2009-02-23

RANT: Pleasure by Jerome Dickey

This is going to be a rant, so feel free to skip it.

I rarely get really really mad over books. After all, there are so many good ones, that I find it hard to waste my time on mediocre ones, and even less time still thinking about what makes them mediocre.

So why Pleasure? A friend recommended I read it.

Now, I am a big fan of Henry Miller, and Anais Nin, and William Burroughs, and whoever else comes to mind whose writings were considered obscene in their day (and possibly to date by some). You can't shock me with that. So please don't misconstrue my rant as a reaction to candid and lengthy and plentiful erotic passages in this book.

This book got me foaming at the mouth because of how superficial and phoney it came across.

This book is written by a man, in first person, from a female protagonist's perspective. Sadly, all it is, is a thinly disguised male fantasy, full of shallow assumptions and stereotypes that made me feel patronized as a woman.

Yes, the famed "influence" of Anais Nin is quite obvious. As a matter of fact it's hardly more than crudely lifted phrases and superficial style imitation.

The atrocious language! What women use stilted language like that talking about themselves? Calling their vaginas "my sex" or "yoni" like they're ashamed of them.

Main character--a woman who can't come without a vibrator? One who likes a pink one because it's such a "feminine color for such a manly instrument"? One who sucks on her own breasts? I mean, it sure looks great for the boys, but I doubt many women do this porn-type stuff "just for themselves" when they're alone and sure that nobody's watching.

The point where I snapped the book shut though was where the protagonist was describing how she "grinded into" some other chick. Purportedly the protagonist is herself a writer!

Now I could forgive bad style and barely disguised male gaze throughout the book, but grammatical errors? That's just too much.

Even overpriced and overhyped soft-porn books should be proof-read by someone with an English degree.

lulz

2 comments:

  1. What women use stilted language like that talking about themselves? Calling their vaginas "my sex" or "yoni" like they're ashamed of them.

    actually - in my experience women often have trouble picking a good word to refer to their vaginas. one that's not too crass, not too clinical. and yes, to some degree they may be ashamed - this culture can have that effect. not saying that whatever was in the book was at all close to how women really are... just, not everyone's as comfortable with herself as you might think.

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  2. Yeah, that's the thing: The woman in the book was supposedly quite comfortable with herself, and yet the author chose to make her speak about herself in this distancing language.

    Anyways, I was mostly ranting about the inauthenticity of the book in its entirety. A few reviewers on Amazon who seemed to have more than half a high school of education were also criticizing the author's quite apparent effort to impress with worldliness, while they noted that his ideas of class and refinement were a fair bit off base.

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