Last night I finished reading a recent acquisition: Red Dennis by author Eric Shapiro. I read the book over the course of a week, not because I needed to, but because I tend to read for a half hour or more each night before falling to sleep.
I really didn’t want to put the book down; however, reading it little by little made me feel as if I were more a part of the story. Living it, you might say. And what living there was.
A few days into the book, I became as paranoid as Red Dennis, himself. The book seemed to be put into my hands by higher powers, watchful powers, powers that know me, better than I know myself. My God, I felt too close to Dennis Fordham, a.k.a. Red Dennis.
Right from the beginning, Mr. Shapiro had my attention. I don’t recollect reading another book with such overtones of “sexual pleasuring”. Red Dennis definitely needed an outlet. As sometimes happens in life, when one thing after another seems to go wrong, when the proverbial shit hits the fan, when you feel so cornered that you become desperate, the mind begins to race in the wrong direction.
To top off my personal experience, much like Red Dennis, I’d been having reactions to anxiety and stress that had left me with considerable skin itching for several weeks. As I read the book, Red Dennis was itching, I was itching, he was popping Benedryl, I was popping Benydryl and anti-stress meds. He was waking up in the middle of the night, as was I. Unable to sleep without further product consumption.
I began to bond with Red Dennis. The politics and social drama of life having beaten me down over the past year. Underneath it all was a fellow who wanted to succeed, to be admired, to be reflected upon as a guy who seized life by the balls, but was pushed to the point of insanity. We are surrounded by those people every day. Sometimes “those people” are merely the one we see in the mirror each morning. If you think the inner workings of Red Dennis’s brain were sick and evil, just reflect upon the last time you stood in line at the grocery surrounded by fools refusing to wear their COVID-19 mask, or worse yet, purposefully wearing it the wrong way, in defiance. Or maybe it was the complete lack of social distancing, mask wearing, and sarcastic humor while you quietly and patiently waited in line to vote, mask on, six feet from the person in front of you. Snap! The challenge for everyone who finds themselves in the dark abyss is being to swim out of the rip tide and make it back to shore before being swept under permanently.
Red Dennis is timely. It pushes your buttons as it takes you to the edge and back. Truths are revealed in a tale that will hopefully help you scratch your own itch, before it is too late. I hope you, too, will enjoy this sick and psychotic fictional work of twists & ironies.