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girls: A Paean

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  415 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
girls is an erotic spree, a journey into the most forbidden corners of male desire, a story about men who have been rendered numb by their power, who have sacrificed everything for success, who have lost their souls and can find meaning only by living vicariously, obsessively through young women.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by Back Bay Books (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 771)
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Jan 06, 2015 Cari rated it really liked it
Judging by some of the other reviews, I may be the only woman who actually enjoyed girls. Yes, at times it was uncomfortable and disturbing to read, which was likely exactly the reaction Kelman wanted when he wrote of such politically incorrect subjects, taboos, and extremes. Any book that earns such a visceral reaction gets major points with me.

Going beyond the examples of extreme male thought and behavior, girls presents a range of subtler scenes, less likely to outright offend the female aud
Sep 14, 2014 Anastasia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2011

Credo di essere appena reduce dal libro più osceno che abbia mai letto in vita mia. Probabilmente per riprendermi dovrò leggerne uno completamente innocente e ingenuo, ergo un libro per bambini.
Girls è un porno sotto forma di libro. Esiste la definizione di libro erotico, ma questo ha qualcosa di più nobile e dignitoso, il porno è un qualcosa che ha lo scopo di eccitare i maschietti concretizzando sulla carta o sulla pellicola tutto ciò su cui si sono ritrovati a fantasticare più vol
RB Love
Jul 15, 2010 RB Love rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2010
A tough, dirty, and significant, little book. As obnoxious and disgusting, as ruthless and as amoral as the voices of the narration are - it is also nearer to the bone of the truth of inner male dialogue than most are willing to admit to or want to admit to. I certainly wouldn't admit to thinking this dastardly about the fairer sex, especially the nubile targets of the narrator(s) of girls.
Overall this thing is disturbing. Woven throughout is good writing, undeniably interesting, sometimes even
Tereza M
Dec 22, 2015 Tereza M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erotický román plný důvodů z hlubokému zamyšlení. Mého zamyšlení - protože takhle jsem si muže často představovala; protože mě to nutí si představit, jak by na četbu takové knihy reagovala 13letá holka (nejspíš nijak, nic z toho by nepochopila, byla by to jen erotika). Protože je to vlastně kniha plná věcí, které jsou dost přes čáru, a přesto vás její čtení silně vzrušuje.

Není to vlastně román, ale spíš sled vzpomínek/vyprávěnek/dojmů/představ vyprávěných ve druhé osobě. A vlastně to vůbec není
Apr 03, 2009 Robb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Nobody walks away from this one unscathed. Men will recognize a negative caricature of some of those thoughts we think when no one else is around. Women will recognize those fears they always suspected were true, but never gave voice to them because they were too "over the top".

Women are treated as playthings and shrewish icons while men are painted as depraved life support systems equally devoted to their blind ambitions and their cocks...

It's a broad, dark brush...both true and horribly
Oct 25, 2015 Zach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A haunting exploration of the male psyche. There were certainly literary aspects of this novel that went over my head. Some passages and thoughts that I breezed over which were probably beautifully written and deep. But the story aspect of the book, the actual narrative, is wonderful. While there are certain parts of the book that are vulgar, certain parts that I didn't relate to, the underlying themes and feelings explored were outstanding. My hope is that someday a friend can read this book an ...more
Gregor Samsa
Feb 07, 2015 Gregor Samsa rated it really liked it
Když jsem tu knihu četl, měl jsem pocit, že konečně někdo dokázal beze strachu a výčitek popsat, co někdy opravdu chceme. Že láska je fajn, ale někdy se nehodí do tohoto světa. Že všechnu tu bolest a únavu, kterou dobrovolně neseme jako přívažek našeho úspěchu, musíme občas směnit za opojení poskytnuté lehkostí plynoucí z moci a bohatství. Že dobré vychování je někdy na překážku a stejně tak snaha o empatii. Že nerozumět někdy znamená chápat a neptat se tázat. Těch pár vět je z černých stránek n ...more
Jul 04, 2010 Will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: one-handed-reads
Deeply unsettling. Shined a light into my shadows.

Possibly the dirtiest book I've ever read. You really can't overestimate the explicit depth of the discussions of sexuality. An unnerving turn-on.

Important because such naked examinations of male sexuality are almost non-existent. Mailer. Roth. Miller (especially). David Guy. And this Nic Kelman, who'll probably never write anything like it again.
Sep 05, 2016 Kirby rated it it was ok
If you're as into reading about graphic and unromantic sex with hookers and friends' teenage daughters as I am, this one's for you!
Jan 07, 2014 Troy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came to this book as a result of a review I read that described it as a modern day "Lolita." It's not that. I'm not even sure I'd call it a novel. If it is a novel, it's emplotment is very complex. It is built around several longish vignettes-all between 5 and 16 pages-that are related by theme, if nothing else. The use of a second person narrator throughout often makes it difficult to determine whether he's talking about the same character. Most of the characters are very rich, and think them ...more
May 15, 2013 Diana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
La versione maschile di 100 colpi di spazzola prima di andare a dormire.

Sarebbe anche scritto in modo scorrevole ed accattivante (sebbene un po' sconclusionato), ma i contenuti sono talmente discutibili che la recensione non può che essere pessima!
Il tono del narratore è estremamente irritante, le situazioni descritte spesso assurde o quanto meno improbabili (ma forse non vivendo in quel mondo non lo conosco a sufficienza, fortunatamente!).
Tutto il libro è comunque permeato da un alone misogen
Oct 02, 2013 Dan rated it it was ok
Kelman has a talent for aphorisms. The excerpts from Homer would have been more effective at conveying the timelessness of the theme if they had been culled to a few choice examples. Kelman's concept is that successful men have opportunistic sex with girls as a kind of restorative sacrament which temporarily salves the wound that inspired the mens' will to power. The drive at issue isn’t that complicated, narrowly focused, or interesting. I think David Milch did a better job of getting to the he ...more
Jul 11, 2008 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not for the faint of heart or those that would worry about being struck by lightning for reading something this open and vulgar. Not for any woman to read. I haven't met a woman that has tried to and has actually liked it.
It does contain the bitterness and twisted psyche a man may run across in his life despite it being about older men with power and reflects in a very negative way how men look upon sex and women. It reflects in a very ugly way how women respond to men with money.
It i
Aug 30, 2016 Alex marked it as to-read
"girls is an erotic spree, a journey into the most forbidden corners of male desire, a story about men who have been rendered numb by their power, who have sacrificed everything for success, who have lost their souls and can find meaning only by living vicariously, obsessively through young women."

Sep 26, 2012 Briana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written from the perspective of a very bored man who couldn't stay faithful if it killed him. He babbles on about all kinds of rationalizations for his behavior. I find the narrator of this book pathetic and disgusting. There is no denying that the writing is incredibly well done. Its the points of the book I take issue with. There are plenty of men who manage to make it through their first marriage, to speak to and continue to love their wives and do it all without having sex with ...more
Feb 23, 2008 Kris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I read this book three years ago, I still think about it occasionally. Disturbing is the only word that I can come up with that conveys the open mouthed revulsion which compelled me to read this in one night. It's like a car crash you can't look away from and I passed it around to both female and male friends for months after reading it, because it was somehow satisfying to see the glazed look of either (in men's case) guilty resonance, or in women's case revulsion and fascination.

Jun 15, 2013 Josh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Seems to be written by a middle aged man that fantasizes about being rich and successful and desired by young women. If there are people in the world like the men or man in the book or the girls that fall for him/them, then I feel sorry for them. With our world the way it is today, I'm sure there are people this bad. The book made me sad for the broken marriages, families, and people. As far as the writing, it was like a bunch of rambling thoughts or a rambling conversation that continually chan ...more
Jan 17, 2016 Aliendheasja rated it really liked it
This book was recommended by a male friend and according to him "I should read it to know how men actually think".
So I did and I wasn't disappointed. It is one of the books that I could actually felt that was so manly. Everything that happens in the book was based on facts and described as technical as possible. It was a very interesting read.
Some of the steamy sex scenes made me uncomfortable, but not because of the erotica, more because a lot of scenes involved extremely young girls and men
Roman Glass
Mar 11, 2014 Roman Glass rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very provocative book. But once you get the meaning and get over it that men like this actually do exist, the good, the critique of this book unfolds. A very quick read.
Marc Thomas
Aug 14, 2016 Marc Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Portrays men as many of us really are with brutal honesty.
At first I was thrown by the second person perspective, but in the end it really works and throws you in head first.
I'll definitely read this book again.
Ian Mapp
Dec 19, 2012 Ian Mapp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reminded me very much of Michel Houellebecq, which is high priase.

The book is written with no chapters. Just a series of paragraphs - some contain stories of men - sleeping with Thai prostitutes and doing unsavory things to them and feeling soiled in the morning, sleeping with Students, sleeping with friends underage daughters. The theme is that all men crave youth and the powerful men can attain it.

Interspersed with these stories are facts to back up the story and quotes from Homer, which add l
Whitney Maas
This book began like journey through a dark, mystical dream that you can only see through a mist and appears only in black and white images. I found myself captivated by his grammatical structures and language choices while also the fact that a single personal name did not appear until well through the book. I did, however, find myself a bit tense with the drawn out negativity of some passages and overall cynical approach to long term "love."
His references to Homer, Nabokov and a few etymologica
Katy Sleta
May 31, 2014 Katy Sleta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-and-liked
That's a brilliant book on what triggers men' appetite for young girls. What is happening in their brain and life for them to engage into relationships and sex with women twice younger than them. Many references to Lolita clearly indicate where the author got the question to explore. The book is written in great emotional detail, with attention to physical pleasures, but at no point it crosses the line between literature and low-grade housewify porn. Great read for those interested in sexuality ...more
Alecia Whitaker
Twisted. Explores the idea of pedaphilia... Or maybe just the concept of men of power attracted to women too young to have realized their own ambition.

He continues to quote paragraphs and even pages of Greek literature throughout the book. He plays with voice - from 2nd person to 1st person - in a way that is completely annoying and difficult to follow.

This is a book that wanted to explore a theme, but could not focus.

Yet creepy enough to make you finish and make you think about it afterwards.
Andrew Herdeg
Aug 16, 2013 Andrew Herdeg rated it liked it
Summed up well by the Publisher's Weekly line: "Kelman's blend of Penthouse-grade sexual transgression, Nietzschean bombast and Sinatra-esque rue is a vigorous rendering of a certain misogynist mindset of masculine privilege, but for all its artfulness, it never quite transcends the cliches it wants to dissect."

Definitely touches on some things that men think but would never say. Some good stuff but it can become buried in the "men of privilege" schtick.
Dec 11, 2013 Kim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Expected a lot more from this one. Found it very disjointed and it wasn't really a novel, rather a series of anecdotes and one-liners, many of which didn't even seem to be relevant to the topic of 'girls'. I didn't really understand the need for, or relevance of, the extracts from The Iliad and The Odyssey etc. which were scattered through the book. I found only a couple of the anecdotes to be entertaining at all. 2/10 is all I can award this one.
Feb 08, 2013 Silvia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
L'uomo che racconta mi da i brividi. Scoprire che dietro la mente maschile ci sono certi pensieri, che alla mia età non penseresti mai, mette davvero tanto i brividi. Eppure l'ho letto in un fiato, perchè più andavo avanti e più volevo scoprire di più. E' un tour nei meandri più sporchi del sesso, e soprattutto raccontato cinicamente. Devo ammettere che l'ho adorato, anche se per qualche tempo vedevo ogni singolo uomo con occhio cattivo.
Sep 26, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Euh ja, interessant.
Jul 12, 2008 Cherie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
a sick twisted way that men woman reading it will like it. It makes men look like pervs and makes you wonder if they all think this way. It also makes women look money hungry which is true for some but not all. I guess in the book the women and men match pretty good. It's about the worst in both gender. Maybe someone should write about the best in both and call it.......what? Girls II?????
Shannon Marie Alfaro
Not a book girls that think their man is unique and loyal should read. Some of the scenes in this small book were so degrading and disturbing that I even stopped reading for awhile. However, it was very interesting to get into the head of a man. So many men and even woman are worried and wondering about how a woman's thought process works that most people overlook the mystery of a man's. Very insightful read.
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“And if they don't like it if you use those words and they stop moving put their hand on your mouth say "Don't say thatdon't use that wordI don't like it " if they say they don't want to try being handcuffed to the towel rack in the bathroom they're never any good in bed. They may be nice. They may be witty charming etc. etc. They may be doing something for women's liberation (over what? over whom?). But they're never any good in bed.” 2 likes
“when they become informed, they become tired like you, jaded.” 1 likes
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