01 March, 2006

When The Author Starts By Apologising...

You know the book is going to be at least mildly interesting.

Nashville's own Todd A made the offer of free review copies of his book to any blogger who'd like to review it. As I had been curious to read it, was lacking for reading material and was broke this was a serendipitous offer. So I played ball and sent the email. Poor guy. I don't think he imagined that the lady who has a C.S. Lewis quote on her blog and started the Bible Meme was quite the audience for this book. And in truth, he's probably mostly right.

Being Good is probably best described as a bit of Joyce, a bit of Phillip Roth and a bit of Nick Hornby, all blended together and frosted with a light cream of Penthouse Forum. In short, if Bridget Jones had been actually written by a guy in his late twenties, thinking like many guys in their late twenties, it would be this book. Chick Lit dances around the nitty-gritty of sex, prefering to gush over the foreforeplay of "he glanced at me" and "does he or doesn't he want to take me to my mother's tea dance?" The acquisitive heroines of these girl books sublimate their sexuality in the quest for trendy scarves, bags and shoes.

Slav O Se, the protagonist of Being Good wastes no time on frippery. He's a man, he wants and has sex. Of course, there are sex acts he can't abide, and he'll plainly tell you so. In place of endless shoe shopping you'll find the vivid descriptions of fun sex, messy sex, gross sex, good sex and bad sex. It's interesting to contrast O Se's objectification of women against the ways his job objectifies him. Those parallel themes rule the book and slide under the well-lubricated pages. At a bit over a hundred pages, it's a breezy read. ( The book also includes the short story "Tim's Funeral". )

No, I'm not the target audience for this book, but I will and do read just about anything. Part of the joy of that policy is discovering how other people look at the world. I'm quite sure I don't care for Slav O Se's worldview, but I enjoyed reading about it. The book is well-written, funny and intriguing--a male version of Sex and The City. You can order your copies from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iUniverse.


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