Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Abstinence Teacher

by Tom Perrotta.

Quickie recap: Ruth is a sex ed teacher until she admits to her class that "some people like it" - oral sex, that is. The uproar was instantaneous. She soon finds herself an abstinence teacher instead, part of a pilot project applauded by the good old religious right. But when you through politics and religion together, you know the fight is about to get personal.

Quickie review: This was a really cool read. Can I call it a satire? You can just imagine it happening. In fact, it probably is happening in similarly picturesque suburban communities right now, and that's what makes it so brave and at the same time, so funny. You get right away how senseless and ridiculous the situation is, but you also get this tempering point of view from the other side - not a complete justification, but maybe a little insight on how this stuff is allowed to happen. The Abstinence Teacher dares to go there. It asks why. It points out the ludicrous. It's interesting, topical, and frightfully close to reality. Very, very nicely done.

Quickie recommendation: Very much so. If you've read Perrotta's Little Children, you know he's a solid author who doesn't shy away from tough subjects. This one is completely different in tone, but just as strong.


Arthur Dent said...

I may have to look that one up and give it a read...

Thanks, Jay!

Lorna said...

I'm putting in my library request now.

Melina said...

I love all of Perrotta's works (even though I'm pretty sure I misspelled his name)