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Top Customer Reviews
However, this book did not win the National Book Award on accident.
Kosinski's work is so good, it's almost hypnotic; and, as you read through each dark episode, it seems almost certain that this author weighed each word to produce the exact amount of tension for each scene. The language and structure is poetry, and Kosinski's choice of the erotic and the sexual adds as a certain amount of chaos to his text, enabling him to construct his book without any sense of time. Additionally, by focusing on sex, he chooses a subject that is universal and knows no divisions of class, gender, religion or race. The totalitarian government and the victim, the oppressed and the oppressor, are therefore merged.
What is this book really about? The passage where I think Kosinski best answers this is when he writes, "Many of us could easily visualize ourselves in the act of killing, but few of us could project ourselves into the act of being killed in any manner. We did our best to understand the murder: the murderer was a part of our lives; not so the victim." Could Kosinski have written about this same topic without the bestiality or the rape? Of course. Would it have been as effective? Would you remember it? Probably not.
This book was written to stir up uneasy images. It is meant to disturb you. And I think that in this, at least, it succeeds.
Book Award. In 1975, a freelance writer named Chuck Ross was convinced that unknown writers
just didn't have a chance to have a novel accepted. To test his theory, Ross typed out the first
twenty-one pages of Steps and sent them out to four publishers, using the pseudonym "Erik
Demos." All four rejected the sample. In 1977, Ross typed out the entire book and, again using the
name "Erik Demos," sent it to ten publishers and thirteen literary agents. One of the publishers was
Random House, which had originally published Steps in 1969. The manuscript was neither
recognized nor accepted by any publishers or literary agents, including Random House, which used
a form rejection letter. That made twenty-seven rejections for a book that had won an important
-Gloria T. Delamar, Getting Rejected? Feeling Dejected? (Philadelphia Writersí Conference, Inc.)
Upon reading the novel, the 70's editors appear to have made the better decision : not to publish. The book is little more than a catalogue of one man's often violent sexual fantasies. I know, I know, it's supposed to be some kind of fable about how the brutality of modern life is manifested in this one victim's sex life. However, loathe as I am to defend modernity, I don't think you can blame totalitarian government, criminal violence and the other social pathologies of the 20th Century for your need to objectify your menagerie of lovers. Here is a chilling statement from the book, one that nicely sums up much of the sexual revolution :
[B]eyond you and me together, I see myself in our love-making.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This may be a little deviant for you. Perhaps the new Ann Coulter book would be a better choice.Published on Aug. 3 2003 by John Farrell
Great read for a sophisticated adult. Similar to Charles Bukowski. Ignore rube reviews.Published on March 8 2002 by D. Mastin
A magnificent achievement! Oddly touching psychology and searing brutality work together to create a portrait of a man who for all mankind represents how multifaceted we can... Read morePublished on March 9 2000