Last Tango in Brooklyn

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4.00 · 1 ratings · Published: Jul 1st, 1994 {{ book.ratingTitle }}

In this, his most satisfying novel so far, Kirk Douglas exhibits the brilliant versatility that he has showcased so vividly in his many decades as an actor. Here he tells the story of two ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances - circumstances that wait right around the corner for each one of us. Ellen, a small-town girl from upstate New York, is trying to make it as a modern woman in the big city. She is doing well in her career as the librarian of a large Brooklyn hospital, but her personal life is a mess. Her boyfriend, Richard, a world-renowned heart transplant specialist, is unfaithful. Her roommate has moved out leaving her with a mountain of unpaid bills. She is broke. Then she meets Ben at a screening of Last Tango in Paris. Ben, a fitness instructor, is twice her age, but he is a vigorous man able to challenge and out-perform men young enough to be his sons. A recent widower, Ben is frantically scrambling to find a temporary place to live, because his house in Flatbush has sold much faster than he expected. Ellen rents Ben a room, but what begins as friendly business relationship slowly turns into something more. Ben feels a surge of vitality in which passion knows no age and no limits. Ellen, full of life spirit, and mischief, seems his perfect match. Yet Ellen and Ben's startling and consuming affair faces a gulf even wider than the gap that separates May and December. Ellen's best friend is appalled, Ben's daughter, a psychologist, condemns their relationship as a Freudian nightmare. A terrible accident and then a mysterious death - which could be murder - threaten to doom their love. Soon, life's expectations shatter on the rocks of the unexpected. Roleschange in astonishing ways. Yet, ultimately, Ellen and Ben's love will prove stronger than reason - in a powerful finale than will haunt the reader long after he or she has closed the book.

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