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Synopsis

Lorenzostein is the story of a young academic who is a bit different from the most of us in that he has an overwhelming fixation on sex and is quite paranoid. Furthermore, in the course of the story he comes to feel that he is a Christ-like figure who has come to save humanity.

The story begins with Lorenzostein’s early life, his relationship with his wife, and his paranoid feelings about his wife’s fidelity. It then introduces us to his young undergraduate mistress and his incredible preoccupation with sex with her and with other members of the female sex, and his psychiatrist’s take on his somewhat unusual thoughts and behaviour. The story then moves on to discuss Lorenzostein’s experiences in his academic department in a middle-level state university in the United States during the 1970s and 80s. Although Lorenzostein is clearly bonkers the cast of characters in his department and university are even more bent out of shape, and the reader is left wondering who actually is sane and who is depraved. Other mistresses appear and his originally-sympathetic and rather placid psychiatrist turns against him. In the final chapters Lorenzostein goes into a steep decline as his academic enemies marginalize him and he becomes increasingly convinced that he is a latter-day saviour.

Besides being a humorous story with an interesting cast of characters, Lorenzostein provides some insights into life in academia in the U.S. during this period of time particularly with respect to academic cliques or gangs, the hypocrisy of sexual politics, the rise of feminism and the tyranny of political correctness.

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