A wildly funny, brilliantly inventive novel about a man torn
between two obsessions: the desperate need to win back
his former wife and a craving to test his erotic charms on
every woman he meets.
He is 6'6" tall, a cross between Ichabod Crane and Abe
Lincoln. He is a professor of linguistics, bewitched by
language, deluded about his ability to win the hearts of
women with his erudition and physical appeal. He is
Thomas H. Chippering, a.k.a. Tomcat, a masterly addition
to the pantheon of unforgettable characters in American
And in his private dictionary of love, three entries stand out.
Tampa. Just the word makes Tom Chippering's blood
curdle. That's where his ex-wife, the faithless Lorna Sue,
now lives with a suntanned tycoon whose name Chippering
refuses to utter.
Revenge. If Chippering can't get Lorna Sue back, at least
he can wreak havoc with her new marriage. (How about
some strategically placed lingerie in the tycoon's
"ostentatiously upscale Mercedes"?) He also has plans for
Lorna Sue's brother, Herbie, with whom she has always
had an unnaturally close relationship.
Love. His ex-wife may have disapproved, but is Chippering's fondness
for women--especially the nubile coeds who attend his classes--really so
wrong? And now love finds a new form: Mrs. Robert Kooshof, the attractive,
demanding, and, of course, already married woman who may at last satisfy
Chippering's longing for intimacy.
Tim O'Brien--acclaimed for his fiction about the Vietnam War--has now
taken on the battle between the sexes with astonishing results. By turns
hilarious, outrageous, romantic, and deeply moving, Tomcat in Love gives
us a blundering, modern-day Don Juan who embodies the desires and
bewilderments of men everywhere.
The Boston Sunday Globe
Tim O'Brien knows cold the spiraling insularity of obsession. . . . Thomas Chippering . . . is wickedly realized. The agility and intelligence that created this pathos-ridden romantic make one marvel at Tim O'Brien's gifts.
Washington Post David Nicholson Tomcat in Love is a wonderful novel, laugh-out-loud funny, one of the best books
I've come across in years. My advice...is that you waste no more time on this review. Put down the paper. Go out and find a copy of Tomcat in Love. Now.
Although O'Brien is on interesting ground laying out Chippering's childhood crush on Lorna Sue in 1950s Minnesota, the book careens toward an unconvincing portrait of madness that is irritatingly flippant and shrill.
Globe and Mail - Matt Cohen Tomcat in Love is well -- sometimes very well -- written. Its plot is carefully worked out and becomes more compelling as the novel proceeds. The characters are only mildly believable, but how believable were the characters in Lolita, another book about a verbally gifted romantic?....Well-written and almost always amusing, Tomcat in Love is an entertaining book from a terrific writer whose real strengths appear to lie elsewhere.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Carlos Williamson
Pretty well-done. But O'Brien 's story telling sometimes got circulated. Some part was irritating for me.
Rated of 5
Is it just me ... or does he, being Tim O'Brien, seem to know the reader, oh-too-well? Or could it be Timothy Chippering?
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Rated of 5
I think this is an awesome book for anyone to read. Very hilarious and very touching at the same time. This book is truly a summer reading book, where you can just sit back and read. The plot is very good, and not very predictable. This book... Read More
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