Monday Book Review: Lovers Lame

Lovers Lame by Robert Rudney

I am going to be doing an interview with this author. Now that I’ve finished the book I need to ask him the questions! So stay tuned for that in the future.



Dave is born with a disability that affects his ability to use his left side, particularly his arm. He isn’t used to thinking of himself as disabled, however. He focuses on what he can do and doesn’t see himself as part of this “disabled” group. Then he loses his job and ends up helping out at a group called Abilities, which is focused on trying to encourage employers to give people with disabilities a chance. There Dave meets Jessica and falls hard for her.

{I’m not sure how I feel about the title. On the one hand it’s a clever play on words. On the other hand, it’s super cutsey. I think I like super cutesy, though}

The Good:

A lot of the focus of this book is on the difficulties of people with disabilities trying to get jobs. A very important subject and one that I think we all need our eyes opened to. The book reads very much like a memoir and I have no doubt that the challenges faced by the characters in the book are all too real. It’s frustrating and shocking that employers are unwilling to employ people with visible disabilities and find ways to get around the law so they don’t have to.

It’s really interesting also to see the book from the point of view of the guy. I didn’t realize that guys have a lot of the same kinds of insecurities that we ladies do. I was fascinated to see Dave, the main character, worrying about what to wear on a date, worry about coming on too strong to a new woman, and other concerns like that.

I really appreciate that the author is a person with a disability. Like my rants about having actors with disabilities portray the roles of characters with disabilities, I think it is also important for books about characters who have disabilities to be written by people who know what they’re talking about. Too often I’ve read books where the portrayal of a particular disability is ridiculous. And the people reading the book usually don’t know that. They assume that the author is giving them an accurate portrait of this disability. Very frustrating!

I also have to admit that I loved all the references to familiar things! I live in the area where this novel takes place. At one point the guy goes to the Hawk and Dove restaurant (which is no longer there!) and that’s where my writer’s group met for its first two years.

The Bad:

The focus of the book isn’t really on story. This, for me, made it dull at times and difficult to keep reading. I wasn’t sure what the plot was. Was it a love story? If so, I unfortunately didn’t like the main character much and didn’t really care if he got the girl or not. He came across as kind of pathetic. The book lacks the glow of fantasy that fiction has. In fiction characters are a little bit larger than life, but in this book the characters are so real that it’s like observing an office mate rather than really getting into an interesting life.

It’s hard to tell from just getting a sample whether you will like the book or not. It has an interesting start, but it’s a lot of “telling” and there isn’t a scene with anything actually happening for quite a while. I never got a sense of where it was going. It reads so much like a memoir that I forgot it was fiction. When I interview the author, I’m definitely going to ask how much of this is based on real life!

On the second page it says:¬†“What the hell am I getting at? I don’t wager that my story is worth much.” It did not inspire confidence in me that I was going to enjoy the book!

Yummy Hero Factor:

I’m sorry to say, this hero was not yummy for me at all. He was self-defeating, boring, and kind of a doormat around the ladies (and no one likes a doormat!). The story had a¬†melancholy¬†hanging over it.

Great Line:

“There’s beauty in your arm, your hand.” I pulled up my shirt sleeve as requested and¬†placed¬†it awkwardly on top of the book shelf. Jessica picked up her sketchpad and pencil and moved around the bookcase. She slowly approached my shaky hand, bent over, and¬†kissed¬†it.


I personally did not care for this story, but I do think it has some very valuable things to say. If you would like insight about the gritty reality of trying to exist independently as a person with a disability, you should definitely read it!

Buy Now:

If you’ve written a book or know of a book that features a character with a physical disability, send me an email with “review” in the subject line:




  1. Monday Book Review: Lovers Lame – Ruth Madison | Ruth Madison | Pulplit Magazine - [...] Monday Book Review: Lovers Lame – Ruth Madison | Ruth Madison This entry was posted in Books and tagged…
  2. Monday Book Review: Author Interview - Ruth Madison | Ruth Madison - [...] author of Lover’s Lame, last week’s book review, is here today to answer my questions! Welcome, Robert, and thanks…

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