Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Pornographer's Poem” as Want to Read:
The Pornographer's Poem
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Pornographer's Poem

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  240 ratings  ·  23 reviews
As a grade seven student living in an affluent suburb of Vancouver, our unnamed narrator and his closest friend Nettie, are introduced to the exciting world of super-8 filmmaking by a progressive young teacher. Together Nettie and the narrator find in film a means of expressing their somewhat skewed world views.

At the age of sixteen the narrator shoots his first adult film
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 26th 2000 by Vintage Canada (first published 1999)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Pornographer's Poem, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Pornographer's Poem

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 459)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jan 07, 2009 Tanya rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brave souls who are nearly impossible to offend.
Recommended to Tanya by: Found it while browsing.
Michael Turner’s debut novel, The Pornographer’s Poem, is neither pornographic, nor a poem, but there are passages in the book that achieve the poetic and the pornographic. It’s one of those narratives where if someone saw you reading it and asked what it was about, a simple recounting of the plot would be meaningless. You could possibly say that it’s the coming of age story about a teenage boy, nameless but slightly reminiscent of Holden Caulfield, who starts making amateur porn films after spy ...more
i finished this book at la guardia on a hard little chair. i then walked through the airport terminal with tears streaming down my face. not because this book was particularly sad, and not because it was particularly happy, but just because it was so fucking perfectly written.
Jason Bradshaw
It’s about… well, I don’t know exactly the best way to describe it. An unconventional sort of coming of age story, maybe. Or, about a kid that growing up, his adolescent sexualization and his foray into the world of pornography. But that doesn’t really say it, either. I don’t know. It doesn’t have an easy pitch. The plot is really beside the point anyway.

What I can say is that I was really hooked by this book. I had a hard time putting it down, and am going to be musing over it for quite a while
Fallon forced me to read this. She got it at the college bookstore really cheap and wanted to discuss it with someone. For a book with “pornographer” in the title, it isn’t surprising that there is plenty of very graphically detailed sex. However, it’s anything but pornography.

The book is a page turner. Maybe it’s because I’m stupid, but I didn’t catch on to what was happening until the very last page.

All of the characters are beautifully flawed, especially the unnamed protagonist. They’re not
Obsessed. Get past the first 30 pages.

This book gets to the experience of how you evolve from age 14 to 18 in a way that few others do. The characters really grow up. And not just in conventional coming of age ways like exploring sex or drugs (though that stuff is in here too). Turner reminds you of what it's like to become the person you are, the adult you're going to be, from that starting place of the end of childhood when you really have no opinions or experiences to draw from in order to m
Basically 'I am the Cheese' meets 'Go ask Alice' with better prose than the latter. It seems as regrettable that the author wasted his effort on such an insipid, moralistic story as that I wasted my time reading such an insipid, moralistic story.
This book stands out in my mind as one of the great expositions of unadulterated sexual discovery and exploration I have ever come across.

This book stands as a reminder that sex can be an unmediated experience; detached from narratives of Christianity, pornography and media.

But, for most who did not discover sexuality in this way, the book stands as a stark reminder of one's own mediated sexual discovery...

As such, the book is strangely liberating and tragic.
Jordaan Mason
i found this book to be a bit of a disappointment. after reading "american whiskey bar" (which i loved) and reading a synopsis of this book, i was very eager to read it, the plot sounding like something i would really enjoy. however, the story kind of falls a bit flat and wasn't really what i thought it was going to be; maybe my expectations were too high. in general i thought it seemed a bit sloppy and rushed.
One of my favorite books! It's not for the faint of heart considering the graphic depictions of sex but it's all necessary. To me this is a coming-of-age novel that actually depicts all the feelings and frustrations associated with growing up and having sex. The ending literally knocked me on my ass because I NEVER saw it coming and you'll want to immediately reread it to see how obvious the whole thing is.
Jan 24, 2009 Z rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2003, 2009, own
Quick and compelling, even on re-read, with a sharp ending and tight storyline. I tend to find familiar settings jarring in fiction, but not so much here, perhaps because of the timeframe (1978-80).
Notcathy J
Cathy has written: "Disgraceful typesetting--riddled with errors--what'd they do, scan in a handwritten MS? "1" for "I", "m" for "in", eg runnmg. And ignorant mistakes, like balling for bawling."
I'm finishing it because I started it, but I'm not as enthralled with it as I expected to be. I'd heard such good things about this book, but... Maybe I just waited too long to read it.
Jackson Burnett
Should I give this book another chance? The reviews here are mostly positive, but I read the novel when it was first published and found it dense and uninspiring. Did I miss its genius?
I loved The Pornographer's Poem as a fairly young teen, and I was worried it wouldn't hold up. It does. It's as strong as I remember, and I'm going to have to buy it now.
An interesting premise couldn't save this book from being a bit too rambling. The graphic sex scenes bordered on overly gratuitous just for the sake of it.
Jenny Sanderson
Incredibly brilliant. Each of my friends who have read it have interpreted it differently to me. But I need to re-read because I'm still not sure...
This is, by far, my favourite book of all time. I have read it and re-read it so many times I can even begin to guess the amount.
didn't really spark anything for me - there were a few laughts and some compelling bits but overall, meh.
Audrey Babkirk Wellons
I found this in the free book bin at R&L! OK, OK, proper review to come, then ...
Max Maslansky
Excellent read, his name should be Michael "page-turner" Turner
A love note to the art of amateur film-making as much as porn.
Laurie Neighbors
I like novels of obsession and self-loathing a lot. Do you?
Kristen marked it as to-read
May 23, 2015
Dave Hazzan
Dave Hazzan is currently reading it
May 18, 2015
Nikki Purcell
Nikki Purcell marked it as to-read
May 13, 2015
Ellen marked it as to-read
May 01, 2015
Jason marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15 16 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Broken Ground
  • The World
  • Sitting Practice: A Novel
  • All the Anxious Girls on Earth: Stories
  • Simple Recipes
  • Conceit
  • Once You Break a Knuckle
  • Soucouyant
  • Dead Girls
  • The Beggar's Garden
  • Malarky
  • Kilter
  • Stanley Park
  • Radiance
  • Memory Board
  • City of Glass: Doug Coupland's Vancouver
  • Barenaked Jane
  • Everything Was Good-bye
Michael Turner (born 1962) is an author and musician who writes poetry, prose and opera librettos.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
More about Michael Turner...
Hard Core Logo American Whiskey Bar 8 X 10 Company Town Kingsway

Share This Book