Robert Quinn’s Abby and the Old Guy (Independently Published, 500 pp. $14.99, paper)is a massive male-fantasy romance novel. The time period is November of 2007 to February of 2009.
Quinn is a lawyer and financial services professional who served in the Air Force in Vietnam from 1969-70 and is a member of Vietnam Veterans of America. His main character, Matt Flynn, is also a Vietnam veteran and a “part-time attorney and part-time financial guy.”
Flynn—a great name for a hero, by the way—meets Abigail McKay in a New England coffee shop on the first page. If this were a movie, at this point we wouldn’t be through the opening credits. The 61-year-old Flynn, widowed for ten years, and the 26-year-old grad student immediately fall in love.
We follow the lovers through a dialogue-driven novel that also includes lots of descriptions, mainly of meals, clothes—and of the two main characters undressing each other.
It’s a work of male fantasy because Abby loves the body of a man who has thirty-five years on her, and because she invites him into her apartment on their second day together. Whereupon they have glorious sex.
It’s a work of male fantasy because Abby, whom Flynn he calls “Beauty,” is constantly saying things any older man would love to hear. That includes that she finds him more interesting than guys her age.
It’s also male fantasy because Flynn, whom Abby lovingly calls “Old Guy,” is an extremely virile man. They make love their first eight, at least, days together. And they don’t stop there. After the first month they calculate—yes, they keep track—that they’ve made love 130 times. After eight months the number reaches almost a thousand, which works out to an average of “four times a day.”
The novel covers fifteen months in which Flynn and Abby meet, fall in love, move in together, get engaged, get married, and have a child. They also make love 1,481 times. That’s mathematically possible because when her pregnancy causes abdominal cramps she believes she will feel better if they have sex, which they do nearly up to the day she delivers. The book ends with the suggestion that their new baby is not going to slow them down any.
Flynn’s Vietnam War experience plays a small part in the story, primarily in a short section when we learn that Abby’s family respects him for his military service.
Bob Quinn is a hell of a writer and this giant novel is immensely readable. But not all that much happens and Flynn’s one-way “conversations” with his deceased wife early on in the book were a little off-putting.
I guess if you buy the book’s main premise, you’ll by okay with what transpires. If you don’t buy it—and I didn’t—then not much of the novel will work for you.