Deb's Reviews > Sex and the River Styx

Sex and the River Styx by Edward Hoagland
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's review
Aug 24, 2011

liked it
Read from June 07 to August 31, 2011

I was excited about this book: the modern day Henry David, reflections of a wanderer, and observations of life. With four chapters left to go, I am struggling. Like Thoreau’s writing, this is not light reading. Often during the narrations I found myself pondering, thinking of the objective and consenting to the sage's wisdom. But, what I was seeking were the descriptive passages that transport you to another time or place, laced with resurrected ideals: the first chapter was exactly that -- WW II and a young boys exploration of a new environment, recently plucked from the city to a rural farm and the joys of nature and eccentric personalities he finds. Prose that twists (as an example: Into the void slips obsessional pornography, fundamentalist religion, strobe-light showbiz, and squirmy corporate flacks such as the old power brokers seldom employed. How is that for GREAT command of the English language?!?!?!), on and on it goes and farther and farther away from the meditations of his life experiences, the sentences choppy and shifting until my focus is sadly not upon the ruminating assembly but instead dozing or inattentively staring at some object. I wanted to love this book. Small doses of the writing could lead to interesting conversations, but none more than the title of the book which has caused numerous people to comment and even boldly state their surprise regarding someone so openly reading a sex book in public arenas  Aside from the catchy title and the transcendentalist similarity, the book has weighed me down . . . to the stack of not-quite-finished it goes. Now I may never truly know if Sex and the River Styx is a metaphor or musings of a life altering event that defined a character. My adoration of Thoreau and the similarity of Hoagland’s style force me to give this book 3 stars, tempted to give it 2 but the writing is very lovely and it is unfair to penalize a review due to my unmet expectations.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Whew, this one is lighter than the last one :) No wheelbarrow required :) hee!

message 2: by Deb (new) - rated it 3 stars

Deb no kidding!!! But, the title immediatly grabs attention :) Oh, if only Henry David was as creative with his titles.

message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Good for you ~ you can always come back later if you choose and finish. Or not :) Choices!

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