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Sex and Death to the Age 14
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Sex and Death to the Age 14

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  430 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
This is a collection of six monologues by the master of one-man drama. Included are "Sex and Death at the Age of 14," "Booze, Cars, and College Girls," "47 Beds," "Nobody Wanted to Sit Behind a Desk," "Travels through New England," and "Terror of Pleasure: The House." Also includes a preface by the author.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 12th 1986 by Vintage
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Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, theatre, america, memoir
This is a collection of some of Gray’s early (and best) monologues. These are the yarns that made his reputation as a story-teller in the 1980s: Sex and Death to the Age 14; Booze, Cars, and College Girls; 47 Beds, Nobody Wanted to Sit Behind a Desk, Travels through New England, and Terrors of Pleasure: the House. At his best, Gray brings together several tendencies in American narrative arts – the good-old down east yarn, contemporary New York theatre, and modern “warts and all” confession. He ...more
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Love the way this begins: "Stories seem to fly to me and stick. They are always out there, coming in. We exist in a fabric of personal stories. All culture, all civilization is an artful web, a human puzzle, a colorful quilt patched together to lay over raw indifferent nature. So I never wonder whether, if a tree falls in the forest, will anyone hear it. Rather, who will tell about it?"

I hadn't heard of Spalding Gray before Hannah lent me this book, but upon finishing the last pages I pressed on
Sabra Embury
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up after randomly flipping through Gray's Monster in a Box (1992) and subsequently finishing the book in the next hour or so without a break. After that was Swimming to Cambodia, followed by the Swimming to Cambodia DVD on Netflix, then finally Sex and Death...

One explanation for the binge is a crush on Gray; his personal monologues; his WASPY narcissism, his brutal honesty, embedded into whatever embellishments--make his tales of life and career hilarious. Reading his stories, for
Feb 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
even better is a 1986 random house audio cassette -- now very, very difficult to get hold of. i used to have it, lost it, searched for a couple of years and couldn't find it anywhere on the internet. i finally contacted the gray estate and begged. i had to make a donation to Gray's scholarship fund to get a dub out of them. the recording is just as hilarious as i'd remembered it being.

gray reads selections from sex and death--which is wonderful enough on its own, but the cassette also includes g
Jul 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Spaulding Gray,I think came closest to a recent century Mark Twain. I say that in the sense of while Gray's monologue material was personal and sometimes self absorbent as opposed to Twain who looked at society as a whole,there was a fascinating story that would illustrate the human condition.

A chance meeting with Spaulding Gray,led to my own autobiographical work, "Black Hippie Chronicles"

Sex and Death to the Age 14 is one of the early works of Spaulding Grey. In that sense,it is more "raw" tha
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Don't expect the book to stay true to its title. I liked the chapters about his childhood best, but he also writes about his adult life - with varying success. I ended up putting the book down for several weeks because I lost interest in the second to last chapter "Travels through New England." The last chapter (about home ownership) worked better for me.
Jan 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
A heck of a lot of fun...Gray was a trailblazer, as far as I'm concerned, for this generation of monologists (is that a word?)/first-person essayists. This book flows well...light and smooth. I pull it off the shelf about once a year. The section about his drinking is probably the best...worth picking up cheap and reading on public trans.
Sep 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
I just really like Gray's use of nouns. He's the kind of guy who remembers that what Fats Waller song was on the radio when he was spying on his best friend losing his virginity. Even if he's making it up, he's smart to know it's a necessary detail.
May 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who like memoirs
Shelves: audiobooks, 2009-list
This is actually a book I'm re-reading or listening to again. I used the paperback edition so I could show the cover rather than the audio version which a friend made into a CD for me a few years ago. Listening to Spalding Gray is an experience that everyone should have. He is missed.
Donald Jans
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is probably the novel that made me want to start writing a novel that I wanted to read! Honest and funny! And a quick surmountable read.
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Spalding Gray was an American actor, screenwriter, performance artist, and playwright.
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