jazz-ee2's Reviews > Fanny Hill. Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure

Fanny Hill. Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland
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's review
Jun 08, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: audio, classic, 18th-century
Read from May 19 to June 02, 2011 — I own a copy

I listened to most of this book while walking the dog. I'm no prude but I really had no idea just how rude it was going to be, and walked along beside the dog laughing and blushing alternately! The language used to describe different parts of the body and sex acts really is quite creative, I loved the various descriptions. It did read rather like soft porn, however, and by the end of it (or before) I must admit I had tired of it. With no real story or plot line other than to illustrate different sex scenarios, it soon became trite and a little irritating (albeit titilating).

The book was written by a young man in his 20s, with the main character being just 15 in mid 1700s. I would say that this book could only have been written by a man, being merely a collection of a young man's fantasies. The myth perpetuated that the most beautiful thing ever is a man's penis, and that all women want it all the time, is certainly not a female notion. That said, it so reminded me of a bok I read last year - Confessions of a Working Girl - which was supposedly written by a woman, obviously one who had read this book first and traded on it to make a bit of money.Many scenes made me feel uncomfortable, especially the forcible manner of many of the men towards the girl, most certanly rape in ay other circumstance.

I have read reviews that the interest in the sex aspect of the book has overshadowed the writing, and that it is a literary success in it's own write. I cannot agree with this opinion - you only have to read Thomas Hardy to see just how to write sexually infused literary works of genius. I'd go for this any day.

All in all, it's a book I'm glad to have read but know that I will never revisit.

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