Michel's Reviews > You Deserve Nothing

You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik
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's review
Dec 11, 2011

liked it
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Recommended for: No one, unless you borrowed it: don't let the author make any more money from this!
Read in December, 2011

Remember the Million Little Pieces scandal, when Frey's "memoir" turned out to be fictitious? Well this is the same thing in reverse: a "novel" which turns out to be a memoir. The appalling story of a teacher committing custodial rape on a 17 year old student.
No apology, no atonement, au contraire, she seduced him, you see, she asked for it, she felt good about it, she still dreams of him, all the usual excuses! How did Sebold, his editor and a rape victim herself, let him get away with that shit?
Not a hint of remorse for failing to protect her from pregnancy and abortion. And then he reuses her all over again, betraying privileged information she confided during their scandalous 6-months "affair".
This being said, I read the book not knowing any of this, and I must confess I kind of liked it in the perverse way I enjoyed Lolita: it is well written (or well edited?), and atmospheric, and the characters feel real, and Marie's flesh is so beautifully celebrated that you forget she is a child, test-driving her sex-appeal in what should be a safe environment...
Maksik is no Nabokov, and Silver is no Humbert (who at least was fictitious), but it is a pretty good read (hence the 3 stars), until you find out that the only part of it imagined by the author is how "Marie" lived (lives) it.
A taste of ashes.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Madhuri If you enjoyed the book, you enjoyed the book. This great article by Books Matter shows why the fact vs. fiction hysteria is entirely misguided: http://booksmatter.tumblr.com/post/14...

Regina Luersen I agree with Madhuri. Read this article. what do you think?

Beth Hopper Yes! This book moved me in the same way The History Boys by Alan Bennett did a few years ago. Truthfully, Marie's antics were the least compelling portion of the book to me, and I would gladly have cut those out. The Gilad storyline was honest and convicting, and I will always love this book for that reason.

Michel I hold that teachers, scoutmasters, psychotherapists, etc. must just say No. No sex with your wards, no matter what their "antics".
So I hated liking this book, fiction or not.
And now that I know that it was justification, not imagination, that drove it, I feel even worse.

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