Violet Malice has been lashing out this week. Shouting at the seagulls and all the fucking little internet moles that pop their heads up when someone’s arse gets licked. On the hunt for a bedtime read that stirs the bag too hard and ruins the dinner party. Violet’s weekly adult book review attempts to answer that hypothetical question: can a good book ever be as weird as a good fuck?
Book title: Weird Fucks
Author: Lynne Tillman
Publisher of this edition: Peninsula Press, 2021
Copyright: © Lynne Tillman 2021
Publication date: Earlier versions of the text published in 1980 and 1990
Cover art: Alice at Loggerheads (2009) by Hilary Harkness
THE RAUNCH REVIEW: Violet’s Verdict
Quick synopsis: A young woman catalogues a series of fleeting sexual encounters with men during the 60s and 70s.
Title: I noticed the book in a shop window, the London Review Bookshop on Bury Place. I remember it exactly. It was raining and I was hurrying down the road with just a coat and shoes on. I did a double take and thought “I have to read this book.” As an expert on weird fucks, I felt as though this book had been written for my eyes. And like a total cunt, I bought it the next day on Amazon because it’s convenient, I also needed some cream for a very aggressive yeast infection (the London Review Bookshop doesn’t sell cream, unlike Amazon), and to top it off nowhere takes my dirty money anymore, so what’s the bloody point.
Cover image: It could be a reflective surface. I have, many a time, sat slumped at a trestle table with one of my tits hanging out, a pint of cider between my lips and a fluffy dog stroking my fingertips. Carpet burn on my forehead. Words to describe the woman on the cover’s face: bored; morose; forlorn; totally shagged-out; miserable; down in the dumps. Putting two and two together it seems that she’s not really enjoying this weird sex stuff, so much so that she’s forgotten to put her tits back in.
Quotes on the back cover: Overwhelmingly positive quotes by other writers, saying it’s the best book ever, like better than actual sex. I would surmise that these arse lickers just want to see their sucky sucky quotes on the backside of the book so they get paid. There is no way on earth this book is better than sex or in anyway anything other than totally disappointing and badly written. The only good thing about it is the title and the blankness when it finishes.
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Overall sexual content: I can’t tell you how frustrated I am with this book. The title conjures up this fucking magnificent promise that weird fucks will happen. That the pages will be jammed with interesting and/or unusual sexual activity. Sadly, it is in no way the case. There are roughly 13 instances of sexual activity (mostly your standard vaginal penetration), all of which are briefly glazed over. These encounters are in no way weird, except maybe at a stretch that some of the guys are a bit awkward and/or end up being married/separated.
To make matters worse the novella focuses entirely on the narrator’s encounters with men so the lack of meat on the bones is even more stark than it would have been if there was a sub-plot or other areas of interest.
I am a self-proclaimed connoisseur of weird fucks so I feel massively short changed. If the book had been called boring fucks or completely forgettable fucks, I would have no beef. But if you’re going to put a flag up and call it weird fucks you’re going to have to follow through on the sheets! In my fuck book anyway.
Let me illustrate what I’m champing on about:
“The guy at the far end of the loft is snoring. Scott and I are fucking. ‘Did you come?’ he asks. ‘Not this time,’ I answer. ‘Next time,’ he says. ‘I trust you,’ I say. But I can’t sleep. The wine, grass and sex. Parched throat. Water.”
Ball breakingly boring. I mean for fucks sake. I want to know about weird fucking sex. That’s what I’m fucking here for. Not some boring loved up romance shit à la Jane fucking Austen.
Overall conclusion: 1 out of 10.
Titillation station: No descriptions of sex. No real descriptions of anything even remotely interesting. The book is totally forgettable and coma inducing. She does slap the word cunt in there a few times, which made my eyes glimmer for a slim second. If only I could jizz out a book like this and get massive dong out of it.
Food for thought: I have a big issue with idiots saying “making love” in the context of casual sex. Maybe I’m old fashioned but it sticks in my gullet. There’s lots of objectionable things in this book – like when some dude refuses to go down on her but makes her suck his cock – and the casual way in which she mentions that one particular guy rapes her and then another situation in which she is “unable to refuse” sex.
I wanted this book to be about empowerment and the exploration of sex as a fucking glorious life enhancing activity in its own right, not something that limits us and exploits us and makes us less than we are. Left dirty and dry with our balls hanging out in a Wetherspoons. Because that tells us that we shouldn’t explore sex. That weird is a bad thing. That magnolia is the only pot of paint for the shitter. That even though we think we are in control when we decide to have casual sex, we are not – that that way only leads to ultra lonely ready meals for one (because obviously sex is an escape from our own innate loneliness) and therefore the only real option for all us vulnerable women is to put a fucking sock in it and/or a (
meat metal) ring on it.
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