Arguably the most exciting event in publishing in our lifetimes, Whimsical Doctor Shoe represents a remarkable achievement in the annals of literature. Poet, author, and editor Charles Hoerner, author of The Bird and the Hare, took the raw material that was the manuscript found in the bed of Reuss Spitnode, and used that as the keystone for what is a compelling, exciting, thought-provoking work that reads more like a great novel than a work of nonfictional verisimilitude.
When Reuss Spitnode disappeared from the Spitnode's Beverly Hills home (the victim of a kidnapping, or the instigator of a hoax? the answers are unclear), there was found in Reuss' bed the manuscript that Reuss had spent the previous fourteen hours writing. That manuscript outlined the explosive, bizarre story of the final week leading up to the separation of the conjoined Spitnode twins, Reuss and Kellner. The separation of the twins, and Kellner's death as a result of that separation, was a sensation that rocked not only Los Angeles, but the entire world. Who was the mastermind behind this amazing medical procedure? Reuss refused to answer these questions when asked by investigators. But now it can be told -- the eccentric genius who facilitated the separation of the conjoined Spitnode twins was a mysterious, compelling man called Doctor Shoe. Whimsical Doctor Shoe! The plastic surgeon of indeterminate age and descent came into the Spitnode twins' lives only a week before performing the massively complicated procedure that separated them. He was their last hope, as the nature of the twins' conjunction meant that at least one the twins would not survive the procedure. Because Reuss and Kellner could not decide for themselves which would be the one to make the ultimate sacrifice, they expected their doctor to make the choice. As a result, the twins were unable to find a doctor willing to take on such a case. But Doctor Shoe was special. Unperturbed by the thought of helping one twin sacrifice for the other, he agreed to take on the twins as patients, and to perform the separation they so desperately wanted. On certain conditions. These conditions, outlined in Reuss' found manuscript, included compelling the twins to go rollerblading on the Santa Monica Pier, performing as conjoined clowns at a child's birthday party, and performing nude at a strange karaoke club, frequented by eccentrics. Reuss' words, edited and clarified by Charles Hoerner, shed a light not only on the twins' actions during this final week of their life together, but, also on their childhood, their friendship with the doomed child star Dickie Bird, the deaths of their parents, and their states of mind that resulted from 28 years of living together. But perhaps more importantly, Reuss' words offer an insight into the man who performed the separation. And yet, despite the intense interest of Reuss Spitnode's manuscript, it seems obvious that the author missed some things. To that end, Charles Hoerner took the time to append to Reuss' manuscript an illuminating introduction, and several appendices that provide the reader with insights into the real motives of the amazing, the talented, the unique, the whimsical... Doctor Shoe.