Cover image for In search of an impotent man
In search of an impotent man
Hauptmann, Gaby.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
[New York] : Ecco Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
312 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Potent as a dose of Viagra and hilarious as any modern woman's love life, In Search of an Impotent Man is a profoundly irreverent look at one irrepressible woman's search for Mr. Right.

Carmen Legg is a thirty-something, flame-haired, BMW-driving temptress who has everything she could possibly want--except peace of mind. She can't sit through a business meeting without men ogling her legs; she can't come home after an eternal workday without fending off advances from her oversexed boyfriend. What she needs, Carmen decides, is a man with more meaningful things on his mind. So, like many contemporary single women, she hopes to find her Prince Charming by placing an ad in the personals, describing a wish distinctly her own:

Wanted: Clear-thinking male
Attractive, successful 35-year-old
woman seeks man for good times, days
out, nights in, companionship.
Must be intelligent and impotent.

In response to the ad, Carmen meets a colorful array of men, ranging from an outrageously wealthy baron to a motorcycle-riding James Dean look-alike to a divorced father who works with computers. Sharing every step of her adventures with her lively octogenarian neighbor, Elvira, her best friend Laura, a level-headed therapist named Isabella, and a good witch who specializes in cures for impotency, Carmen gradually begins to see that abstaining from sex isn't necessarily the clearest path to clear-thinking relationships.

Sassy and wholly entertaining, In Search of an Impotent Man is a story about a woman who is not afraid to take matters into her own hands and turn the assumptions about romantic love on their head.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This first novel by Hauptmann, a German screen and TV writer, is a lighthearted sex farce that hinges on an unusual premise. An alluring German career woman posts this ad in the personals section of a local newspaper. "Wanted: Clear-thinking male. Attractive, successful 35-year-old woman seeks man for good times, days out, nights in, companionship. Must be intelligent and impotent." Insurance agent Carmen Legg, who sports long, luxurious red hair, a willowy figure and fashion-model outfits, is glamorously beautiful, prosperous in her business life and vibrant in every way. Yet she has a major complaint: "I'm fed up to the back teeth with men who are randy all the time." So she seeks a cozy, nonerotic romance. Her ad elicits a number of replies that interest her: she meets Frederic (a sulky James Dean type), Stefan (a gracefully aging Anglophile, living in the baronial splendor of a country estate), Oliver (a classic chauvinist jerk) and David (a hip young architect with the tanned good looks of a California surfer). Indeed, they are all well tanned, good-looking and rich to varying degrees. We characteristically find Isabella, Carmen's consulting psychiatrist, on the job in "a tight-fitting dress and elegantly applied make-up... as though she had sprung from the cover of Vogue." In fact, a principal difficulty of this novel is that the main characters seem to have been cloned from familiar magazine, movie and television images. Carmen, in her inevitable high heels and body stocking, resembles a cross between Murphy Brown and a Barbie doll. Curiously, her three main love-interests--Germans all--have distinctly non-German personas: Beach Boy, Rebel Without a Cause and a would-be English lord. Which cardboard cutout will she choose? It's hard for the reader to care. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Obviously written before Viagra's availability in Germany, this is a lighthearted farce. Carmen Legg is tall, beautiful, 35-years-old, and very tired of boyfriends who constantly demand that she sleep with them. She places an advertisement in the newspaper for "a clear-thinking male" who is intelligent and impotent, and she gets many responses. Comparing the candidates, she decides that she wants to share her life with David, an artistic, Rilke-quoting young man who makes her happy. But it doesn't take long for Carmen to realize that, in fact, she wants David to be potent. She seeks help from an herbalist and a psychotherapist who finally solve David's "problem," paving the way for a happy ending. Hauptmann--a self-described "glamorous single mother"--has written a witty and fast-paced first novel. Recommended for larger public libraries.--Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.