||John O'Brien's books have established him as a writer who communicated the voice of the loner with blistering realness and unmistakable force. Stripper Lessons is perhaps O'Brien's most interior and intense novel, a powerful story of one man's obsessive search to belong. Here is the dark and simple life of Carroll, a middle-aged, unmarried, friendless man whose only joy is watching beautiful women dance. Terribly shy and unable to socialize with the people around him, Carroll's fascination with the women at his favorite club is totally innocent-he finds solace in the routine, the rules, and the predictability of the action. But when his desire for a particular dancer takes him one step too far, his entire life threatens to crumble.