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The Pornographer's Poem

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  322 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A first-hand account of the life of an unnamed pornographic filmmaker, who at age sixteen, gets his first taste of adult cinema. He shoots his first film, surreptitiously capturing his neighbors having sex on their back porch and discovering that through representations of sexual activity he can comment on what he finds both painful and confusing. In the films that follow, ...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published May 14th 2004 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  322 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Aug 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
i finished this book at la guardia on a hard little chair. i then walked through the airport terminal with tears streaming down my face. not because this book was particularly sad, and not because it was particularly happy, but just because it was so fucking perfectly written.
Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Brave souls who are nearly impossible to offend.
Recommended to Tanya by: Found it while browsing.
Michael Turner’s debut novel, The Pornographer’s Poem, is neither pornographic, nor a poem, but there are passages in the book that achieve the poetic and the pornographic. It’s one of those narratives where if someone saw you reading it and asked what it was about, a simple recounting of the plot would be meaningless. You could possibly say that it’s the coming of age story about a teenage boy, nameless but slightly reminiscent of Holden Caulfield, who starts making amateur porn films after spy ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, books-recs
This book absolutely blew me away oh my lord
I don't event know what to say about it
Just absolutely brilliant
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Fallon forced me to read this. She got it at the college bookstore really cheap and wanted to discuss it with someone. For a book with “pornographer” in the title, it isn’t surprising that there is plenty of very graphically detailed sex. However, it’s anything but pornography.

The book is a page turner. Maybe it’s because I’m stupid, but I didn’t catch on to what was happening until the very last page.

All of the characters are beautifully flawed, especially the unnamed protagonist. They’re not
Dimitrios Otis
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This well-received Canadian novel earned its reviews through a measured, hyper-realism (to the point of subdued absurdity) detailing a high school student's coming-of-age in the context of making 8mm films. Never trying too hard, it neither pushes any emotional agenda nor makes a big deal of it's ultimate meaning (in the novel's world.) At first it reads like a true-to-life autobiographical re-telling, but the focus on quotidian details soon prove life to be strange than fiction - ergo, we come ...more
Jordaan Mason
Sep 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: queer, fiction
i found this book to be a bit of a disappointment. after reading "american whiskey bar" (which i loved) and reading a synopsis of this book, i was very eager to read it, the plot sounding like something i would really enjoy. however, the story kind of falls a bit flat and wasn't really what i thought it was going to be; maybe my expectations were too high. in general i thought it seemed a bit sloppy and rushed.
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books! It's not for the faint of heart considering the graphic depictions of sex but it's all necessary. To me this is a coming-of-age novel that actually depicts all the feelings and frustrations associated with growing up and having sex. The ending literally knocked me on my ass because I NEVER saw it coming and you'll want to immediately reread it to see how obvious the whole thing is.
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book stands out in my mind as one of the great expositions of unadulterated sexual discovery and exploration I have ever come across.

This book stands as a reminder that sex can be an unmediated experience; detached from narratives of Christianity, pornography and media.

But, for most who did not discover sexuality in this way, the book stands as a stark reminder of one's own mediated sexual discovery...

As such, the book is strangely liberating and tragic.
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-books
A gritty, realistic take on young sexuality. May be disturbing to some, only because of its accuracy.
Jenny Sanderson
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly brilliant. Each of my friends who have read it have interpreted it differently to me. But I need to re-read because I'm still not sure...
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fuckin' amazing, start to finish genius.
Jul 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2003, 2009, own
Quick and compelling, even on re-read, with a sharp ending and tight storyline. I tend to find familiar settings jarring in fiction, but not so much here, perhaps because of the timeframe (1978-80).
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm finishing it because I started it, but I'm not as enthralled with it as I expected to be. I'd heard such good things about this book, but... Maybe I just waited too long to read it.
Notcathy J
Jun 12, 2007 rated it did not like it
Cathy has written: "Disgraceful typesetting--riddled with errors--what'd they do, scan in a handwritten MS? "1" for "I", "m" for "in", eg runnmg. And ignorant mistakes, like balling for bawling."
Jun 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, to-reread
I loved The Pornographer's Poem as a fairly young teen, and I was worried it wouldn't hold up. It does. It's as strong as I remember, and I'm going to have to buy it now.
Max Maslansky
Mar 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Excellent read, his name should be Michael "page-turner" Turner
Jackson Burnett
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: literary
Should I give this book another chance? The reviews here are mostly positive, but I read the novel when it was first published and found it dense and uninspiring. Did I miss its genius?
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
An interesting premise couldn't save this book from being a bit too rambling. The graphic sex scenes bordered on overly gratuitous just for the sake of it.
Audrey Babkirk Wellons
Jul 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I found this in the free book bin at R&L! OK, OK, proper review to come, then ... ...more
May 13, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
didn't really spark anything for me - there were a few laughts and some compelling bits but overall, meh.
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Unique, specific and not for everyone. It's one of those books that you'll either love or find utterly tasteless. Inspired and raw take on young sexuality.
Laurie Neighbors
Aug 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
I like novels of obsession and self-loathing a lot. Do you?
Dave Hazzan
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought I'd be unimpressed but it's one of the best modern pieces of CanLit I've read in a long time. Totally original, highly recommended.
Colter Pierce
rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2011
rated it really liked it
Jan 31, 2014
Kyla Bea
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Oct 08, 2007
rated it really liked it
Jul 08, 2013
rated it it was ok
Oct 04, 2016
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Michael Turner (born 1962) is an author and musician who writes poetry, prose and opera librettos.

Michael Turner is Vancouver based writer whose multigenre books include Company Town (1991), Hard Core Logo (1993), Kingsway (1995), American Whisky Bar (1997) and The Pornographer's Poem (1999). A frequent collaborator, he has written scripts with Stan Douglas, poems with Geoffrey Farmer, and songs w

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