Porn star Ginger Lynn sat next to me on a plane once. I knew it was her because her sateen jacket said so, not because I recognized her. Truth is, in her videos she looked like any other blonde porn star (I looked her up) and on the plane she looked pretty beat.
So when my friend, Kathleen O’Donnell told me her novel, The Last Day for Rob Rhino, was inspired by being seated on an airplane near famous porn star Ron Jeremy, I thought, “Damn! I could’ve written a novel!”
Actually, I couldn’t have, because I’m just not imaginative enough. But O’Donnell is, and her quirky book — a real page-turner–is a tribute to both her imagination and her skill.
I sneaked a peek while I finished another book and I practically sped through the first book so I could devour this one. It’s a slim volume, but the plot’s twists and turns were so riveting that I read the entire book in one (longish) sitting. I loved it. O’Donnell has an ear for dialogue and that’s what moved the plot along smartly.
The characters were endearing and the entire premise so unusual and unique I don’t want to say much more about it other than BUY THIS BOOK! Whether you want something to take on a plane trip (who knows, you might meet a porn star, like we did!) or on vacation, this is the book. Here are a few tantalizing hints:
Rob Rhino is a character loosely based on Jeremy, who is famous for the size of his manhood. So I asked her about her encounter with him.
“As fate would have it, he sat next to my husband on the plane!,” she said. “My brain went willy nilly and I started writing the book on the plane.”
Because I’m a memoirist, I admire the way fiction writers seem to come up with ideas out of thin air. I asked her about that.
“Writing, for me, is always like driving in the dark with no headlights,” she said. “I never know where it’s going. I had an idea about how the plot would go but it went totally different than I’d thought. I never outline, I don’t make notes, I just write. Wherever the characters take me is where I go.”
And who wouldn’t wonder about her depiction of Rob Rhino?
“I didn’t intend to like Rob,” she said. “But, as soon as he hit the page I loved him. I realized at the end that I was really writing about my father. Rob treated Claire like I always wanted my father to treat me. He really loved her and took good care of her. And, my dad was dying while I wrote so it kind of came through in my writing. I got out a lot of angst.”
Did she ever think she’d write a book whose main character was a porn professional?
“I didn’t really think about writing about a porn star. I just saw one at the right place at the right time.”
But that’s not the only character whose inspiration came from real life. Claire, the other main character, is completely bald. O’Donnell, too, had a temporary bout with stress-related alopecia. Like I said, a quirky book.
I rarely fall in love with a character, but I fell in love with Rob Rhino (although I couldn’t stop picturing him as Ron Jeremy) and grew to love Claire, as well. In fact, I raved so much my husband is now reading it. So, I give this a 5-star recommendation and hope you’ll buy the book and then share your thoughts, too!
The Last Day for Rob Rhino by Kathleen O’Donnell can be found at all the usual places. Great summer read. Great read, period. A good book. But not THE Good Book, of course!