What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

The Killjoy
This topic is about The Killjoy
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SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Eng. professor with deformed face [s]

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message 1: by Feliks (last edited Mar 09, 2013 10:36AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) This was a short contemporary (although not recent) British adult fiction novel which is told in 1rst-person singular voice from the POV of a middle-aged college English professor.

He is tall and thin, and has a bright and active mind; is very good at his job teaching undergraduate English lit. He is otherwise good-looking and distinguished --except for the fact that one side of his face bears a grotesque, disfiguring, hideous, dis-coloured scar. This has made him a solitary loner; an academic recluse. Its really a livid, glaring facial deformity. I forget how he acquired it but he tries to always talk to people from 'profile only' --the 'good side' only so they don't have to look at it.

One day in class, he notices one of his female students--a sort of punk rock chick in the first aisle--is snickering over something, trying to keep from openly laughing aloud..something in his lecture is making her giggle. May be just the way he pronounces an obscure Latin phrase or character-name.

Noticing her amusement--not really angry, but perhaps just wanting to put-her-in-her-place and get back to the seriousness of his topic, he deliberately turns the scar towards her so that she really gets the full view of it. Really gives her an eyeful. Shocked, her merriment is abruptly cut off. She jumps up and strides forward and slaps him in the face! She chastises him, says he was 'cruel for what he just did'.

This is the start of a sort of May-December affair between them; and its an odd one, because its an affair based on S&M. It turns out that she's a amateur dominatrix as a way to make tuition money and he--although new to it--finds he has a talent for it. On her side, her tolerance for ugliness and pain makes her able to accept his disfigurement. They go one for a while like this, having all sorts of freaky sex and sharing fun and dinners and day-trips.

Against his better judgement he falls in love with her; even though he knows she's a little fool and will probably just break his heart. But he dives in, nonetheless. Head over heels. Loses all restraint. She moves in with him. Then later--seeing the end of the relationship looming up ahead--he turns the tables on her and begins to assume the dominant role; tying her up in the most elaborate ropes and apparatus. Something like this.

The plot ultimately ends either in a robbery of some kind, or a murder. It may be that he goes too far with his ropework and accidentally asphyxiates her.

Does this ring any bells with anyone? Possible title: 'The Good Half' or 'The Good Side'?


Feliks (dzerzhinsky) bump


message 3: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39865 comments Mod
No, it doesn't ring any bells. Maybe Sparrow Nights?

When his lover, Emma, abandons him, Darius Halloway, a professor of French literature, is devastated, but as his obsession grows, he is driven by erotic and psychotic extremes to seek the ultimate revenge.

It does end with a murder, but not of the female lover.


Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Hey! Some elements of this are very close to the book I'm seeking; but the main character-point is missing: the facial scar on the professor.

The BDSM relationship and the murder, the break-up and the revenge..are all there but its the facial deformity which is the crux of the book.

Thanks LG!


message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments I think this is The Killjoy by Anne Fine - though I read it years ago and have forgotten the ending. It's definitely about a relationship between a student and a lecturer with a scarred face.


message 6: by Feliks (last edited Mar 18, 2014 08:52AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Yes! That's it! As soon as I saw you mention the title I recognized it.

You're fab! I salute you. Hurrah!

This is a huge win for me. Two 'SOLVED's in as many weeks!


message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments You're welcome!

I'm trying to build up some karma by solving other people's book mysteries - as I've had a thread going on here for nearly a year unsolved :)


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