By: Gabe Rotter
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: August 8, 2010
Crazy Eddie and “Doc,” Bobby Flopkowski, former pediatrician and total screw up, were going to pummel Manny Pedí for burning Doc’s stuff. Well, maybe “Coastal Eddie” was threatening, but not Doc because he was the type who wouldn’t hurt so much as a tsetse fly getting ready to suck his blood. Besides, no self respecting Santa Monica vagrants would chance ending up on the wrong side of the law. Heck, they had it good and with the leftovers restaurants tossed them in exchange for keeping away the real bums they had it made. Cecilia from Café Emily even gave Doc a free breakfast because after all, he was “just a normal guy with no home.”
Doc really was a doctor once upon a time living a real fairy tale existence. Most people referred to him as “Dr. Bobby.” He’d met his future wife Ava when she was hanging out with her “big, ugly, drunken, boyfriend.” Well, as soon as he puked on the floor Doc knew he was in like Flynn and four years later they were married. Of course she was drop dead gorgeous (aren’t all doctors’ wives supposed to look that way?). And it wasn’t long before baby Jack Benjamin Flopkowski came onto the scene. His best pal, Richard Sapp, a rich Bel-Air kid, and Dr. Tobias Stenzler were going into private practice.
Dr. Floppy, as Dicky often referred to him, later thought to himself, “Yes, life was that good. That is, of course, until it was really bad.” It all started with a seemingly innocuous email. Katie Turner, his first love, somehow found him after twenty years. By that time he’d been with Ava for seven years and Jack was a toddler. Katie called him “Bobbo,” but his real name should have been “Boob.” First there was that lunch, then there was his fortieth birthday party where he got sooooo hammered he invited her to crash at their house. Oh, the life...the two loves of his life all under one roof, but then something started to hit the fan and it wasn’t shrimp.
Ava made it perfectly “clear that until Katie was gone, [their] marriage was on hold.” But when Bobbo snatched a little kiss from Katie that wasn’t the only thing that was going, going, GONE. Someone had stolen Jack. Eleven days later was September 11th, 2001 and no one cared one whit about Bobbo and his missing toddler. It wasn’t long before Ava couldn’t stand the sight of him “because every time she did, she saw the man who lost her child.” How could something as small as opening an email destroy his life? Where had all this evil come from? Even the LA Times would soon be talking about Floppy Flopkowski: “More Troubles for Tragic Doc.” How could anything get worse than losing your kid?
This mesmerizing book has such a breathtakingly, inconceivable plot that it somehow becomes startlingly plausible. Gabe Rotter has a unique type of writing style that draws the reader in so completely you actually feel as if you were part of the plot. It was as if I knew Floppy Flopkowski intimately and I was genuinely anxious to find out just how utterly miserable the man could actually become before he hit rock bottom, all the while hoping someone would step in and rescue the poor soul. It was as if his entire life was set up expressly as an example for the “falling domino” principle. This book is astonishingly freaky, fun, and will make you feel like you’re in the do-do-do-do Twilight Zone. Don’t even consider buying this book if you can’t stand being blown away because that’s exactly what’s going to happen to you!
Quill says: If you want an absolutely mesmerizing, crazy, fantastical, gotta race to the end book, this is the one you’re going to have to put on your do-do-do-do not forget to buy list!