ABBREVIATING ERNIE by Peter Lefcourt

ABBREVIATING ERNIE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Movie/TV writer and novelist Lefcourt (Di and I, 1994, etc.) hits new lows with this sporadically comic tale of a cross-dressing Schenectady, New York, urologist who dies with his pantyhose down. A real groaner ripped straight from yesterday's headlines. Blond, vacuous Audrey Haas leads an apparently idyllic life in the suburbs as the wife of a doctor, free of the responsibilities of kids and job. In fact, things would be perfect if only husband Ernie didn't enjoy dressing in her clothes and having sex in ""inappropriate"" places while wearing her pantyhose. Oh, well--Audrey puts up with his games if for no other reason than that he enjoys them so much, and so finds herself chained to her stove one spring afternoon, watching TV while her high-heeled husband penetrates her from behind. This time, though, something goes wrong: Ernie has a heart attack and dies during the sex act, pinning his wife beneath him. Oh, dear, what to do? Practical Audrey hits on the idea of severing Ernie's member with her electric carving knife, thus allowing him to slide off her and down to the floor. Just as she does so, a solitary, deaf-mute Indian breaks into the house, and after robbing it leaves some food for Audrey and anonymously faxes the local police to come give her a hand. From the moment Audrey is rescued and her husband found penis-less, the predictable feeding frenzy begins, as ambitious reporters, feminist attorneys, pressured prosecutors, and world-weary detectives struggle to manipulate Dr. Ernie Haas's gruesome murder to serve their own selfish ends. Broad humor, very easy targets, and a virtually brain-dead heroine make for mediocre social satire, but Lefcourt is good for a cheap laugh now and then.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Villard