Dr. Sex
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Dr. Sex

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3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  3,363 ratings  ·  351 reviews
Fresh on the heels of his New York Times bestselling and National Book Award- nominated novel, Drop City, T.C. Boyle has spun an even more dazzling tale that will delight both his longtime devotees and a legion of new fans. Boyle's tenth novel, The Inner Circle has it all: fabulous characters, a rollicking plot, and more sex than pioneering researcher Dr. Alfred Kinsey eve...more
Paperback, 538 pages
Published 2007 by Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shovelmonkey1
Dr Kinsey, or Prok as he was known to his overly familiar and very hands-on inner circle was the man who lifted the covers on sex and took a good long hard look, often with the occasional poke or touch also involved. Revered and reviled by post-war American society as both a genius and a deviant he revolutionised the way people think and talk about doing “it”. This was especially significant at a time when most people wouldn’t admit to doing it, never mind thinking about it or talking about it....more
Jmoscari
This book made me think about my sexual side in ways I never dreamed of. Boyle understands his protagonist like a true master - when John Milk is anxious about a sexual situation, I am equally nervous. What I found exceptionally impressive about this book is how well Boyle writes the erotic. Despite the blatant opportunity for the events of the story to become gratuitous, the novel is not pornographic in any way. Everything involving sexual subjects - which is pretty much the whole novel - is ha...more
Punk
Fiction. The memoirs of John Milk, assistant and friend to Dr. Alfred Kinsey as he develops the Institute for Sex Research. This is a fairly dry book, which is amazing considering the sheer amount of sex going on, but that's mostly the fault of Milk, our hedging, awkward narrator. Milk is just no fun, though he's got some crazy hero worship for Kinsey. Kinsey is a god to Milk, and to his other assistants, and it's creepy and fascinating and really makes me want to learn more about Kinsey and see...more
Hillary
I sort of hate to give this only three stars, but the rating hinges to some extent on whether or not you've seen the movie Kinsey, which I have and which covers much of the same ground. I'm not opposed to Boyle's leanings toward the historical novel. They've produced great results, as with Riven Rock, but that was a book that transcended its subject, becoming just as much about a genre of literature (social realism) as about its more obvious topic. The Inner Circle doesn't so much do that--or, i...more
Lise
This is NOT the book to read on Melbourne public transport! Believe me you don't want someone peering over your shoulder on the tram or train on this one! This is my first TC Boyle and it's a great read! Boyle combines fact and fiction with the story of Alfred Kinsey's "inner circle" from the point of view of (fictional) John Milk a good looking nerd who gets drawn deeper and deeper in Kinsey's experiments and views on life, marriage, sexuality, to the detriment of his own marriage. The scenes a...more
Colin Mckenna
I found myself gliding through the pages, to Boyle's credit - and I am not a fast reader. He has a narrative gift that drew me along despite strongly disliking the two central characters, which almost made me give it a three star. I don't know anything about the real characters so I'll assume he was was stuck with these flawed people. The narrator, John, is such a doormat that even as I think of him stumbling through every - I mean, every - piece of dialogue, it make me want to change the rating...more
Nitya
This is essentially the story of Professor Kinsey, the famous sex researcher, as told by a young man, who in the late 1930's takes Professor Kinsey's class in college, gets interviewed by him for his now famous sex study, and ends up working alongside Kinsey in his research of human sexuality. The inner circle consists of Prok (Professor Kinsey), his wife, Mac, and the young men who join him in his research, as well as their wives.
I really want to know how much of this book is based on fact. P...more
Judy
Feb 02, 2012 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who are not "sex shy"

This is one sexy novel!! Be advised that you may feel aroused while reading it and chronically horny in between the hours spent reading. It is a fictional account of the years leading up to and immediately following the publication of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male by Dr Alfred Kinsey in 1948.

I don't think many people heard the term "open marriage" until the 1970s. In fact, American views on sexuality remained conservative, Puritan and repressive until the "sexual revolution" and "free love"...more
Teddy
Though fictionalized, this is a true account of Alfred Kinsey and his team of researchers who interviewed people from all walks of life about their sexual practices for the, eventual, Kinsey Report. The narrator, a young college student, John Milk, was totally committed to Professor Kinsey, nicknamed Prok, and became indoctrinated into Prok's way of thinking, as was the rest of Prok's inner circle. If you have the option of reading this book on a kindle or tablet that allows you to access defini...more
May
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janine Flood
If you have already seen the film KINSEY, don't bother with this novel, because that's what it is, a novel, told by a fictional narrator who is not worth the imagining of. His name is John Milk and he is a research assistant on the Kinsey project, whose scientific objectivity is constantly at odds with his emotions. This grew tiresome very quickly, as did every character in the book (Kinsey included), with the exception of one character, John's wife, Iris. How I wish Boyle had alternated the nar...more
Anna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dirk Baranek
Zweitbester Boyle-Roman. Einfach eine der irrsten Geschichten der Moderne: der Biologe, der sich fragt, warum die Wissenschaft alles über das Paarungsverhalten von Fruchtfliegen weiß, aber nichts über das des Menschen. Und der dann einfach anfängt, die Menschen wertfrei zu befragen, massenhaft. Jede Spielart, Absurdität und Vergnügen wird dokumentiert. Und da der Professor auch privat recht experimentierfreudig ist, nimmt die Tragödie ihren Lauf: der Aufschlag auf den Boden der prüden Wirklichke...more
Juanita
I love Boyle's books, usually, and was very disappointed in this one. I also love Kinsey's sex response research, such a thorough and devoted worker, but somehow what was learned got buried in the trivia of the narrative. I expected too much of Boyle perhaps, wanting him to show us the total Kinsey and the effects of his pioneering research. Although we get partial views (e.g. Kinsey as a homosexual, a maker of rugs, a man of many interests), Kinsey just didnt come alive, nor did I get a good fe...more
Randy
The Inner Circle by T. C.

T. C. Boyle writes social historical fiction often focusing on a charismatic type person (Dr. Kellogg in the Road to Wellville and Dr. Kinsey in The Inner Circle). Boyle also like to detail the collision of lifestyles (California hippies trying to survive an Alaska winter in Drop City or a yuppie couple and an illegal immigrant couple living wildly different lives in the same neighborhood, The Tortilla Curtain). In The Inner Circle Boyle imagines the collision of Kinsey’...more
Christine
Jul 17, 2014 Christine rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: T.C. Boyle fans
I loved this novel about Kinsey and his hardworking team. It's written from the perspective of Kinsey's first worker bee, the young, innocent John Milk. Besides all the shocking doings of Kinsey's inner circle, the book includes John's love story, which makes it intimate and poignant, and ultimately unforgettable. I love T.C. Boyle's writing, and this one surely doesn't disappoint!
James Curtin
started this when it was first released but never finished it. did get to see him do a reading at smu in dallas. started it again and finished it at ccp in fall of 2011.
Joe
A tricky historical novel based on the life and career of Alfred Kinsey and his associates. The real Kinsey ("Prok") and his wife Clara ("Mac") are very much on the scene, but Boyle has fictionalized everyone else. The narrator, named John Milk (to suggest Harvey Milk?) may be based in part on Wardell Pomeroy, who was Kinsey's first associate researcher at Indiana University. The central figure, the only foil to the outrageous Prok, is Milk's wife Iris (to suggest Kinsey's favorite flower? Why d...more
Tiffany
Tortilla Curtain? Phenomenal. Riven Rock? Fascinating. Drop City? Couldn't put it down. The Inner Circle? Talk about disappointed. It was boring. The protagonist was pathetic, the narrative was dull, there was none of that steady but inevitable build of tension, pulling me along like a trail of candy to the ultimate glory of a gingerbread house, that drew me to Boyle's work to begin with. The whole thing fell flat. More than once I wanted to pull John Milk out of the book and slap him because hi...more
Tjibbe Wubbels
This is a book in which actually surprisingly little happens, but it is still thought-provoking long after you've turned the last page.

John Milk is part of the inner circle of a group of scholars researching the sexual behavior of the human animal. The group is headed by professor Kinsey, or Prok for short. Prok does most of the thinking for the inner circle. John Milk never thinks for himself. He is only too happy to let Prok do the thinking for him. The same is true for Iris, his wife. Prok ma...more
Jesi
TC Boyle is one of my favorite authors, but I have to say…this was not my favorite of his books. The topic was interesting, based on the true story of the Dr. Kinsey, the famous sex researcher, and his team. The writing was sharp and precise, fitting the voice of the narrator. But somehow, the book was…flat.

The Inner Circle is told from the point of view of John Milk, a low-level researcher on Kinsey’s team at the University of Indiana. He tells the tale of how the ground breaking research was...more
Nancy (NE)
I have very mixed feelings about this book. It is a fascinating story. I am more troubled by fictional accounts and interpretations of a real person's life than the actual content. It bothers me to have such personal material written about a real person and then wonder as to its authenticity, if any. If indeed this was close to Kinsey's life, then it isn't any wonder there was such controversy over his work. His research did much for our understanding of human sexuality. The level of objectivity...more
Ian Mapp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan
I listened to this one on tape, my first Boyle ingested in such a way. I'm glad I did. Often this makes or breaks the read, the narrator is tricky with an accent or self-indulgent, or s/he is compelling, as in this case, and the story comes even more alive. Michael Kramer, the Maryland based audio book narrator, with his brassy tenor, dry and somehow sweet at the same time, rounds out the humor and desolation in Boyle's own voice and makes this "read" a pure, un-obfuscated joy.

The story and cha...more
Sondra Wolferman
Feb 28, 2012 Sondra Wolferman rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sondra by: Found in library
If I were to base my review on the quality of the writing alone, I would give this book five stars. But I hate to see good writing---and this is some of the best writing I've ever seen---wasted on a subject that is not worthy of the author's talent. The Inner Circle is a fictional account of the career of the famous 'sexologist' of the 1950's, Professor Albert Kinsey, or 'Prok' as he was known to his associates. The 'Inner Circle' refers to Prok's group of researchers who travel around the count...more
Ron
One thing for sure, T. C. Boyle is usually up to something. You can't take his stories at face value. Nor do they turn out to be what you expect. Sometimes his narrator just isn't to be trusted, and you have to read between the lines.

All of this is true of this novel about the famous author of the Kinsey Reports. If you're expecting something steamy with a behind-the-scenes look at the man and the men who were part of his research team, you'll be disappointed. If you're expecting an insightful s...more
Sam Quixote
The work of Alfred Kinsey is explored through a fictitious narrator, John Milk, who is there for the first lecture Kinsey gives on sex and soon after becomes involved in the sex research that will form Kinsey's legacy and change the world. But life in the inner circle is far different from the life presented to the media...

T.C. Boyle's novel is an excellent look into one of the 20th century's most interesting and important thinkers/scientists, someone who brought sex from the shadows and shame a...more
Ellie
Hmm what can I say about this novel? I liked the premise, the subject matter seemed interesting but it was too lengthy by half and I have given up with about 20% to go.

I think TC Boyle is a good writer, very descriptive, and this is a re-telling of what actually happened with Kinsey and his team so I assume it's fairly accurate. I wasn't in the least bit shocked or sickened by the sexual acts described or which they all took part in. I might not be interested in the same things myself (everythi...more
Jenni
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ken
THE INNER CIRCLE is a novel about Alfred Charles Kinsey, zoologist at Indiana University, and the founder of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction (Kinsey Institute). The story is told in the first person by John Milk, a fictional character who becomes Kinsey's first researcher, and Milk relates how Kinsey's obsession with the investigation of human sexuality impacted his professional career and his marriage to Iris. The novel begins the day of Kinsey's funeral (he di...more
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T. Coraghessan Boyle (also known as T.C. Boyle, born Thomas John Boyle on December 2, 1948) is a U.S. novelist and short story writer. Since the late 1970s, he has published eleven novels and more than 60 short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner award in 1988 for his third novel, World's End, which recounts 300 years in upstate New York. He is married with three children. Boyle has been a Distinguis...more
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