just a guess. However, I believe that it’s the best chance the book has of being worth reading.