S.L.U.T. is Beckerman's acronym for Sexually Liberated Urban Teens, and in this outrageous, chilling blend of fact and fiction, the 20-year-old author characterizes his view of his generation: hypersexual, emotionally vacant, and disturbingly tolerant of abuse. Beckerman sets his story in a high-school social scene in which parties are seemingly joyless orgies of detached sex. Naive, sensitive Max is an anomaly, unlike his crass friend Brett. Julia is a new girl with soul and integrity; Trevor is a precocious young tycoon, adored by his parents, who is actually a rapist and a pornographer. The slight story about Max's first crush and Trevor's profound villainy is overpowered by Beckerman's purposeful unveiling of the vicious social climate: there's an extremely graphic gang rape, several kids attempt suicide, and parents are caricatures of ineffectuality. Beckerman runs into some trouble with occasional autobiographical segments that show he is clearly a participant in the world he chronicles; a swagger (references to the state of his penis and his favorite sexual position, for example) seeps into some of his writing, undermining what seems to be his strident message: a generation is being lost. He reinforces that message much more effectively with the deeply unnerving "S.L.U.T. Stats," culled from journalism and medical studies, that appear throughout the book, and it's this skillfully edited compilation of contemporary teen attitudes toward sex that is perhaps this disturbing book's best justification for purchase. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Hunter S. Thompson Good work, you morbid little bastard.