The Caveman's Valentine

George Dawes Green

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The Caveman's Valentine

The Caveman s Valentine Romulus Ledbetter wasn t always homeless He once was a devoted husband father and musician with a bright future He now forages for food in the trash cans of the city s better neighborhoods and wages

  • Title: The Caveman's Valentine
  • Author: George Dawes Green
  • ISBN: 9780446671514
  • Page: 187
  • Format: Paperback
  • Romulus Ledbetter wasn t always homeless He once was a devoted husband, father, and musician with a bright future He now forages for food in the trash cans of the city s better neighborhoods and wages a strenuous one man war against Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant, an evil and imaginary power broker who is responsible for society s ills, as well as the sinister Y and ZRomulus Ledbetter wasn t always homeless He once was a devoted husband, father, and musician with a bright future He now forages for food in the trash cans of the city s better neighborhoods and wages a strenuous one man war against Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant, an evil and imaginary power broker who is responsible for society s ills, as well as the sinister Y and Z rays that are corrupting humankind Then one wintry night, Rom finds a corpse at the mouth of his cave that rouses his well defined sense of ethics and launches him on an obsessive quest for answers Forced to reconnect with society, Rom leaves his world and journeys through a spiraling web of clues and hunches, straight into a sinister den of money, temptation, and murder otherwise known as the civilized world.

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      Published :2019-01-17T03:56:30+00:00

    One thought on “The Caveman's Valentine

    1. zxvasdf on said:

      I was blown away by this. I thought a black man had written this gorgeous, thoughtful novel about personal space and one's right to define it any way they wanted. No, it was a white man with an unfortunately moderate writing success. It was one of the best books I've read in a while, and I've had back to back to back awesome books. It's an impressive debut which should belong to the library of modern classics. Yet another valentine from the gods of bibliophilia that leaped at me from the clearan [...]

    2. Peter Bridgford on said:

      Although this book is old enough to be slightly dated, I am glad that I came across it at the bargain book section of one of my favorite bookstores. I liked the main character of this story, Romulus Ledbetter. He's a homeless man who lives in a cave in NYC and who deals with mental issues. In this case, his paranoia helps solve a murder. I thought that George Dawes Green did a fabulous job of showing the challenges that someone who has voices and irrational fears in their head, but also gave the [...]

    3. Amanda Morgan on said:

      Romulus (Rom) Ledbetter lives in a cave in Manhattan’s Inwood Park, wears a sauce pan on his head, and believes a corporate businessman named Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant is trying to kill him by sending out Y-rays through the air after him. However, Rom also fights his classification of “homeless,” has a police officer daughter with whom he’s on good terms, is a Julliard-trained pianist, and has a brilliant mind in “The Caveman’s Valentine.” Rom and his wife Sheila divorced after Ro [...]

    4. Sara Beresford on said:

      I loved this book. I bought it at the Unchained storytelling event in Athens earlier this year. It was written by the man who founded The Moth. For some reason it took me awhile to pick up this book, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. Apparently a film was made based upon this book starring Samuel L. Jackson. I'm not sure if I want to see it because the book was so good. I bought it from the author himself and I'm glad I hadn't read it first because I would have started blabbering on in a s [...]

    5. Melinda on said:

      Wow- who would think that a story about a homeless schizophrenic who lives in a cave and flips out fairly regularly could be so gripping and upbeat? I didn't, but wow- loved it. Romulus Ledbetter is the homeless man who takes on solving a murder for one of his (homeless) friends because no one believes the fellow was murdered and the body was dumped right out side Rom's cave. His attempts to get information and make him self socially presentable, his relationships with his (cop) daughter and ano [...]

    6. Ronn on said:

      A novel based on the saying that "Just because you're paranoid doesnt mean that someone isnt out to get you." Not much else to say that wouldnt be a spoiler. I enjoyed this book thoroughly.

    7. Jana Perskie on said:

      Romulus Ledbetter is one of the most usual protagonists that I have met in a long while. And I found myself not only intrigued by his complex character but liking him very much. Rom used to be a brilliant piano student at the Julliard School of Music. He was a wonder on the keyboard and his compositions were extraordinary, according to his peers, professors and other musicians. When his girlfriend, Sheila, got pregnant, he married her and quit school to get a job that paid enough to support his [...]

    8. Carolyn Rose on said:

      The protagonist is unique and, often, his own worst enemy. The story takes some dark twists and turns, but I was drawn in and surprised by the ending.

    9. Robbie on said:

      I first saw the film that was based on this book many years ago and fell in love with it. It never occurred to me to read the book, though, because thrillers aren't my usual thing. A few years ago, a friend recommended the book to me without realizing that the movie even existed. This put it on my radar, but it still took me a while to decide that I was in the mood to read it.I enjoyed the book. The author does a great job of presenting the story from the titular character's perspective without [...]

    10. JoeNoir on said:

      An enthralling mystery, with a strikingly original hero. This is another book that simply jumped off the table at me. It's one of my all time favorites. Romulus Ledbetter is a homeless, mostly well-compensated paranoid schizophrenic, who also happens to be a brilliant classical pianist trained at Julliard. He might argue that he is not homeless, as he lives in a cave in Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan. He has a television that we would call broken, but on which he can watch movies and receive many [...]

    11. Ron on said:

      According to the jacket blurb, this is Green's first novel. He is a heck of a writer and his character, Romulus Ledbetter, is, no doubt, the most unusual protagonist of a mystery novel ever. Romulus is a middle-aged black concert pianist who has slipped into delusions. lives in a cave in Central Park, by his own set of ethical criteria - pretty good ethical criteria except tainted by his delusions and his tendency to rant his delusions. The supporting characters are well-drawn sketches of people [...]

    12. Kevin on said:

      Romulus Ledbetter is a great character in search of a better story. By making the denouement of the story the solution of the crime he determines to solve, he is done a disservice; this should have been his story, not a generic mystery novel. If you just read the "parlor room" scene where he reveals the culprit, you might imagine that there was a whole slew of "Romulus Ledbetter mysteries" out there, where out homeless schizophrenic musical genius solves murder after murder with Hercule Poirot's [...]

    13. Carl on said:

      Another quirky, bizarre sleuth, moreso than anyone I've encountered, including in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night.Full disclosure: I'm not a fan of many best-selling mysteries: even if a good plot, they're too formulaic, often poorly written, characters one dimensional, etc etc. (exceptions include Tony Hillerman, whose descriptions of the southwest make you want to visit NOW, and whose plots bring great understanding of the culture of the Native Americans there, and Elmore Leonard, [...]

    14. Elyon on said:

      It is rare that a book speak madness so authentically. Our protagonist is classically unreliable but ruthlessly intelligible. He will ask you politely for a bit of faith and when provided, never fails to deliver. Romulus will convince you of his sanity across 320 pages just in time to remind you he is, in truth, a few egg rolls short of the combo plate. Much like Romulus's therapist, I sometime think he may be saner than us all. This book will make you paranoid, self conscious, abruptly aware of [...]

    15. Melody on said:

      Bombarded by y rays and z rays from the Chrysler building, Romulus, the former Julliard students who currently lives in a cave in a park in New York, nevertheless is determined to solve the murder of the poor forgotten young derelict dumped unceremoniously in front of his sleeping quarters. The police don’t believe there’s even a murder to be solved, his family thinks he’s nuts. well, I guess they know that he’s nuts but even though it means getting showered and putting on new clothes an [...]

    16. Izabela on said:

      1996. prvo izdanjeNaslov izvornikaTHE CAVEMAN'S VALENTINECopyright © by George Dawes Green, 1994.(str. 149)"Lijevom rukom, Romul uze pregršt kikirikija s tanjurića i počne ih ubacivati u usta, jednog po jednog. A desnom rukom odsvira niz rifova nadahnutih 'Cassandrinim pogrešnim prosudbama'.Sve ga je boljelo. Nije imao laku noć. Pa ipak je bio ovdje, i neka ga vrag nosi ako njegov božanski duh nije bio zadovoljan. Sovice-Serafimi su snivali. Nije bilo straha, nije bilo gnjeva, a prsti su [...]

    17. Ginny Corrigan on said:

      Interesting book, a murder mystery where the chief investigator is a homeless man who despite his evident mental illness solves the case where no one else can. Interesting depiction of homelessness and schizophrenia from the inside as it were, with a focus on our hero as smart, talented and capable human being despite or in some ways because of his unique circumstances. He does receive a lot of help from family (his daughter is a cop), friends and even strangers, some of which seems a little con [...]

    18. Bart on said:

      An unusually creative concept, main character, story and plotline. I really enjoyed this book which I stumbled into on a bookseller's sale table. It was blurbed rapturously, so I figured it would be worth a try. It truly was. The story runs into some plausibility issues--which normally snag me up--but the storytelling is otherwise so deft and the author so clearly invested in the authenticity of what he's trying to do, that I had little difficulty suspending disbelief. An unusual and very distin [...]

    19. Sarah on said:

      Quirky fun murder mystery. Julliard trained man becomes homeless after battling from mental illness. He lives in a cave in a park in New York City, and one morning discovers a dead body near his lair. Wonderful descriptions of his perception vs. reality. My favorite scene details the movie he's watching on the television in his cave, only to jump to the fact that the television is defunct and inoperable. Part "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," and part "Confederacy of Dunces." A bo [...]

    20. Cheryl on said:

      Unique mystery in which the detective is a mentally ill homeless man called Romulus. Romulus is spurred into action (and propelled out into the "real world") when someone Romulus cares about is murdered and left outside the cave that Romulus calls home. The story is sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always interesting. Romulus is a believable and sympathetic character. Reading the book has caused me to feel more compassion for the homeless around me; that alone made it worth reading.

    21. Vanessa on said:

      Was not impressed - I think my expectations were too high. Rom's rants were annoying at times; the author's style did not suit me. I didn't care for much of the dialogue - it didn't ring true for me. The ending at least was interesting and a complete surprise. And Green did manage to create a very vividly strange character in Romulus Ledbetter. The plot, however, did not hold me riveted to the page.

    22. Melissa Fish on said:

      I really enjoyed Romulus, and the story was almost as engaging, but not quite. In general, I don't enjoy mysteries, because they always do the wrap-it-up chapter which reminds me of watching Scooby Doo. I dig Scooby and all, but even in this mostly well written novel, that part of the tale had a very yada-yada-yada feel to it, even though both characters reviewing the events were getting very drunk.It'll be days before I can stop thinking about pronouncing Stuyvesant!

    23. Sarah Sammis on said:

      I've finished the book and enjoyed it although I'm finding myself enjoying the movie for it's frenetic pacing slightly more. While the book certainly ties up more of the plot's loose ends and shows a glimmer of hope for Rom's future, the pacing of the story suffers near the middle as the motivations and histories of all the different characters (many who are left out of the film) are introduced and explored.

    24. Daryl on said:

      This is a top-notch mystery-thriller, surpassing much of the genre. Full of well-drawn, interesting, and quirky characters, none moreso than Romulus Ledbetter, the protagonist, a Julliard-trained musician, a pianist, who has schizophrenia and is living in a cave in a park in New York City. When Rom gets involved in investigating a murder, the novel takes off into all kinds of odd directions. An excellent debut novel. There's a good movie version, too, with Samuel L. Jackson.

    25. Carol Waters on said:

      This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The writing was well above one might expect in a crime novel or a Mystery or even a novel where the author obviously knows so much about the thinkings of a person with a major mental illness. Our protagonist is somewhat of a snob; he doesn't mind being paranoid but does not want to succumb to the diagnosis of schizophrenic.

    26. Leif Erik on said:

      This is the greatest mystery book I've ever read, which I admit is like being the smallest giant I've ever seen. However, this transends the genre and simply kicks arse. Green gives his protagonist an identity that maked me sit up and realize that he is not stand-in for the homeless and/or schizoid archtype but a full blooded human being.

    27. Michael on said:

      The protagonist and narrator (as I'm sure you know if you've read anything about the book) is a paranoid homeless guy living in Inwood Park. It sounds gimmicky, but the book quickly makes the gimmick just a part of the whole. Ledbetter is more than his illness, and his fighting to find the truth about a murder has a number of fascinating aspects.Worth reading.

    28. Marus Jastrow on said:

      This book won an Edgar award for the Best first mystery novel so I was all excited to read it. However, though very well written the subject matter didn't really appeal. It was about a homeless man who was half crazy and turned detective to solve a murder outside the cave where he lived. I stuck with it and enjoyed it but would not give it raves.

    29. Gail on said:

      A rather unusual protagonist solves a rather ordinary who-done-it. It's worth reading for the peek inside the life of a cave-dwelling (NOT homeless) man in New York City, even if the middle drags a bit. Things pick up towards the end, with a mostly satisfying resolution that seems to have the Caveman poised to appear in a sequel.

    30. spencer on said:

      This was a great mystery. A schizophrenic homeless man named Romulus gets involved in a murder, and the book does a great job of telling his story without being overwhelmed by the plot. Romulus is one of those characters you won't shake years after you read it. It's not like he is Huck Finn or something, but he is far from the one dimensional types that usually populate mysteries.

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