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Soft Maniacs

Soft Maniacs


From Maggie Estep, heralded author of Diary of an Emotional Idiot, comes this darkly funny collection of inter-connected stories.
Jody Ray, a young psychiatrist, conceals her own nymphomania -- and a penchant for stiletto boots -- behind a conservative navy work suit. After Jody meets Rob and moves into his apartment, life for this nice, normal Jewish boy from Chicago will never be the same. Even without the speed she shoots to get through medical school, Jody's sexual and emotional demands would have pushed poor Rob to the suicide attempt that eventually turns him into one of her patients. Like Rob, the other men she meets cannot help but be caught and destroyed in the vortex she creates. Some flee to the relative safety of Jody's old acquaintance, Katie Murphy. Though a foul-mouthed former sex-phone operator, this lion tamer's daughter has come through life hopeful and intact.
Soft Maniacs traces the interwoven lives of these two women as they struggle to make their way in an erratic world they can't quite get a grasp on. Through sharp, vigorous prose, underlaid with a piercing wit, Maggie Estep leads us on a roller coaster tour of the underbelly of their psyches, surprising and delighting us at every turn. At once frightening and hilarious, heartbreaking and hopeful, Soft Maniacs is an unforgettable exploration of how people find one another in an accelerated world.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476792866 | 
  • June 2014
List Price $15.99
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Horses

When my wife dumped me, I quit my job at the box factory, left Cleveland, and wandered for a few months. I didn't like my wife that much anyway. And I hated Cleveland.

At one point I was traveling with this guy Disco Donny. He had metal plates in his head. I'd met him at a flophouse I stayed in one night. We started hitchhiking together. He was pushing fifty. I don't know why he called himself Disco Donny.

Donny and I would find a day's work here and there, and at the end of the day I'd get drunk. Donny said he couldn't drink, though. It reacted badly with the plates in his head.

One day we were in... see more

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