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.
Posted by Joke at 6:24 PM