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The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and Other True Stories

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3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Nonfiction is the new black comedy in this hilarious collection of award-winning literary essays written by the infamous Pagan Kennedy. In the title piece, Alex Comfort, author of The Joy of Sex, reinvents himself as a sex guru in California and hatches a plan to destroy monogamy forever. In the stories that follow, a retired chemist finds a way to turn a wasteland into pa ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Santa Fe Writer's Project (first published January 1st 2008)
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Heather
Jan 16, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
If I could describe this book in one phrase, it would be this: Touchingly candid. Whether writing about her own life or those of the odd and eccentric, Kennedy recounts her stories with loving detail and wonder. The people she writes about are truly people to ponder and marvel at. She deals with them all with a level of respect normally not afforded to these quirky trendsetters. Throughout their stories, she captures their brilliance, strength and mostly their humanness.

Among some of these unusu
...more
Carey
Sep 04, 2008 Carey rated it really liked it
In this interesting collection of unexpected true stories Pagan Kennedy introduces us to some eccentric characters. From Alex Comfort, the middle aged mastermind of The Joy of Sex to Vermin Supreme, fringe candidate extraordinaire, the mix is wonderful and thought provoking.

Ms. Kennedy hooked me in right away with her introduction. She talks about being read Alice in Wonderland by her Grandmother and wanting to get through the looking glass herself. After an unsuccessful attempt she decides tha
...more
Snarky's
Jun 07, 2008 Snarky's rated it it was amazing
I was sent a copy of this from the author and I must say that I loved it with every ounce of my being. Pagan Kennedy has always been my sort of writer, even when she's writing about things that have no utility for me. I mean I don't really know or care about the inworkings of Bostonian hipster living, but I do like zines!

Anyway, the title story about the titular Dr. Alex Comfort (best know for The Joy of Sex) is fantastic. He was far shadier, cheekier and crazier than I assumed and that's always
...more
D.M.
Jan 28, 2009 D.M. rated it liked it
The third book in my 50 in 2009 pastime. This book had a really good introduction that talked about the somewhat hard to pin down genre of creative non-fiction (also called literary non-fiction). It is a shame that she understands the beauty and possibility of this approach to writing so well without the matched ability to write within it. The first, and title, essay was brilliant. Alex Comfort was definitely a weird character. However, the rest of the essays were only fair. They were something ...more
Hazel
Aug 10, 2009 Hazel rated it liked it
a series of those profiles you read in magazines about amazing people that you always remember midst conversation but can never quite remember the details. "Like, yeah there's the lady scientist in africa and she's totally doing something really cool to help grind grain for under 20 bucks. And she won some award..no I don't remember what it was she invented..."
Pagan Kennedy is a very entertaining, insightful author.
Darlene
Aug 18, 2008 Darlene rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of Kennedy since I first read her book 'Zine. Many of the essays in this book were previously published, but they were all new to me. Many of the essays were on scientific topics, but focused on the people involved and not the scientific aspects. My only complaint about some of the essays is that they could have been longer, providing more detail.
Jason
Nov 28, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Kennedy is a gifted writer; the ending to her biography of Alex Comfort sent shivers down my spine. The other eccentrics looked at in this collection are equally interesting. A short, sweet, quirky read.
Jennifer
Oct 27, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: greatreads
This book is a perfect read for anybody from this area who is familiar with the local academic institutions, but is also great for anyone interested in how the genius mind works. Short stories about fascinating people.
Lisa
Jun 09, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: recentlyread
These profiles on serious scientists and wacky inventors make for a fun, fast read. It's obvious that Kennedy is delighted by these characters, whether they are bringng food to starving villages or treating depression with nine-volt batteries.
Kathleen
Jan 27, 2009 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
great fascinating mini true life stories of many geniuses of current day america mostly scientific or eccentric stories
Aaron M
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Oct 29, 2016
E.smith
Dec 20, 2009 E.smith rated it really liked it
Fascinating people, excellent writer. I'm looking forward to reading her fiction next.
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Dec 17, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Read it. So good.
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Pagan Kennedy is a regular contributor to the New York Times and author of eleven books. A biography titled Black Livingstone made the NewYork Times Notable list and earned Massachusetts Book Award honors. She also has been the recipient of a Barnes and Noble Discover Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and a Smithsonian Fellowship for science writing. Visit her online ...more
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“We talk about certain statements as having a “ring of truth” to them, as if a sentence is a tuning fork, something that we can tap and listen to for its tone. And I think that’s right. Truth has a hum to it. You can tell.” 1 likes
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