Steamy sex is the main ingredient of this confessional novel, Guy's fourth, as it was in his second work, The Man Who Loved Dirty Books (1983). The confessor is 40-year-old Charles Bradford, son of a top-flight Pittsburgh lawyer. (Charles invariably refers to his parents by their nicknames, "The Senator" and "The Duchess.") The Duchess was a cold, distant mother, not the huggy-kissy type, and Charles has been compensating all his life, as a child by overeating and masturbating, as an adult by ravenous lovemaking ("the problem with you is, you're cunt struck," says his sister Helen. Helen is a lesbian, and a shrink). A rift opened between Charles and The Senator when the son (then married to the barely characterized Sara) chose novel-writing over lawyering, only to encounter writer's block; his subsequent rage (and physical demands) forced Sara to leave him. Now Charles is a successful freelance journalist, living in North Carolina, but back on a visit to Pittsburgh; The Senator has had a heart attack, brought on by anxiety over a pending lawsuit alleging conspiracy to defraud a client. On his first day back, Charles is seduced by Andrea, part-owner of a feminist bookstore, and as sexually voracious as himself ("I'm not interested in men. I'm interested in cocks"). What follows is a creakily conventional father-son reconciliation (even as Charles learns of The Senator's professional guilt) bizarrely counterpointed with Charles and Andrea's bouts ("we would fuck like crazy. . .fuck like animals"). When Charles hints at a relationship, Andrea panics and dumps him; the shock (following The Senator's death from a second heart-attack) stirs murderous anger in Charles, but he exercises self-restraint and leaves town. Don't look for the quirkiness of a Jong or the self-mockery of a Roth in this banal, humorless outpouring, which leaves shockingly unresolved the central issues of Charles's deep-seated rage. Guy has reversed the old pattern: he is candid below the waist, evasive above.