In a rare moment of ambition I have started to read ahead for one of my classes. That in itself shouldn’t be too surprising as both the professor and subject matter are the dog’s bollocks. The reading assignments are generally fairly easy to get through, if not on occasion infuriating. The current book, however, has struck me as a bit over the top.
It is a novel. It is a very recent novel that was only published last year in the UK and this year in the US. The infuriating bit is that it had the potential of being an excellent book. The novelist, Lola Shoneyin, clearly has talent. The characters are interesting, well-developed, and believable. The story itself is well-written and believable.
It’s just too graphic. The writer ruined her novel by getting wrapped up in the most minute details of sexual intercourse. I don’t want to sound too stuffy, but it seems that sex, if treated too frankly and graphically, just turns into complete and absolute filth. That’s how this strikes me — three pages graphically describing masturbating to pornography, two-to-three pages every other chapter describing in detail the sex life of a polygamous Hausa household.
Whenever the author stays on the subject of human relations other than sexual, it’s actually quite interesting — especially since she does delve into the lesser aspects of human nature and the frequent jealousy/hatred that arises in great depth.
This isn’t the only time that a more contemporary novel has, at least in my opinion, been ruined by gratuitous sexuality.
Am I alone in thinking this?