Sunday, 30 October 2011

51/111 - The First Time by Kate Monro

I bought this a few months ago when I was attending a book event at a Waterstone's in Islington. I was wandering around a bit early for the event and picked it up before making a quick decision to buy it. I began reading it a little on the train, but I must have become distracted by another book, because I didn't pick it up again until recently. I was pretty disappointed by this and didn't really read it properly all the way through.

The author has gathered stories of different people's tales of their first time having sex (by the way, the subtitle of the book is 'Tales of Virginity Lost and Found'). I had hoped it might be more of a cultural or societal exploration, like Jessica Valentis 'The Purity Myth', which I read last year and adored.

This was just more of a transcript of different people's stories, none of which seemed to go into much more depth or exploration afterwards or before. They were loosely organised into categories, for example there was a chapter for men's tales, and there were some more unusual stories, such as people with disabilities who often seem invisible to most of us on the sexual spectrum.

The main thing I disliked about this was the author's tendency to continually refer us back to either the interview process, or to her own sexual experiences, neither of which I was particularly interested in. I didn't really give a shit that a certain interview had taken a long time or the circumstances under which it occurred - for me, these things were unimportant. As a result, I was left feeling like the book had never really started, even when it was over.

Give this a miss.

Next time: I think I'm going to read some Douglas Coupland next, because I could do with some levity, however there is a new Stephen King book out in a week or so, which I will definitely be buying!

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