Permanent Obscurity or more like Permanent Idiocy

22 11 2010

I was given a copy of Permanent Obscurity: Or a Cautionary Tale of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography and Death by Richard Perez to read and review.  There isn’t anything to spoil it in my review, but since I thought it was terrible you can just skip to the end and read the last paragraph, my summary of the book.

At first look the book purports itself to be a satire of Bohemia and and 60s “sexploitation” films.  In my opinion it was a story about a couple of girls who never grew up and decided to try to find an easy way out of the hole they had dug themselves in.

Dolores and Serena, main characters,  are about as different as they come.  Dolores is an average sized, average looking, average photographer addicted to drugs and alcohol.  She works at a temp agency because she’s too afraid to really get out there and try to publish her art.  Serena is pure feminine perfection with a selfish demeanor.  She has no job and no real skills other than her looks and her ability to manipulate those around her.

To put it simply, I hated the characters.  Serena was a manipulative bitch from word one and never changed.  She was always out for herself and never stopped to question consequences.  She was ruled by her id.  When she wanted drugs she manipulated and weaseled drugs out of someone.  When she wanted to feel powerful, she found someone willing to play her submissive.  She exploited those around her for her personal gain.  I wanted to strangle her on a regular basis through the story.

Other than hating the characters, I hated the dialogue.  Talking in such dialect and slang through the whole story set my teeth on edge.  I realize that the characters are uneducated and uncouth in every way, but at least some of the narrative should have been in standard, grammatically correct, English.  The volgarity of the language (and some of the plot) left much to be desired as well.

I can boil the story down in a few lines:  Dolores and Serena are friends with no life outside of whining about their problems and getting high.  Dolores and Serena realize that they have a problem with their lives when people start stalking them.  Serena decides to make a femdom porno and steers Dolores into the plan.  Things go horribly wrong because they can’t keep themselves from getting drunk and high and self-sabotaging.  Someone dies and they have to decide to ‘man up’ and take responsibility or not.   The End.

The only reason I finished the book is that I was asked to read and review it and I gave my word.  Otherwise I’d have stopped half way through and asked for a refund.  I was not impressed at all.  If you still feel like reading it, be aware that it does have sexually explicit material in it that might not be for everyone.

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