"The Squid and the Spaceman"
THE SQUID AND THE SPACEMAN is an 80,000-word contemporary novel that combines the romantic dysfunction of Jonathan Tropper and the dark humor of Sam Lipsyte, set against the backdrop of today's shifting rules of courtship, love, and commitment.
It's 2015 and Boston is being colonized by gendertrenders, biotech hipsters, and artisanal pickle shops. Two tone-deaf fifty-somethings, who are unhappy with the city’s transformation, meet and fall in love.
Randall is chronically single. Jackie doesn't date men, she marries them. He's Jewish and trying to reinvent himself as an artist. She's Chinese-American and drives a muscle car. Both are struggling with their ethnic identities and worry they've aged out of the local dating pool. Both fear that this relationship is their last chance for happiness.
After four months, Randall develops insomnia and Jackie develops an ulcer. Because Randall has never been married, they both agree he's the problem. He locates a therapist, Dr. Byrnes, who has a plan for turning him into marriage material. On Byrnes' suggestion, Randall and Jackie attend a fetish conference to resuscitate their middle-aged sex life.
Can compromise, active listening, and a sphincter harness save their relationship? And how much can –- and should –- someone change for the one they love?