Now maybe if it were a heart transplant…

Unpersuasive press release for a thriller touted as “provacative” (sic):

“Dear Mr. Allen,

Valentine’s Day is approaching and many singles are in desperate need of a diversion from the reality of their lack of a plus one on the romantic holiday. Nothing takes your mind off your troubles like devouring a new book that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. To that end, the reviews are pouring in over Gerald Deshayes’ debut novel ‘Gene,’ a story about a paraplegic who undergoes head transplant surgery and his life afterwards.”


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  • Charles Bentley


    The release had me interested up until “devouring a new book,” then totally jumped the tracks when it divulged the plot. Head transplant surgery? I have a feeling either Gerald Deshayes is the nom de plume for Roger Corman or this will prove to be both the debut AND swan song novel for Mr. Deshayes.

    Look for this one coming to your local bargain books table in June!

  • Bob House

    Almost as funny as the head transplant premise are “a plus one” for the other person in a relationship and “the reviews are pouring in” — no indication of whether they’re bad or good, but they’re pouring in.

    Also leads to deep philosophical question: Post-head transplant for Gene, is it really “HIS life afterwards”?

  • Ramona

    So if I’m reading this right — pun intended — we singletons are in such desperate straits that our only hope for Valentine’s Day is reading schlock about a head transplant. Have I captured the gist of it?

    Reviews are pouring in? Send us a couple or three. They’re bound to be more entertaining than the book itself.

    “Provacative”? Not in my book. HA!

    [That’s the kind of stuff we newspaper types find in our in-boxes. Usually it’s not this (unintentionally) comic. — DA]

  • John Bredehoft

    I know that people lose their heads when they fall in love, but I didn’t think the term was intended to be taken literally.

    For the record, I did run across a review of Gerald Deshayes’ book…by Gerald Deshayes. However, the review appears to be blank, which means that even Deshayes didn’t have anything to say about it.

    [Maybe his book speaks for itself. — DA]

  • hugh.c.mcbride


    If you enjoy “Gene,” then I’m sure you’ll be thrilled by the thrilling follow-up, a thriller sure to thrill those whose Arbor Day plans aren’t quite shaping up like they’d hoped.

    What better way to spend this most sacred of vegetation-related holidays than to curl up in the shade of your favorite ficus with “Jean,” the heart-warming story of a woman who undergoes a life-saving left-thumb transplant after her original digit is horribly mangled in a freak apple-picking accident.

    Plumb thrilled with her new thumb, Jean sets out to hitch-hike across America, hoping against hope that she’ll uncover the true identity of the paralyzed villain who had orchestrated the theft of her second cousin Stanley’s head.

    Provacative? It’s downright irrasistable!

    [As was your comment, Hugh. Although now I’m feeling blue that I don’t have any Arbor Day plans. Must I spend the day alone? Hugging trees? — DA]

  • Lauren

    There are a bunch of reviews on Barnes and Noble’s website…We all have the occasional spell check malfunction.

  • Ramona

    As for “Jean” and her thumb transplant, I trust it was a green thumb in honor of Arbor Day.

  • Gerald Deshayes

    Yes, I know that the subject matter concerning GENE is somewhat bizarre and morbid but here are the facts.

    One day (if not already) the medical head/body transplant procedure will occur. I was fascinated in hearing what Christopher Reeve had said many years ago after his terrible accident. He had indicated that someday, perhaps in the not too distant future, a successful head/body transplant on a human would occur. He was asked if he would be willing to take that chance if the procedure were available to him. He very quickly said that yes, he wouldnt hesitate. He would do it in a flash.

    If one can place himself in a hopeless situation such as what Mr. Reeve was in, well, I tend to think that most patients would choose a transplant if it meant a better life. I know its a bold step, but so was the first heart transplant.

    I wrote GENE in memory of my younger sister who died of Lou Gehrigs disease a terrible disease that shuts the body down but keeps the mind alert until death. I wondered, with the pace of medical science and new discoveries, if there was any hope for the hopeless. What if… a quadriplegic could borrow a body, only for a life time? What if that body were donated by a family whos loved one was essentially brain dead, with no hope of recovery? And, finally, what if the operation were successful? Wow, think of the possibilities.

    Perhaps its already happened. Doctor Robert White had been successfully performing head transplants on animals as far back as the early seventies. In fact, doctors were doing head transplants on animals at the turn of the century. Is it that far-fetched to accept? Maybe its no longer fiction but fact. Gerald Deshayes

    [The author himself speaks! Well, thanks for the explanation of your book. No offense to the subject matter was intended; I was just amused by the PR pitch by the publicist. — DA]