tamara faith berger's first novel crosses that thin line between art and pornography and never looks back. She writes sex à la The Story Of O or Georges Bataille. And she does it over and over and over again.
Berger deconstructs the slut, and then flips her on her back and lets her have free rein in the bar scene and pickup joints. The sex-crazed protagonist is elevated to the point of anti-heroine amidst numerous frenzied fucking scenarios and increasing narcissism. Read this book if you want to get turned on.
The design is controversial. An unsuspecting bookseller or purchaser might make the mistake of thinking it's a kids' book. There are chicken-scratch drawings of girls on the cover, and it comes in your choice of blue, pink, silver, yellow or orange.
Berger's background experience comes from writing for sex mags, and by the end of the book it's obvious that she has a long and successful career ahead of her.
The first section is full of pithy sentences that attempt to define the nature of our heroine's obsession with sex. The second brings us the unique perspectives of seven men who fuck her. Each of their narrative voices is different, but the final section ties the book together with equal doses of regret, manifesto and emancipation.
The quote on the back cover, "but if I told you everything you'd probably think I was a slut and I can't deal with that so I'm not going to tell you absolutely everything," makes you wonder what our sex-positive anti-heroine could possibly have left untold.emily pohl-weary
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Lie With Me by Tamara Faith Berger (Gutter Press), 122 pages, $18.95 cloth. Rating: NNNN