It's not anybody who could write a bawdy, often hilarious, totally unsentimental novel about a legless deaf-mute who earns his keep by doing one-finger stands on arms the size of your average giant's thighs. Marvin Molar lives in a gym with Al -- a former stunt man who did tricks like having a car run over his body -- an old punchdrunk Negro fighter named Peter and an equally punchy young one named Leroy -- and finally, Hester, a ""normal"" whose revolving thighs drive Marvin absolutely insane. She is the ""gypsy's curse"" (""Find a cunt that fits you and you'll never be the same"") -- especially when she abandons Marvin for an occasional fling with her former lover Aristotle -- the kind of dumb Greek spic Marvin particularly dislikes. But he stands it, at least for awhile, both because Hester gives him nightly bliss and because she charms everything but the pants off his other gym pals -- all the while subtly but purposefully sowing seeds of disaster that will result in the splitting apart not only of their semi-family but of her pretty little head. The novel is narrated by Marvin, who can reel off tough-sounding detective patter with the best of them -- and then some.