NERVE by Genevieve Field


Literate Smut
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The success of Nerve, one of the most trafficked online magazines, getting hundreds of thousands of hits a day, demonstrates how far you can go on marketing alone. To gather their content, editors Griscom and Field sent missives to a number of famous authors, pseudo-celebrities, artists, and photographers ranging from Norman Mailer to Jocelyn Elders to Andres Serrano, seeking their musings on sex. Thirty-five of the responses, both fiction and non, some dusty with age, are compiled here. There’s Quentin Crisp on celibacy, Lars Eighner on sex among the homeless, a decades-old interview given by Mailer to another sex mag with literary pretensions, and stories and novel excerpts from Robert Olen Butler, John Hawkes, William T. Vollmann, et al. A few pieces are better than average, particularly the Mailer interview. But considering the illustrious contributors and the prurient subject, it’s remarkable just how dull most of the book is. It’s a user’s manual with absurdly detailed instructions. Though the editors claim to have observed few taboos, in fact they—ve buffed and polished their erotica to a discreet, thin glow of middlebrow sophistication.

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 1998
ISBN: 0-7679-0257-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Broadway
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1998