Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Permanent Obscurity: Or a Cautionary Tale of Two Girls and their Misadventures with Drugs, Porngraphy and Death - A Review
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the author for review. The views expressed here are honest and are in no way influenced by the author or the publishers.
Synopsis via Goodreads
A youthful bohemian satire, a story of alienated nonconformists, a "girls on the lam" story, a sexploitation and S/M romp. Welcome to the psychosexual world of PERMANENT OBSCURITY. Inspired by the underground sexploitation films of the 1960s, this bold updating of the "roughie" subgenre largely takes place in New York City's East Village (ca. 2006), and it chronicles the rise and fall of a unique and intense relationship. Dolores and Serena, two chemically dependent, down-and-out artists set out to take control of their lives by making a fetish-noir/femdom movie. Of course, things don't exactly turn out as planned.
I was a little bit skeptical about accepting this book from the author. Judging from the cover (yes I for one, at times, judge a book from its cover), I thought that it would not be a subject that I nor my readers would want to read about. That led me to do a little research on Amazon.com and Librarything and I noticed that the book was getting really great reviews. Great reviews and an unconventional topic and cover, maybe I should give it a try. And so I did and Permanent Obscurity turned out to be a page turner.
Now Permanent Obscurity is not for squeamish readers as the content is adult and thought provoking. In Permanent Obscurity, Richard Perez has opened up a whole different world unknown to us; one wrapped up in sex, pornography and drugs. The book is not just about porn but it is grounded in several themes such as loyalty and friendship and it even takes a jab at sensationalism in the media and the ills of a capitalist society. The tile is really appropriate when you think about it since Perez is examining the world of underground artists. That subject is pretty obscure and to a large extend suffers from the old case of stereotypes. Yet Perez brings it to life, albeit in a funny, cynical way through his main characters Serena and Dolores.
The story is told in first person by Delores Santana, a young woman who is a non conformist and is constantly angry with the world. Having the story told in first person with the allure that Dolores is confessing to the author really lent itself to making the story very realistic. The writing style is short quick prose that also made the story move along a lot faster than most books. There is also an element of suspense to the novel that really impressed me. As the reader you’re watching the chain of events playing out thinking to yourself, something bad is going to happen but it never occurs to you what that bad thing might be until it is finally revealed.
I loved the banter between the characters. It’s what you would imagine people with that type of mind set would say. The characters themselves are equally as dynamic and they are the ones that really made the story more than just about sex, pornography and drugs.
Don’t raise your eyebrows too much if I say I would definitely read this book again. It’s really an unpredictable story with a cast of characters that I really enjoyed reading about and i am looking forward to hearing more of Richard Perez.
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