If there’s one thing Lucy Felthouse’s rather beautiful blog is missing, it’s a little testosterone. I have more than most so I’m here to redress the balance, and to tell you about the most masculine erotic book I’ve read in a while. No, don’t switch off, give me a chance. Because the book I want to tell you about has a rather high brow and a filthy mind.
The book I’m going to talk a little about is Oedipus Wrecked, and if you want to know why your boyfriend sneaks out to masturbate, or why he’s fixated with anal sex, or why his relationship with his mother is a little bit awkward, you might want to take a leaf through it. And why not? It’s only 123 pages long and took no more than an evening to finish (which actually makes the £9.99 price tag a bit of a stretch, in my honest opinion. Coffee, Cake and Kink, from which I bought the book, should send me loads of free stuff to make up for it.)
Oedipus Wrecked sets itself out as an erotic book – and that’s what I expected it to be. It features stockinged legs and sexy pink fonts on the cover, as well as numerous reviews extolling its filthy contents.
But pretty quickly, you realise that it’s something a bit different. On the first page of the book, the very first page, the author (one Kevin Keck) shares an anecdote about how he masturbated with his mother’s vibrator as a young teenager. And from that shocking foundation, Keck weaves a tapestry of awkward, insecure sexual development – which is so close to my own experiences that I could have written the book myself.
The book doesn’t play out linearly: Keck selects various episodes from his life and orders them to give them as much ‘punch’ as possible, and it’s an effective strategy. While Keck writes as though from experience, I couldn’t help sensing some exaggeration, particularly in conversational exchanges.
But it’s the tone, the language, that distinguishes Oedipus Wrecked from all the other books around it on the shelf. It’s so coarse, so unflinchingly anatomical and unromantic that you will definitely cringe – I guarantee it. But Keck doesn’t seem to be revelling in his own ability to be gross; he writes with a sense of shame and embarrassment that makes him rather… like-able.
He’s a good writer too. There’s a paragraph in which he describes his addiction to phone sex and compares the sound of a woman coming to the sound of an orchestra, and although the poetry of the passage makes it a little conspicuous, it’s still an impressive piece. I enjoyed it.
From being careless with a video of himself masturbating to getting evicted from his flat after running up such a startling phone bill that he could not afford his rent…
All in all, if you want to get a sense of this book, think of it like a more obscene, more penis-obsessed Hi Fidelity.
Yeah, I absolutely recommend Oedipus Wrecked. It’s not like anything else you’ll read at the moment: it’s more honest and more graphic and more surprising than anything I’ve read recently/ If you find a copy for less than £9.99 (because it’s so short and quick that it doesn’t seem to warrant that lofty price tag) then I humbly suggest you’ll find it interesting. The ending left me with mixed feelings: it somehow becomes rather dark. But it fits, and it works.
It’s an insight into the male psyche: it will tell you exactly why we are the way we are. And we are terrible.
Find out more about Yossarian on his blog: http://the22ndcatch.wordpress.com/