7.15.2012

Review: Pale Male and the Infertile Girl, by Clark Casey

Pale Male and the Infertile Girl
by Clark Casey
No Dead Trees Press (e-book)
Some Dead Trees Press (paperback)
August 2011
Pale Male and the Infertile Girl by Clark Casey (2011, Some Dead Trees Press) is an unusual little novella that examines the opposing parallel constructs of nature vs. human nature. The story revolves around Scott, an average middle-class guy working in the financial district, and his sexually uninhibited live-in girlfriend with whom he lives in the absurdly large penthouse apartment she's inherited on Fifth Avenue.

After they decide that they want to try for kids, it's discovered that they cannot conceive; their misery is compounded by the presence of the now-famous Pale Male, a red-tailed hawk who has, in real life, made New York City his home, nesting and breeding on the ledge above their apartment. Pale Male's rotation of mates is both exemplary and cautionary for the couple who seem to cling to one another despite the circumstances.

Uniquely New York, Pale Male and the Infertile Girl is not vibrant or edgy, despite its weird allusions to sex. These people seem to live in extremes, either insanely depressed or insanely happy, either content or haunted. No one is very likeable, not even the hawk, but that's part of what gives this book its status as a true New Yorker--it's brutally frank, excessively proud and, in its forty-nine pages, seeks neither approval nor criticism, as it has no room for anyone else's BS.

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