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A book by Barbara Dinerman

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A novel about office politics in the seventies and the itch of genital herpes

  • May 3, 2010
It is the seventies and a professional woman (Joan Halprin) is looking for a man and engaging in promiscuous behavior in carrying out her search. Hardly a new idea for a plot for a book, in this case the "H" title is for the herpes virus that she carries. Therefore, Joan spends a lot of time thinking about the (nonsexual) itch in her crotch when she is suffering from an outbreak.
Joan spent her youth in New York and other cities experiencing the sexual attentions of many males and she has moved to Fort Lauderdale in Florida and is now serious about pursuing a career as a copyeditor in an advertising agency. It is a firm that is small in size and numbers but big in the amount of color packed into the few people. The owner is an overweight man that still needs a mother and her other co-workers are everything from a gay man to a woman with large breasts that feels that they are wasted on her husband. She is always complaining that she comes home and finds him passed out next to an empty carton of Rocky Road ice cream.
There is some talent in the agency, but it always seems to be misdirected as the characters never seem focused on actually working together to complete a task. While the specific details may not be common, the overall style of the office politics will be familiar to most people that have worked in a small organization. The story ends with an odd twist that finds Joan performing some unusual mommy/nurse-like aid to her boss that does not work all that well.
This book reads a lot like a memoir, which is what makes it believable, it is easy to mentally put yourself in a position where you can visualize the action. While there are some amusing points, I found them to be rare, this book is too much like a verbose diary to be significantly humorous. Nevertheless, I do recommend it as it is very well written so that it flows smoothly from scene to scene. It is also a bit of a love story.

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More H: A Novel reviews
review by . April 27, 2010
Dinerman, Barbara. "H: A Novel", iUniverse, 2007.    A Novel about....Genital Herpes    Amos Lassen    It has often been said that there is a book about everything on the market but who "wulda thunk" that there would be a novel about herpes. Barbara Dinerman gives us quite an irreverent book about herpes, office politics and a woman's search for identity. The novel is set in Fort Lauderdale and Joan Halprin, a single 30 year old discovers …
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Charles Ashbacher ()
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Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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About this book


After being infected with herpes, Joan Halprin, a single woman in her mid-thirties, feels untouchable. She spent her youth enjoying worldly experiences in New York and other cities, but now it’s time to start a serious career as a copywriter for a Fort Lauderdale advertising agency. Despite feeling like a pariah in her personal life, Joan is anxious to prove herself professionally.

Fort Lauderdale in the 1980s is experiencing a real estate boom. Joan’s parents have moved from Boston to a retirement community in the area, and her brother and his thrifty wife have settled nearby. But even with the presence of her family, Joan feels isolated with her “H” problem, despite knowing that one in four women, and one in five men, are similarly afflicted.

Her irascible, rotund new boss certainly isn’t helping her regain her self-esteem. But with her irrepressible humor, Joan concocts an extraordinary solution to most of what ails her. Will this creative project work?

“H”: A Novel is an amusing and original tale of office politics, sex, and one woman’s search for her true identity.

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ISBN-10: 059540930X
ISBN-13: 978-0595409303
Author: Barbara Dinerman
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.

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