Knowing Women by James Lawless

A vulnerable bachelor is blackmailed sexually

Knowing women

List Price: $14.00

5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on White paper
284 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1481979382
ISBN-10: 1481979388
BISAC: Fiction / Literary

Knowing Women  paperback

Knowing WomenJames Lawless: Kindle Store

Laurence J Benbo is a thirty seven year old graphic artist and Dublin bachelor, awkward with women and lonely after the breakup with his girlfriend Deborah. He meets Jadwiga, a lapdancer and, after winning a lottery, he bestows gifts on her. But his upwardly mobile brother Maoilíosa and his scheming wife Ena, on hearing of his win, try to blackmail the innocent Laurence into handing his money over to them by alleging that he interfered with their daughter Lydia. Laurence seeks out Jadwiga for advice in her lapdancing club. To his dismay, he sees her going into a room with Maoilíosa. He spends the night awake listening to the rain pattering at his window, thinking of Deborah and he imagines little Lydia coming to seek out her uncle Lar to finish the story he had started reading to her. As the rain gets heavier he knows there is going to be a storm.

“James Lawless has a mighty thoughtful and penetrating capacity to make you gasp and rage and then burst out laughing,”
Jennifer Johnston


Review by Anita Kearney in Goodreads.

James Lawless has created a character that could be any middle-aged lonely man or woman in any city in any country. The loneliness of Benbo is almost palatable. His voyeuristic view of life is both amusing and disturbing. This is the story of a man who is desperate for a connection with someone, anyone but also afraid to allow that connection to be made. The book is a testament to the idea of being alone even though you are surround by and are interacting with others.
The story is one that is old as time but with a new twist that keeps you turning the page to find out when it will all go wrong and when it does how will Benbo react. You are not disappointed as the story moves along at a good clip to reach a climax that is not quite what you would expect. All in all it is a fine read, I highly recommend it for a rainy day.

5.0 out of 5 stars Knowing Women,March 17, 2013


Crystal Lanham – See all my reviews

This review is from: Knowing Women (Kindle Edition)

`Knowing Women’ is an enticing story of a middle aged man battling his loneliness, while showing us how far women can go.

James Lawless has delivered again! I do happen to be a Lawless fan, although I try very hard to keep my reviews unbiased.

Follow thirty-seven year old Laurence Benbo through a tale of middle-aged crisis. After another break up, Benbo is left feeling old and perpetually alone, even though he has recently won the lottery and is quite wealthy.

Then he meets Jadwiga. A dancer at a strip club. Onto whom he showers lots of money and gifts, thinking that this is the way to form a relationship with her.

All the while Benbo’s family is trying to blackmail him out of his lottery winnings. When Benbo finds out his precious Jadwiga is meeting with his brother, well, things just are not looking good for him.

Jadwiga only cares about one thing in this world, and that is acquiring her citizenship.

Bonus material : Interview with James Lawless


5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and contemplative,March 17, 2013


rocket7001 (Dublin, Ohio United States) – See all my reviews

This review is from: Knowing Women (Kindle Edition)

Knowing Women is a unique and thought-provoking read.

There is an interview with the author at the beginning. This provides background information and adds depth and perspective to the story as it allows you to see how the idea came about and what the author was thinking as he wrote.

This story is about Laurence J Benbo, a 37 year old bachelor living in Dublin. He is saddened and lonely after breaking up with his girlfriend. He is also incredibly awkward around women. Laurence is desperately lonely. He wants to find love, but more importantly, he longs for a deep and meaningful connection with someone. Despite his desperation, he is also apprehensive about approaching people. Laurence is often surrounded by other people, but he is never together. His interactions are with people who are often lonely in his presence, which leads to Laurence feeling even more lonely and disconnected.

Everything seems to be going wrong for Laurence in his relationships. He meets a lap dancer named Jadwiga at a club and is immediately enthralled. He showers her with gifts and money in an attempt to form a relationship. He has just won the lottery and has plenty of money to spare.

His family is jealous of his win, and they attempt to blackmail him into handing over the money. His brother Maoilíosa and sister in law Erica start accusing him of interfering with their relationship with their daughter Lydia. Laurence seeks out Jadwiga for advice, but is distressed to see her enter a room with Maoilíosa. He lays awake at night thinking about his ex-girlfriend and his young niece as he listens to the rain fall outside his window and waits for the storm.

The author’s writing style is very poetic. The writing feels like short fragments and descriptions weaved seamlessly into each other. This is a serious and often sad story, but it also feels very touching and is at times beautiful to read. The many strong feelings and emotions jump out from the pages and grab you in a very real way.

Although Laurence may seem like an unlikely choice for a protagonist, you will find yourself relating to him as you read. The further along you are in the story, the more you will feel like you have known him for a long time. At first, you will feel like you are watching a train wreck as you read about his life. You will feel a bit like a voyeur as you wonder what will go wrong next. It is hard to pinpoint exactly when, but as you continue on the journey with Laurence, you will be stirred by his emotions and start to feel very invested in what happens to him.

All the characters are very unique. They each add something to the story, and even characters that seem minor at first will play a major role. The ending wraps up loose ends, but not in a way you will expect. All your questions will be answered, but you will find yourself wanting answers to the underlying emotional questions. The ending is thought provoking and contemplative.

This is a serious look at deep and often sad and troubling subjects. The dialogue is very real, and there is some cursing in the story. As long as you are not offended by these things, I would recommend Knowing Women. It’s hard to describe such a deep and melancholic read as enjoyable, but I guarantee you will get something out of it. You certainly won’t regret giving this unique read a try!


4.0 out of 5 stars “You can’t know a woman”,March 16, 2013


bertiejf “Nothing is impossible. The very wo… – See all my reviews

This review is from: Knowing Women (Kindle Edition)

I first read James Lawless when I read his work, Clearing the Tangled Wood, his work on poetry and how it effects the way we see the world. It was a nice change to read his fictional work, and get another look into his mind.

Knowing Women is a novel about a middle aged bachelor, Lawrence Jasmine Benbo (yes, Jasmine). It is the story of his life, more specifically, his love life, and how it is affected by a large lottery win.

Mr Lawless states that this novel is about knowing women, although ‘you can’t know a woman’ as Lawrence’s brother tells him. Through his life, Lawrence believes that he may know them a little. He definitely likes them, the glance of a thigh, the move of their breasts as the breathe, the curve of their lips. Knowing them even more is high on his list, although, he rarely has the courage to follow through on his desires.

The book is also about knowing women, as in women who know. Lawrence meets a beautiful Belarusian immigrant who wants nothing more than to become an Irish citizen, and is willing to pay whatever price to do so. She knows how to get what she wants. His sister-in-law also knows how to make Lawrence hand over some of the money that he won at lottery, and decides to blackmail for him an episode with her daughter that, while uncomfortable to say the least, has been blown far out of proportion.

This book challenges our ideas of sexual morality in today’s society. What is normal, what is deviant and who decides?

As usual, Mr Lawless’ command of the English language takes us deeply into the psyche of his characters.

A very thoughtful read, and one that will leave you thinking for sometime after.


4.0 out of 5 stars A Winning Story April 8, 2013

By Kim

Format:Kindle Edition

This book was well-crafted, riveting, and inspiring. I had no idea how it was going to turn out, and was pretty shaken when I came to the end, but in a good way. I was so involved in the story I felt it a shame that it came to an end. I am really looking forward to more from James Lawless. A writer with a great deal of skill with the written word.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Touching – a book that will resonate in the mind April 7, 2013

By stern0

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

James Lawless has done it again. With his newest novel “Knowing Women,” he creates an almost lyrical portrayal of poor Laurence Benbo, an Irish Lottery winner I just couldn’t put down. James Lawless has not only got inside the mind of this reader, but he has also got inside the heart. How do I know? Because the experiences of age have left me with experiences I have also experienced. In this novel you follow the main character and believe you are beside him the whole way. I heartily recommend “Knowing Women”. It exposes a Dublin few know exists. Poor Laurence was was just seeking connections in a loveless world and he got more than he bargained for, but, so did his brother. I’ve said too much already as I’ll leave it to you to find out what happens in the final twist. This is not the first book I’ve read by Lawless. He is a strong author with a flair for plot, excellent character development and a mastery of the language few writers show today.

Genre: FICTION / General

Secondary Genre: FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General

Language: English


Word Count: 79,000

Sales info:

Selling steadily and getting wonderful five star reviews on Amazon.

Sample text:

A warm September sun shines as Laurence J Benbo, returning the customary smile to the friendly official in the office window, enters through the gate of the Botanic Gardens Dublin. Dapper in his shirt and tie and navy wool overcoat, and wielding his teakhandled brolly, he walks the curving path for his daily lunchtime constitutional. Viewed from the back, one can perceive his grey worsted trousers riding up his short legs revealing thin black cottoned ankles. He walks briskly  –  for the exercise, but also conscious of his limited time  –  along the Poplar walk and past the wide canopy of the cork oak under which he often shelters from a shower of rain.

            He removes his coat as he walks, drapes it neatly over the left arm of his tweed jacket, loosens his tie and opens the top button of his shirt  –  the button is too tight; next time he buys a shirt, he reminds himself, he must try a half size bigger than size sixteen. He takes out from his right trouser pocket a white laundered handkerchief and dabs a bead of sweat newly formed from his upper brow, the receding hairline of which makes him look older than his thirty seven years.


Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Already translated. Translated by Gian Marco Rossetti
Already translated. Translated by Gislayne Marise Costa
Already translated. Translated by R. Paula Sánchez
Author review:
I had the pleasure of working with Paula on the translation of my novel Knowing Women. She is a wonderful and precise translator, capturing beautifully the nuances of the original work.

Would you like to translate this book? Make an offer to the Rights Holder!