Alex's Reviews > Bad Behavior

Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill
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bookshelves: smut, 2013
Recommended for: People who want to look naughty but not really be naughty

I found this book on a list of the ten sexiest books of all time, and I should have known as soon as I saw Tropic of Cancer that the author was confusing "sexy" with "containing sex", but this contains the story that spawned the movie "Secretary"! Which I don't know if you've seen that but it's sexy.

These are not, in any case, sexy stories. They're vignettes about relationships, set in sexy contexts. So the story about the lady who hooks on the side turns out to be more about one of her relationships than about hooking; same with the one about S&M. And "Secretary", by the way, is super different than the movie. It includes less sex.

So: it is not one of the ten sexiest books of all time. Not to say it's wholly unsexy; it's somewhat sexy sometimes. It's more sexy than if the contexts for the stories were, like, plumbers. Are the short stories good for themselves? Sure, yes, they're pretty good, although almost always frustratingly lacking in resolution. Vignettes, again. But I'm unlucky enough to be reading Alice Munro at the same time, which really isn't fair to anyone else; Munro makes everyone look bad.

This book is fine.
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Reading Progress

May 22, 2013 – Shelved
May 22, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
May 22, 2013 – Shelved as: smut
September 1, 2013 – Started Reading
December 4, 2013 – Shelved as: 2013
December 4, 2013 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Lise (last edited Dec 04, 2013 10:37AM) (new) - added it

Lise Petrauskas I've read three of the books on that list. I wouldn't put them in the sexiest books of all time category. I tried to read Miller back when I first read Anais Nin in college, but was forced by the horrid self-indulgent boringness to stop after a few pages. I really wanted to have read him at the time. Now, based on reviews of people whose opinions I resemble, I'm rather proud that I couldn't make myself.

Nin's book is sexy. Pablo Neruda's book is fucking brilliant, but sexy? I would say sensual. Chatterly's Lover I read a long time ago, but I think I would have remembered if it had been sexy. I would never, in an amorous mood, think of picking it up and flipping through it.

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