So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Helen and Desire

Helen and Desire by Alexander Trocchi
While living in Paris in the 1950s Alexander Trocchi was commissioned by Maurice Girodias, publisher of Olympia Press, to write "dirty books." Trocchi wrote Helen and Desire in one week in December 1953 and it was published under the pen name Frances Lengel. The book is the diary of Helen, daughter of a fishing boat captain in a rural village in Northwest Australia, who plans to use her natural enjoyment of sex to have adventures and travel the world. Determined to flout convention and chronicle her life, Helen writes of her loss of innocence on the eve of her 18th birthday, her use of men and their use of her, and her travels to Sydney, Singapore, India, France, and finally the deserts of North Africa. It is here that two officers of the French Foreign Legion who find Helen's journal make it public.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Fairy Tale

Fairy Tale by Erich Segal
This is a modern fairy tale about the Kertuffel family of moonshiners who live on Poop's Peak in the Ozarks. Told by Erich Segal of Love Story fame and illustrated by Dino Kotopoulis, this is a playful look at the stereotype of simple mountain people who live off the grid and outside the system. They are so far from the normal cares of modern life that something magic might happen to them without their batting an eye. And so it does when Jake Kertuffle goes down the mountain to The Big City to buy a new car. Segal obviously enjoyed the alliteration, puns, and rhymes that fill the text and make reading this short tale a joy. This book cries out to be read aloud.