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Geoff Nicholson: Footsucker

Geoff Nicholson is obsessed with obsessions. Obsession with cars, food, beer cans, London, gardening and, of course, sex have all been the victims of his excoriating wit. And here, as the title plainly indicates, it is feet – and sex. Our hero is a blatant, incorrigible foot fetishist. He takes surreptitious photos of women’s feet. He poses as a shoe manufacturer and persuades strange women to remove their shoes in the street. He collects (and steals) shoes, particularly worn ones. He has books on feet. He has photos on feet. His sex life is reasonably normal, in that he has sex with girls, but he likes worshiping their feet, rather than other parts of their anatomy. Then he meets Catherine.

Catherine is an American living in London. She is a victim of his shoe manufacturer scam but quickly realises what he is. However, she is not offended but flattered and very soon they start a relationship, he because she has, in his eyes, perfect feet, and she because she enjoys the attention. They even find a tame shoemaker who makes FM (fuck-me) shoes for Catherine for free because he too likes feet. But Catherine eventually tires of this fetishism, wanting a”normal” relationship and leaves him. He is miserable and, when he sees Catherine by chance, with a new lover, he follows them. Murder, mayhem and a beating by the cops follow.

I find this to be one of Nicholson’s less successful books. The black humour, the biting wit and the vicious satire are all there but, frankly, the life of a foot fetishist seems to be rather dull, even if he does get his kicks by having his girlfriend put the toe of a shoe, which is on sale in a store, in her vagina, and then watch someone else buy it. Moreover, my reaction to foot fetishism is, so what? If that’s what turns him on, good luck to him. Only don’t try to lick my feet.

Publishing history

First published 1995 by Victor Gollancz