101 MEN AND STILL ALONE by Marilyn Marsh


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Marsh’s debut memoir details her years of dysfunctional relationships.
The author admits early on in this memoir that she wasn’t very well-prepared to handle life on her own when she became an adult. “I had no clue about the difference between sex and love,” she writes, and it’s a sentiment that may ring true for many readers, women especially. In this book, Marsh attempts to shine a light on how and why she later found herself in so many bad relationships, and she strikes a tone of graphic sexuality right from the start: “This book smells of come and is filled with different ways of having sex.” There’s a formulaic brevity to her descriptions of many of the men she’s slept with over the years, as if they’re CliffsNotes recaps of sexual adventures. Every man gets his own chapter, detailing how the author met him, how they ended up in bed, and what they did there, as well as details about the man’s genitalia and how the relationship broke up. There are some promising glimmers of awareness, as when the author writes that “[a]fter...being treated like a body instead of a person, I just wanted my freedom.” But the book’s overuse of particular phrases (including “every way but loose” to describe good sex) and limited, repetitive descriptions of genitals and sex acts give the book all the explicitness of erotica but none of the titillation. There’s also no clear story arc to show whether the author grew or learned from any of her mistakes. “My biggest fault was not listening to my inner voice,” she writes in the book’s second-to-last sentence—but by then, it’s too late. If she’d focused 95 percent of this book’s pages on self-analysis and 5 percent on sex, instead of the other way around, it could have been a gem.
A book of curt, repetitive descriptions of sexual acts that squanders a chance at sincere self-examination.
Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1452567525
Page count: 218pp
Publisher: BalboaPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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