Listening Length: 5 hours and 10 minutes.
Alexander Popescu is a university lecturer in a quiet German town. He's a respectable man in his thirties who stays fit, has a decent career, and travels alone - his only vice is an occasional greasy meal. And beer. And violent computer games. Nobody has to know about the other Alex - the acclaimed porn writer. His ingenious erotic fantasies earn him good money and keep his capricious mind harmlessly entertained.
When his young friend and protégé Christian transfers to Freiburg for medical school, Alex is overjoyed...and terrified that Christian will find out about Alex's indecent alter ego. The time they spend together, as lovely as it is, could overturn Alex's carefully balanced life. Suddenly, the writing is not good enough, his hair seems to be thinning, his careful hookups leave him unfulfilled, and his dreams are haunted by the innocent young man he's vowed to protect.
However, Christian is not a boy anymore. He's a grown man of 21, clever, and deadly attractive. And he's hiding some secrets of his own.
First let me just say a lot of my friends really, really liked this one...I mean 4 and 5 stars worth, and while I wouldn't call 3.5 stars bad by any means, I have to admit I was sure this was going to work better for me than what it did.
But let's start with some good stuff...Roe Horvat's writing...it draws me in. Whether I'm listening to an audio book or reading an e-book. There's a flow to things that just makes me want to keep going...keep reading or listening...find out what happens next...while this is by no means an excessively long story at 5 hours and 10 minutes listening to a story in one sitting can present challenges, but what can I say...challenge accepted because listen to this in one sitting is exactly what I did.
Like so many others the beginning of the story worked for me. It wasn't until Alex got on the 'I'm to old, you're to young' merry-go-round that I started to get a little antsy. I got where he was coming from truly I did and especially when you throw in the fact that he's a university lecturer as well...let's face it like it or not sometimes it is about how things appear...how they're perceived and if a person is in a position of authority when it comes to young people it's something that they need to be especially cognizant of, but with Alex it became a case of 'Seriously? Who are you really trying to convince here because I don't think it's me.' and truthfully I think if truth be told Alex would agree with me on that point as well. The only person Alex was trying to convince when it came to the age gap was Alex.
I was also a fan of Christian. He very much seemed to be an old soul in a young man's body. Christian was sweet and he had an innocence about him but he never struck me as being naive or gullible and he often seemed to know what he wanted much to the chagrin of those around him who felt that he was too young and innocent to know his own mind...yes, I'm looking at Alex and Christian's momma right now.
While Alex may be the older one in this pairing, it's Christian who has the confidence and maturity to know what he wants and go after it. I liked that in the end it was Alex who had to examine his actions and take the first step towards reconciliation. That he had to figure out how to fix things between himself and Christian and how to make things work going forward. While it's often the younger person in an age gap story who has to grow the most in terms of maturing that's not always the case in the real world, so once in awhile it's a nice change to get a story where the old dog has to learn a few new tricks.
Vance Bastian is once again the narrator for this Roe Horvat story and once again for me, he has captured the voices of these characters perfectly. Christian's voice while that of a young man still conveys the calm and steady demeanor that we are told he has and Alex, while a bit older is the more emotional of the pairing but not to excess...in other words there are no drama queens here.
In hindsight I have to admit I'm already wondering if this isn't going to be one of those audio books that will sneak up on me and I'll find that after listening to it a couple more times and picked up some of the nuances of the story that I've maybe missed the first time around...well, I have to wonder if I won't also find that I like it a whole lot more than I did on this first time...I guess time will tell.
*************************An audio book of 'Dirty Mind' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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