The Hobbyist by Darryl Shelly

The Hobbyist

KIRKUS REVIEW

The fictional account of a self-confessed sexaholic reviewing the path that led to his addiction.

After attending a meeting of Sex Addicts Anonymous, young Dash reflects upon his extensive sexual history. At 15, a coming-of-age visit to a brothel, underwritten by friend Troy’s military father, introduced both teenagers to the pleasures of the flesh. Now, in his ongoing quest for female companionship, Dash is often accompanied by impulsive, devil-may-care buddy Ted, who introduces Dash to AAMP (Asian Massage Parlors), where a request for ‘full service’ gets you more than a deep-tissue rubdown. After Ted makes a hasty exit, Dash falls in with redheaded Fergus, a colorful Irishman with a ravenous libido and money to burn. As Dash beds hundreds of women, he must decide whether to limit his palate to one-night stands or open himself to love and intimacy. For Dash and compatriots, a “hobbyist”—someone keen on prostitutes—is but one of a host of insider terms, many of which are code for ladies of the evening and “the act,” in all its variations. Although Dash, who’s funny as hell and generous to a fault, usually pays for sex, he makes an earnest effort to please his partner, even if she doesn’t excel at her job. As a narrator, Dash isn’t preachy, and mercifully, his story is more confession than cautionary tale. Dialogue is sharp and the narrative witty, although at times the pacing lags. A caveat for the easily offended: Although Dash isn’t misogynistic, some of his acquaintances may be construed as such; e.g., good-time Ted refers to the services of an Asian beauty as “Bang-Bang Chicken.” The book has no profound theme, no impressive story arc, no big takeaway; yet the ending is surprisingly touching. Adult females may delight in discovering what certain men really think and feel about women, in and out of bed.

An honest, often hilarious and occasionally sluggish tale of a man who loves sex too much.

Pub Date: March 13th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0615746524
Page count: 298pp
Publisher: Bexley Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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