Like all of Roach’s books, Bonk takes a sideways scientific look at a broad topic. (In previous books, she’s tackled cadavers, the afterlife and space travel.) This time out, Roach is exploring “The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex.” With her boundless curiosity, willingness to ask the “hard” questions (pun intended) and trademark snarkiness, Roach is the perfect person to explore sex research … even going so far as to participate in a few experiments herself. From discussing the work of sex researcher pioneers Master and Johnson to visiting a pig insemination farm to observing a degloving surgery (you don’t want to know) to touring a sex toys manufacturing plant, Roach travels the world interviewing and exploring the work of sex researchers past and present.
I just adore Mary Roach and will follow her anywhere her witty and curious mind takes her. I love her sense of humor and how she isn’t afraid to ask questions that might make others blush. I love how she inserts herself into her books by sharing anecdotes about her experiences while researching the book. More than anything, I love how I learn stuff I never knew while being thoroughly entertained. Whenever someone says “I don’t enjoy non-fiction writing,” I always ask them “Have you read Mary Roach yet?”With sex being such a “taboo” topic, this book might not appeal to everyone. If frank talk about sex, sex organs, orgasms, penises, vaginas and so forth make you uncomfortable, this book is not for you. Although the material isn’t presented in a gratuitous or tasteless manner, it IS a book about sex.And speaking of sex, I don’t think you walk away from this book without thinking long and hard (again, pun intended!) about your own sexual experiences and reactions. To be honest, I felt like a little experimentation was in order after reading the book. (Mr. Jenners cheers!) After all, many women confess to not really being in touch with their clitoris—a critical element in achieving orgasm in women. And I must confess that I may not be as in touch with my clitoris as I could be. (How’s that for too much information?)
ABOUT THE NARRATION
Sandra Burr was the perfect narrator for this book. She has a wonderful voice that was easy on the ears and injected the perfect amount of snark and humor to best serve Roach’s writing. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book on audio (though I wouldn’t recommend listening to it where others could listen in as I’m sure you’d raise some eyebrows!), and I’d seek out Burr as a narrator of other books. Here’s hoping she narrates Roach’s next book as that would definitely push me to listen to it on audio versus reading it in print form.
Roach fans, readers seeking scientific writing that is leavened with a sense of humor, people interested in learning more about human sexuality and sex research
Very interesting and informative and FUNNY!!!
this book is non-fiction, there were not scences
Narration is A+
I can say no to a piece of cheesecake, to an event and even a pair of shoes, but I can't never turn down a good book. Books enrich my soul~~
I really liked the way the books was written, the subject in itself is a bit awkward but the author offered a profound and well researched view of human sexuality
This book was on promo so I was intrigued by it's titillating premise. It's actually a really fun ramble thru some of the more interesting historical and recent sex research. And some of it is really good to know, such as, Penile Erection Dysfunction is really a misfiring of nerve impulses. So guys and gals of PED, it's not your fault!
The author narrates well, and her asides or footnotes are a hoot.
I loved her earlier book Stiff, and expected that this one would be even more enjoyable - isn't sex better than death???
Unfortunately, this is not the case.
The prose is terse, and there's just no feeling beind the book. Sentences get lost as she tries hard not to be too Anglo-Saxon and use a naughty word
Stiff engaged you because she cared. Bonk does not because she can't seem to care. Haven't been able to bring myself to finish it
Save your credit, but try Stiff.
Bonk was an interesting exploration of the history of sex research. It wasn't quite as well organized as Stiff, and it's not quite as comprehensive as I would have wanted. Whereas Stiff has reams of information about cadavers going back hundreds and thousands of years, Bonk is almost entirely focused on the last century.
The author's tone irritated me quite a bit; she was reverent in Stiff, while still having a baseline of humor to get through difficult material. In this book, she's just out-and-out insulting to the many people mentioned, with many cheap jokes at their expense. For a book that's written to help us overcome to squeamishness of sex, this is juvenile and dissappointing. I also was unhappy at the many times she left things undescribed - once again, in a book written help us overcome the squeamish, she squeams out of quite a few topics/situations.
The book also very female-centric, probably a good two thirds of it focuses on women. This is probably because the author is female, and the few times she subjects herself to sex research, of course she can only describe it from a female point of view. But even when discussing Kinsey's research, she still talks more about his study of Female Sexuality.
The reader is also very meh; she tries, but just doesn't quite get the author's tone.
Overall, I would say if you're interested in this, read Stiff first, see if you like Mary Roach, and if you do, read this. If you don't like her, I don't think this will convert you. A tepid recommendation. And for the love of god, make sure that your phone autopauses if your headphones fall out. The last thing you need is everyone at work hearing a completely out of context line on fetishes or whatnot.
There is some interesting material in here, but the author herself seems to be embarrassed about all of this - she finds the whole thing a bit unseemly. That gets to be a bit cloying. A real, critical analysis of this material would be much more interesting.
It a good book if you ready for the nitty gritty physiology of human sexuality. Its not too easy of a listen if your not into the science of it. Would be a better read for the common folk.