Graceann's Reviews > The Naked Face

The Naked Face by Sidney Sheldon
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's review
Apr 06, 11

bookshelves: mystery, trashy-fiction
Recommended for: Nobody; avoid
Read from April 03 to 05, 2011, read count: 1

This was one of Sidney Sheldon's first novels (if not THE first). It came out in 1971, and it has not aged well at all. Psychoanalyst Judd Stephens finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery and as the web tightens around him, he struggles to use his knowledge of human behavior in order to out-think the killer or killers.

However, the out-moded, idiotic beliefs regarding sexuality and the uber-70s dialogue "let's rap," "he was groovy," just makes the whole thing ludicrous. Further, regardless of any inability to accept fact, homosexuality is not a disease or a choice - there is nothing to being gay that requires "curing." One character is "cured" of his homosexuality, and his wife is advised of the ways she has failed her husband and thus "caused" his homosexuality. What a backwards, offensive mindset. As a straight but intelligent person, I was appalled. I can only imagine what gay readers might have thought of this nonsense. The homosexuality as terrible, terrible thing surfaces again and again in the story, and it was stupid on page one.

In light of that, I read the rest of the book saying "thank goodness he grew into good writing like Bloodline and Rage of Angels, because this is garbage." Sheldon was never Tolstoy, but I've usually found him to be quite enjoyable. The Naked Face is proof that not all novelists do interesting work right from the start of their careers.
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Reading Progress

04/05/2011 page 129

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