Friday, June 1, 2007

A Woman Alone at Night

A Woman Alone at Night
By Tamara Faith Berger
Soft Skull Press
Reviewed by Charles Dodd White

Tamara Faith Berger wants to shock readers with her semi-pornographic novel, A Woman Alone at Night. Instead, she merely repels them. Written in workaday prose from the first-person perspective of a stripper turned amateur porn star, A Woman Alone at Night tries to encapsulate Jewish anxiety, nihilism, rug burns on the knees, self-loathing, and inclinations to bestiality in a little under 200 pages. What results is one of the most godforsaken messes in recent memory.

Unfortunately, the premise is somewhat intriguing, and a more thoughtful exploration of the character’s descent could have been an interesting look into female sexuality and self-defilement. Instead, we are left with a confused and frankly boring look at getting repeatedly sodomized. With all the pretensions of a literary equivalent to Leaving Las Vegas, what we end up with is a story from Penthouse Variations without the titillation.

Run away from this book. Far away.

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