The Nihilesthete Author:Richard Kalich A deeply disturbing novel, The Nihilesthete takes the reader on a journey into the mind of Haberman, a Harlem caseworker, as he works his way into the life of a limbless, mentally deficient man. Diagnosed as a cri du chat (able to communicate only by sounds similar to a cat's meows), Brodski, the handicapped man, proves to be complex and much mo... more »re than he first appears. The relationship between Brodski and Haberman intensifies as Brodski convinces his caseworker that he is in fact an esthete, an artist.
Haberman's coldly dysfunctional concern for the handicapped man soon begins to border on obsession. The caseworker's ordered life, and his tenuous hold on his sanity, begin to slowly crumble around him as his "games," designed to prove the depths of his client, slowly evolve into measured punishments for the cri du chat. The tortuous games, however, work against Haberman, bringing about a tragic but enlightening end.« less