A novella about a lustful, wayward young man who finds a cursed rabbit’s foot.
Aeron McCloud is a charismatic orphan who’s looking forward to his upcoming 17th birthday party. His girlfriend, Jade, is the new girl at school who draws the attention of every man she passes. Bucky, Aeron’s best friend, is a nerdy, levelheaded boy who balances out Aeron’s brash machismo. One day, while preparing to go hunting with Bucky, Aeron finds a dirty, old rabbit’s foot that belonged to his grandfather. The foot proves to be a peculiar version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ring of power; Aeron obsessively carries it with him, and everyone who sees it is drawn to it. He soon realizes that the foot grants his wishes, brings him good luck, and gives him an unrelenting virility. Every woman Aeron encounters is inexorably attracted to the rabbit’s foot that he carries in his pocket, including Jade, who won’t sleep with him, despite his pleas. But as he begins to rely on the foot’s power too heavily, he realizes that it exerts a profound influence over him, and that he may be involved in something more dangerous than he first supposed. The novel gradually evolves into a warning against Aeron’s lecherous impulses. McHargue (Hunt for Red Meat: Love Stories, 2017, etc.) returns with an unusual tale of adolescent hormones run amok. At less than 100 pages, the book moves briskly, packed with plot and limited to a small cast of characters. The author writes from a second-person perspective (“It’s not your fault you were born with good looks on a bad day”)—a bold choice that makes the narrative more engaging, but one that may alienate some readers. Aeron is a supremely unlikable character (by design), and it’s rarely enjoyable to experience the story from his perspective, especially as he spends most of it in a state of arousal, cooking up immature sexual fantasies. Still, readers who enjoy tales that blend the spooky and the scandalous may find something worthwhile in this quick, easy novel.
A fast-paced tale with creepy and slightly sleazy elements.