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The Pornographer's Poem
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The Pornographer's Poem

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  276 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
As a grade seven student living in an affluent suburb of Vancouver, our unnamed narrator and his closest friend Nettie, are introduced to the exciting world of super-8 filmmaking by a progressive young teacher. Together Nettie and the narrator find in film a means of expressing their somewhat skewed world views.

At the age of sixteen the narrator shoots his first adult film
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 26th 2000 by Vintage Canada (first published 1999)
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Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Notcathy J
Jun 12, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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."
Dave Hazzan
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-read
This book is what Catcher In the Rye should be or should have been. It definitely left me with more questions than it answered. Excellent exercise in narrator trustworthiness. Well written, with an energetic pace and format. Interesting, believable characters - like people I knew (or the ideas of people) or can personally relate to in some way or another. At times incredibly funny and/or disturbing, but mostly concerned with truly difficult (although relevant and, arguably necessary) subject mat ...more
Jason Bradshaw
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, recommended
It’s about… well, I don’t know exactly the best way to describe it. An unconventional sort of coming of age story, maybe. Or, about a kid that growing up, his adolescent sexualization and his foray into the world of pornography. But that doesn’t really say it, either. I don’t know. It doesn’t have an easy pitch. The plot is really beside the point anyway.

What I can say is that I was really hooked by this book. I had a hard time putting it down, and am going to be musing over it for quite a while
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jordaan Mason
Sep 24, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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...
Jul 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is, by far, my favourite book of all time. I have read it and re-read it so many times I can even begin to guess the amount.
Jun 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008
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  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read, his name should be Michael "page-turner" Turner
Jackson Burnett
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
I found this in the free book bin at R&L! OK, OK, proper review to come, then ...
May 13, 2007 rated it it was ok
didn't really spark anything for me - there were a few laughts and some compelling bits but overall, meh.
Milica Jankovic
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
I like novels of obsession and self-loathing a lot. Do you?
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2011
rated it really liked it
Jan 31, 2014
Kyla Bea
rated it really liked it
Oct 08, 2007
rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 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.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
More about Michael Turner...