Friday, April 20, 2007

Joke's Book Club, part _


I'm something of a fan of T. Coraghessan Boyle's.

So, when I saw this book in the "Last Chance!" bin, I grabbed it. I enjoyed Drop City and The Road To Wellville a great deal and I figured, The Inner Circle would be a great read.

Which it was. Only I wasn't expecting the subject matter. The more, um, sensitive among you might have issues with a book which deals with the (semi-fictionalized) devolution of Dr. Alfred Kinsey as a prurient-but-clinical Svengali, as well as his associates who suffer the consequences of allowing themselves to be molded by Dr. Kinsey.

The book, although it deals rather...er...frankly with sex, isn't a sexy book per se. It's definitely not a labcoat-ripper and it won't leave you putting your air conditioner on "Antartica" or beckoning your beloved to leave the office early. I mean, sure, some people do that anyway, but this book will probably not be catalytic in that regard.

The premise is simple. A rather stolid young college senior named John Milk (!) gets talked into attending one of Dr. Kinsey's lectures. From there, he gradually becomes one of Kinsey's closest associates and participates in the good Doctor's research, even when that research -- ahem -- starts becoming a bit unorthodox, and gradually encompassing other researchers and their spouses.

The story hits a few patchy spells, but TCB's prose keeps it from bogging down. The interesting thing is how he weaves what we know about Kinsey with fictional material in such a seamless manner that you'd be hard-pressed to know where one ends and the other begins. TCB's wit is evident, if sometimes subtle, and there are a few surprises to keep you on your toes.

-J.


Posted by Joke at 6:24 PM

4 Comments

  • Blogger MsCellania posted at 8:26 PM, April 20, 2007  
    Nothing like some Steamy Research as a reason for a book.

    I received my Take Out Dinnerware 3/3/3 today. And was much annoyed to find the putz's had packed it
    With
    Lids
    On
    so it was all busted to bits.
    Back it went today. 2 heavy boxes. Wahhhhhh! Did you have any luck getting the big ones?
  • Blogger Suzanne posted at 5:18 PM, April 21, 2007  
    Boyle was my professor for a fiction writing class back in 91.

    Unfortunately, he was kind of a pompous ass and not a very good teacher.

    I still like his short story collections, though. For the most part.
  • Blogger BabelBabe posted at 8:12 AM, April 27, 2007  
    the only boyle i own is Riven Rock - altho his stuf always looks interesting....
  • Blogger Joke posted at 8:26 AM, April 27, 2007  
    I suggest you start with The Road To Wellville and follow it up with Drop City.

    -J.
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