Cover image for Crazy love : a novel
Crazy love : a novel
Martin, David Lozell, 1946-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [2002]

Physical Description:
284 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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David Martin has proved to be an unusually versatile writer, both of acclaimed thrillers like "Lie to Me" and of love stories like "The Crying Heart Tattoo." Now, in "Crazy Love," Martin has created remarkable characters and his richest story yet: a chronicle of passion and heartbreak.

Joseph Long, known locally as Bear, is a farmer ridiculed by neighbors for his strangeness. Lonely nearly to the point of madness and so desperate for human touch, he leans against the hands of the barber giving him a haircut.

Katherine Renault is a successful career woman, wondering why, if she has the perfect job and the perfect fiance, does she feel so hollow inside -- even before the illness, the disfiguring surgery.

They should have nothing in common -- though he has a magical touch with animals, he considers them property, while she can't tolerate their mistreatment. She's a sophisticated city dweller who can't abide violence, and he's never traveled beyond the local town and has blood on his hands. But love is crazy, and soon they are rescuing the injured of the world just as they rescue each other. Enduring violence and loss, they l

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Katherine Renault is a fool for animals, and Joseph "Bear" Long is just a fool (according to the locals). That the two of them should fall in love is just plain, well, crazy, yet that's precisely what happens in Martin's tale of mismatched misfits whose concern for mistreated animals places them in harm's, and Cupid's, way. She is worldly but wary of people, on a solitary road to recovery after a double mastectomy leaves both her body and her psyche irrevocably scarred. He is naive and trusting, carrying emotional and physical scars of his own after a childhood of abuse and a lifetime of ridicule. Together they manage to raise the ire of the town's coots, codgers, and good ol' boys as their grassroots animal activism rescues pets, farm animals, and not a few humans in the process. Although those sensitive to the treatment of animals may find scenes of abuse and neglect disturbing, Martin's human saga of redemption and romance is far more heartwarming than heartrending, more heartfelt than heartless. --Carol Haggas

Publisher's Weekly Review

An upscale woman from Washington, D.C., falls hopelessly in love with an oafish Appalachian farmer in veteran author Martin's engaging romantic fairy tale, which begins when 30-year-old Katherine Renault retreats to her rich fiance's backwoods cottage to escape the pressures of urban life. She gets more than she bargained for when she encounters a farmer named David Long, known by the locals as Bear, trying to help a couple of villagers save a dying cow. Smitten by Long's strength and sense of compassion, Renault drifts toward a friendship with the odd, reclusive farmer, with some help from the local veterinarian who sets up a series of animal rescues for the two that eventually lead to the formation of a shelter. Renault ignores the belief of many villagers that the farmer is retarded and dangerous, and their love is sorely tested when Renault is beaten up by the two rednecks who mistreated the cow that brought the couple together. But Renault focuses on Long's sensitive, loving nature as their deep-seated chemistry quickly moves them toward a permanent union. Martin keeps the narrative clipping along at a sprightly pace, and he never misses a chance to tug at the heartstrings with his cast of heroic animals. The sappy moments are balanced by the author's obvious compassion, but what makes this book work is Martin's portrayal of Long, whose depth, passion and clumsy emotionality become quite endearing. Martin goes a bit over the top with an out-of-nowhere ending involving Bear's brother and Renault, but this novel has plenty of winning moments for readers seeking a warm, fuzzy romantic journey with plenty of critters along for the ride. Agent, Bob Datilla. (Feb. 14) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Bear is a lonely Appalachian farmer who raises cattle, shoots groundhogs, and traps mice. His greatest fear is that no one will come to his funeral. When Kate Renault walks into his life on a mission to rescue abused animals, "crazy love" is born. Kate is a city girl on temporary leave from her usual life. She enlists Bear's help with her mission, and he goes anywhere she leads without question. Then animals begin to talk to Bear, and he changes his attitude as his relationship with them, and with Kate, develops. As crazy love spreads, it touches unexpected people and changes their lives, too. This charming love story is emotionally evocative but unsentimental, and the characters are well rounded and believable. Martin (The Crying Heart Tattoo) delivers a package readers will eagerly unwrap. Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Lib., Providence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Joseph Long, also known as Bear, is an improbable romantic figure. His large stature; shuffling gait; shyness; and three "problems" (he can't think of the right words when agitated, he forgets to close his mouth, and occasionally does inappropriate dances or jigs) all contribute to the debate by his Appalachian neighbors as to whether or not he is retarded. He cannot bear cruelty to those who are helpless, particularly animals. Katherine Renault has retreated to her fianc's Appalachian cabin while recovering from illness and disfiguring surgery. Also an animal lover, she and Bear meet while trying to save a dying cow from being tortured by its owner, and she soon learns there is more to this man than meets the eye. Before long, Bear and Katie (who is no longer engaged) are rescuing animals, and sometimes people, who are neglected, mistreated, and suffering. Of course there are villains; the farmer who owned the cow and his friend burn down Bear's barn and grievously injure Katie. The couple perseveres, however, mainly due to Bear's big heart and single-minded devotion; marry; have a child; and begin an animal-rescue mission. No happily ever after endings occur for the long term, however. Bear's death, though, is mitigated, la It's a Wonderful Life, by the outpourings from his community for all his good works. The characters are quirky and the story isn't really grounded in reality, but this is a feel-good romance that shows that "different" doesn't have to mean "bad" or "threatening" while putting in a plug for kindness and sensitivity to animals.-Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.