Author: Doyle, Michael
Date published: October 1, 2011
Journal code: BKNP
Seven Days in Rio Francis Levy, 146 pgs, Two Dollar Radio, twodollarradio.com, $16
Kenny Cantor is a baby boomer-aged accountant from New York who has come to Rio for a singular purpose: to fuck as many prostitutes as he possibly can during his seven-day stay. The premise of Francis Levy's novel is intriguing enough, particularly since Kenny is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of paid sex and a habitual patient of psychoanalysis, whose tone echoes Woody Allen, albeit on a boatload of Viagra and wandering a city known for its sex life.
But the book almost immediately goes wrong. In a lazy coincidence, Kenny finds himself staying at a hotel host to both a psychoanalysis conference and a seemingly endless swarm of hookers. Of course, there is a captivating female psychoanalyst who Kenny sees both professionally and intimately. This conflict -ridden relationship produces the most interesting elements of the book, but ultimately their relationship, as well as any potentially enlightening themes, go absolutely nowhere.
Instead, we get Kenny carrying on like a teenager and banging everything in sight. For his supposedly deeper understanding of psychoanalysis, he is frustratingly adept at missing the deeper layers of his life. Even this painful naivete could have been explored, but we are forced to follow Kenny's meandering, self-indulgent narration as he searches out the next disappointing lay. In spite of the promise of sex and adventure, Seven Days in Rio is one uneventful vacation. (Michael Doyle)