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Publisher's Summary

"All I want is to be a success.That's all I ask." Joe fails to sell a single set of the Encyclopedia Britannica in six months. Then he fails to sell a single Electrolux and must eat hundreds of pieces of homemade pie, served up by his would-be customers who feel so sorry for him. Holed up in his trailer, Joe finds an outlet his for frustrations in a series of ingenious sexual fantasies, and at last strikes gold. His brain storm, Lightning Rods, Inc., will take Joe to the very top - and to the very heart of corporate insanity - with an outrageous solution to the spectre of sexual harassment in the modern office.
©2012 Helen DeWitt (P)2011 Dreamscape Media, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Josh on 11-11-11

Wild tale, enveloping reader

"Lightning rods" are women who have anonymous sex with men in their shared workplace, relieving the anxiety and tension that leads to sexual harassment lawsuits. Still on board? This is a deeply funny novel about salesmen and inventors, creativity and persuasion. Though it's nakedly perverse, it draws more from How to Win Friends and Influence People than The Story of O -- it's detailed but not exactly erotic. Our journey follows Joe, a sad-sack vacuum cleaner salesman who uses his idiosyncratic sexual fantasies to bootstrap his way to the top.

The reader is excellent, with a rich and steady tone that keeps you in the story. Especially interesting, given the subject matter, that a man is reading a novel written by a woman, but Petrovich doesn't oversell the material, which is a risk with such explicit sexual themes. I listen to this in my car, and now I'm late for stuff all the time -- lots of "driveway moments." More by this reader, please.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Bill on 12-27-11

So great I had to write a review

Would you listen to Lightning Rods again? Why?

Well, mainly I'm writing this review to convince people that they should listen to Lightning Rods the first time...but yes, I would listen to it again because it was excellent satire, the kind where listening to it the second time you are likely to pick up on subtle aspects you missed the first time.

What other book might you compare Lightning Rods to and why?

Catch-22 and most of the books by Christopher Buckley -- the former because the depth and subtlety of the satire and the latter because this made me laugh out loud.

Which character – as performed by Dushko Petrovich – was your favorite?

Both Joe, and the

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

This is a masterpiece of satire -- better than anything that has come along since Catch-22. Buy it. Listen to it. This is the first time I've felt strongly enough about a book to take the time to write a review, and my first 5 star rating in 6+ years of listening to audio books (i.e. I'm not one of those annoying reviewers who rates everything 5 stars).

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Victoria on 03-10-15


If I could get my money back I would. I find it hard to believe a woman wrote this..needless to say I didn't finish the tape. Deconstructing women to a hole I don't find witty, laughable or entertaining. Having a whole book written on such a narrow porn topic & getting it published- beggars belief in publishers...Who was the intended audience -brain dead adolescent boys? Poor boys. I have read 50 shades of grey so I don't consider myself a prude. Future buyers YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

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