eautiful Catherine Harlow has a knot of suitors: her elderly, courtly, blueblood multi-millionaire boss, a self-questioning, principled Britisher... and Homer Zudd, the bitter, bizarre janitor who knows Foote's secrets, living in the basement of Foote's Manhattan financial headquarters.
In 1980s New York, the collision of a barge with an oil tanker triggers a threat to the city's environment and
to its social structure, even while Catherine and her suitors play out their strange dynamic of power, sex,
money — and immortality.
Welcome to The Foote Building. At the top, Harrison Foote, III's penthouse of sophisticated seduction; in
the basement, Homer Zudd's world of sadomasochistic passions; and on the floors between,
Tom, the decent, reasonable Brit — and Catherine, the woman all of them want.
Tom desperately wants to make sense of his life and to normalize it — but not if it means losing Catherine.
Foote wants to live on and on with all his cultural and financial assets, one of which is Catherine.
And in the basement, driven by her to a sexual frenzy up to but never out of the grip of his own demonic self-control,
the sinister Zudd needs Catherine for his plan to defy Nature, defeat Death and create an uber-race.
And Catherine? On the surface a fairly normal, bright, young and ambitious executive, sexual frustration
has made her willing to break every social and sexual norm in her search for release.
A product of her time and place, Catherine Harlow, for all her genuineness and in spite (or because) of her generous nature,
is a modern tragic heroine: culturally deprived, materialistic, sex-obsessed, a moral prostitute indignantly
resistant to any form of self-discipline and restraint.
That search pulls Catherine and her suitors into a climax as surprising as it is thought- provoking.
The violence and absurdity of a pre-Giuliani New York City that fears its imminent demise by catastrophic fire and smoke... the tension between one man who has it all and does
not want to give it up, and another who believes he holds the fate of the human race in his calloused hands... and the intense look deep down the well of the relationship
between men and women —and why this one woman can be so strongly attracted to such men —all come together in this unusual, sometimes dark, sometimes comic, always insightful and provocative novel.
Caution: The erotic moments are a little wild.