"Where do animal souls go when they die? Do animals even have souls? Kierkegaard suggests not," Jeffrey Rawlings notes. "Something to bear in mind while kissing your hound."
An assistant at an urban veterinary clinic, Jeffrey Rawlings has decided to take a break from graduate studies and instead pulls nightshift at the animal hospital while studying the modern philosophers - "from Kierkegaard to Marx" - to no avail: wounded animals hound his existence. Jeffrey’s hypochondriac mother may be dying of ovarian cancer, his money-hungry sister needs bucks for her 40-year-old husband’s braces, and a heroin-hooked runaway is set on his seduction. Meanwhile, the neighborhood transvestite swears he is Billie Holiday raised from the dead. But the worst comes when his perpetually indiscrete Uncle Raymond winds up getting shot. Soon enough, Jeffrey learns, it’s not just the animals that need a cure.
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Virginal Stephen Patterson is suffering from writers block on his latest money-spinning bodice-ripper, and his mood can only get worse when Dave the plumber shows up two hours late, mocks him, and plunders his pantry.
But first impressions can be deceptive; Dave is a highly unusual tradesman with an odd line in biscuit-based philosophy, an open-minded approach to sex, and a cast-iron certificate in unblocking all sorts of pipes.
When Dave decides that it’s long past time for Stephen to unclog years of fear and insecurity, Stephen may finally discover who he really is.
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