"Cleave to your freedom, then, for freedom, though easily lost, is hard won."

Marty Frey is a middle-aged community college English professor who hated school while he was in it and now despises female academics and left-wing ideology. Of course, female colleagues dominate his English department, providing plentiful opportunities for him to mock contemporary feminist thought and openly ridicule their physical appearances and perceived gender-specific intellectual shortcomings. Marty's attitude keeps him contentedly single—free to immerse himself in world literature full of the ideas of the white male thinkers he adores, such as Marx, Darwin, and Hegel. Or maybe his avid study of their writings simply keeps his loneliness in check.

Rebellious, superficial, uneducated women half his age appeal more to Marty. The latest bombshell to fit the bill is English department secretary Kayla Blaze. Just seventeen, she's graduated early from high school but has no plans to put her considerable smarts to use in college. The flawlessly gorgeous ex-model already has enough experience with men to regard them warily. Even so, she has an adolescent's desire for sex, alcohol, and a good time. Marty, amazed that Kayla notices him at all, is happy to supply the first two pleasures to fuel their affair.

Marty soon realizes he and Kayla have too little in common to sustain a long-term relationship. Their affair also changes the relationships between Marty and the other English professors. Then Marty discovers that he and Kayla constitute only one among several scandals that beset community colleges throughout the district. When the career of a math professor with unpopular opinions is jeopardized, Marty decides to defend him and then quit teaching. Unfortunately, he never imagined that the impressionable young heart beneath Kayla's brassy façade beats for him alone.

Marty's occasionally hilarious reactionary sexism would perhaps resonate with a reader of any gender identity who does not find blistering chauvinism offensive. Feminists may well smart beneath Marty Frey's objectification of Kayla Blaze. However, those who share Marty's staunch opinions are likely to join him in ridiculing cultural sensitivity. Those who oppose his views will likely read this book as a cautionary tale of the dangers of intolerance and resistance to social change. Marty's snide references to one female colleague's obesity and another's supposedly premenstrual syndrome-driven email message exemplify how he thumbs his nose at contemporary notions of a woman's attractiveness and abilities to reason and defend her viewpoint.

Rebellion's varied nature appears as a theme. Kayla is an angry teenager who rebels for the sake of rebelling. Her attraction to Marty is initially based on her perception that he physically resembles the maverick protagonist of her favorite television show. Kayla's drinking and promiscuity reflect the searching angst of twenty-first-century youth as she seeks to compensate for her father's emotional absenteeism and her mother's ineptitude as a parent. Marty's rebellion, by contrast, arises from midlife ennui, becoming more focused as he champions his persecuted colleague's cause. After he loses contact with Kayla, she eventually settles down to the life of a homemaker. Meanwhile, his rebellion persists as he adopts the itinerant lifestyle of a long-haul trucker.

The author, a self-proclaimed "menace to politically correct society," lives and has set the novel in the Southwest, which he describes in romantic scenes that occur outdoors. He frequently mentions Das Kapital by Marx and Darwin's The Origin of Species as the foundations for many of Marty's opinions. Readers unfamiliar with these works may wish to consult them for context. In the book's appendix, Gooding cites the inspiration for each chapter's title, which might lead his audience to rediscover classic rock songs or get acquainted with iconic poets.

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