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Footsucker Paperback – Nov 1 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Press (Nov. 1 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087951793X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879517939
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.6 x 22.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A narrator whose outre sexual habits are as meticulously chronicled as an episode in Kraft-Ebbing's Pyschopathia Sexualis proves to be both a richly mined satirical vein and a hindrance in this ingenious, offbeat romantic fable from Nicholson (Still Life with Volkswagons), a British novelist whose U.S. reputation is on the rise. The unnamed hero is a foot fetishist, albeit a decidedly likable, well-groomed type, given to standing on London streets and posing as a fashion-industry PR consultant to ask women intimate questions about their feet. When Catherine, a statuesque, American sexual adventuress wearing "spike-heeled, zebra-skin shoes," invites him home for a night of wild, fetishistic sex, he thinks his prayers have been answered. Her feet are "a wonder of nature" and they happen to fit, Cinderella-like, a pair of especially exotic shoes the narrator spies one day in a shop window belonging to Harold Wilmer, a morose artisan of baroque footware who agrees to make a series of special shoes for Catherine and the narrator to incorporate into their sex life. Interspersed throughout are large doses of foot trivia and digressive accounts of the narrator's obsessions, from stealing women's shoes to compiling an enormous archive of scrapbooks, videos and some particularly outrageous FM's ("fuck-me shoes"). But just when the novel threatens to become little more than an archive unto itself, things turn around. Catherine gets cold feet and dumps the narrator, who learns that she is involved with a suspicious photographer named Kramer, who appears to be kinkier even than he is. When Kramer is mysteriously murdered and Catherine disappears, a particulary sinister police detective enters his life and confiscates his archive. It's not Nicholson's most ambitious book, but those who aren't too grossed out will enjoy this fiendish satire of a culture obsessed with sex, power and kinky apparel. First serial to Grand Street.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

Wildly prolific British satirist Nicholson (Still Life With Volkswagens, 1995, etc.) offers another black comedy of obsession, this time from the viewpoint of a foot fetishist. Right from the start Nicholson's unnamed narrator tells all about his swift descent ``to hell in a shoe box,'' giving the reader an obsessive's-eyeview of every nuance of foot- and shoe- fetishism. The otherwise unremarkable hero has given up on love but never tires of searching for the perfect foot. He has a giant archive of women's shoes, photos of shoes, photos of feet, articles on foot fetishism, anything and everything to do with female feet, and he proudly lays bare his soul to the ladies whose soles he desires. Fraudulently passing himself off as a researcher, he stands outside shoestores asking women to take part in a survey, which eventually leads to him photographing, then propositioning, women with attractive feet. One day the perfect feet do appear, attached to an attractive American named Catherine, who actually loves to have her feet worshipped. The happy couple stumble upon a man who creates specialty shoes for serious shoe lovers. Seeing Catherine's Michelangelo-like feet, the shoemaker, too, is overcome with their beauty and offers, for free, to make shoes for her for the rest of her life. These elaborate creations generally include snakeskin, bone, metal, and all sorts of other intimidating materials. Eventually, however, Catherine gets cold feet (pardon the pun) about the escalatingly strange relationship and runs off with a commercial foot-photographer, angering both narrator and shoemaker to a murderous degree. While the plot is threadbare and the book slight, Nicholson once again demonstrates his biting wit and his unmatched eye for capturing modern-day compulsions. A darkly funny tale with a kick even for the most foot-phobic. (First serial to Grand Street) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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By T. Boggs on Sept. 19 2003
Format: Paperback
As with every good book, from the moment we begin reading Footsucker, we are drawn into a completely unique world, in this case, the world of the foot and shoe fetishist. And Geoff Nicholson's prose is so addictively readable that I simply could not put the book down until I was finished. When I was done, though, I was left with the feeling of wanting more, both in the good and the bad sense. The character of Catherine, the woman with the perfect feet with whom the protagonist falls in love, was left mysteriously vague, perhaps on purpose, but I wished there had been more depth to her. And in retrospect, the plot of the book itself seemed but a flimsy device upon which to hang the protagonist's consuming obsessions. Still, these drawbacks were more than compensated by the fascinating character of the protagonist himself, and by the author's lovingly detailed portrayal of the mind of this particular foot and shoe fetishist. And even if you don't share the protagonist's obsessions, you will find reading Footsucker a very erotic experience, though it would be doing a disservice to the novel to label it an erotic book. For, among other things, this book is a study of fetishism in its broadest sense: we are all fetishists by nature, and all of our actions are predicated upon the particular fetishes to which we are subject.
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Format: Hardcover
I finished this book after many trips to the library on my lunch break because I was too embarrassed to check it out and have people I know see me with it. Despite a lot of lip service that the protaganist pays to being a "foot and shoe fetishist" and not being interested in the shoes without the feet, his actions make it clear that it is the shoes that are the focus of his admiration, and the feet are not much more than a means to display the shoes he finds so compelling. I mean, he has an entire collection of shoes, he steals shoes from women who leave them in public.
What plot there is in the book is flat, very poorly developed, and all too conveniently wrapped up. While there is much exploration of the main character and his interests and motiviations, there is little or no depth to any of the other characters in the book, especially Catherine, whose feet the protaganist is smitten with. However, that may be intentional by the author because it is her feet, and nothing else about her that so transfixes the protagonist (I don't think I ever caught his name). Also, there is a lot of historical garbage about feet and fetishes that is superfluous, and often simply disgusting. There is a very small twist at the end that I thought was fairly interesting, but it didn't make up for the near complete lack of any attention to plot development.
All in all, if you have a shoe fetish, you'll probably find this book very compelling just because of the fetish aspect. If you have a foot fetish, you'll probably find it interesting for the same reason, although it's probably not exactly what you might expect. For anyone else, you'll probably just think the whole thing is strange.
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By A Customer on July 18 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is quite a delightful little book. Despite what some of the reviews might say, it's very humerous in a generally light and almost chirpy sort of way. The hero remains likeable and upbeat despite whatever pervy behavior he might be describing and his great lady friend is, despite some initially sinister intimations quite the sanest and most reasonable person in the book. The author, Mr. Nicholson, has obviously done his research on the subject and provides such a detailed account of the vagaries of foot love that one begins to wonder about his own proclivities. The only problem I have with the book is that Catherine is a little flat and underwritten.
I have heard that the book has been optioned for a film but, seeing no reference to it on the IMDb, I wonder how true that is. I could quite well see a film of this being made which, if cleverly cut, could easily pass for an R if not an NC-17 rating. It would be something like Crash, but a whole lot funnier and more fun. Biggest problem, though, would be the casting. Ralph Fiennes and Catherine Keener would be great, but I doubt they'd be caught dead peforming any of the books various, um, activities on film.
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By "jsss8" on May 4 2004
Format: Paperback
I was interested in reading this book because I have always found the female foot to be the most sexually appealing part of the body. Now I am not sure if I an a "fetishist" or a "partialist". That discussion is beyond the scope of this review. From someone who does like women's feet, I was very disappointed. From a literary standpoint, I felt the book had a very weak plot and the characters were disappointing. It was not great writing by any means and it left me bored. From a personal standpoint, I was disappointed in the main character. I like feet but I am no where near that perverted. Stealing women's shoes and sneaking around taking pictures is....disturbing. Very stereotypical character. It is akin to using a black man named Rastus in an Afro-American novel. Kind of insulting to black people. In the same vein, the main character in this book is insulting to me.
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Format: Paperback
Definitely a book to read with one hand! For anyone remotely curious or strongly aroused by foot fetishism, this is fascinating, deeply insightful, new age adult novel about a fetishist and the worship of his mistress' feet. The character Catherine is every foot fetishist's dream date. The author writes well and tells a doubly dark and erotic tale. From what I've heard on the street, FOOTSUCKER is soon to become a major motion picture. let's hope the film is as arousing as the novel.
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