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Publisher's Summary

From best-selling, award-winning author Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket), a gutsy, exciting novel that looks honestly at the erotic impulses of an all-too-typical young man.

Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches, he jokes around with friends. But none of this quite matters next to the allure of sex.

'Let me put it this way,' he says. 'Draw a number line, with zero is you never think about sex and ten is it's all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex.'

Cole fantasises about whomever he's looking at. He consumes and shares pornography. And he sleeps with a lot of girls, which is beginning to earn him a not-quite-savoury reputation around school.

This leaves him adrift with only his best friend for company, and then something startling starts to happen between them that might be what he's been after all this time...and then he meets Grisaille.

All the Dirty Parts is an unblinking take on teenage desire in a culture of unrelenting explicitness and shunted communication, where queer can be as fluid as consent, where sex feels like love, but no one knows what love feels like.

With short chapters in the style of Jenny Offill or Mary Robison, Daniel Handler gives us a tender, brutal, funny, intoxicating portrait of an age when the lens of sex tilts the world.

'There are love stories galore,' Cole tells us. 'This isn't that. The story I'm typing is all the dirty parts.'

©2017 Daniel Handler (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

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What listeners say about All the Dirty Parts

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book stops at nothing, in a good way

I would never have thought to buy a book on this topic if it weren't for the fact that it's by Daniel handler and for those who love Daniel handler, this book is as well written and wild and entertaining, with just enough sincerity thrown in to make it real, as any of he's others. The thing about this book though, is that it's about… A sex obsessed high school boy. But the thing that I think makes the book succeed is that The protagonist does grow and change and have some very important realizations. Without giving away the story, I'll just say that he meets his match, and this is a real eye-opener for him. If you're going to read the book, much less enjoy it, you just have to decide you're going to be comfortable being in the head of a type of character we usually aren't asked to sympathize with very much, just willing to give him a shot. And yes… You have to be comfortable reading about sex, a lot of it. But the equally special thing about this book is that it's basically pro women, and ultimately validates the female experience of love and sex at that age. There are some fine female characters, who take our male protagonist to task, and keep him on his toes!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A darkly honest high school story

This book portrays the toxic masculinity that high school boys are deep fried into. It is full of the type of wry storytelling Handler is known for. The narrator did well, but his female voices are unpleasantly silly.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An exaggerated look at a teenage boy's mind

I'm not sure what I thought this was going to be, but it wasn't that. It's a short novel about Cole and Cole's sex life. Yep. That's the premise. Maybe this was exactly like Handler's teen experience, but I would say it's a bit of an exaggeration of the typical teen boy thought process. Honestly, if I hadn't known it was Handler writing, I would've assumed it was a woman writing what she thought was the typical teen boy thought process.

Basically, Cole is so obsessed with sex it's all he thinks about. He routinely dates girls, sleeps with them, breaks up (or gets broken up with), and then repeats. He gets a reputation of being a player, but doesn't really care. There's a little piece of experimentation on his part as well, that I thought was pretty interesting. He has one male friend, Alec, who he always recounts his sexual activities with. But soon that delves into mutual masturbation, and then sex.

What I love about this is how cavalier he is about the whole thing. It's very clear to Cole that he's doing this just to get laid, but Alec is doing this because he thinks he's gay or bi. So Cole just keeps hooking up with him until Grisaille comes along.

Now this was where I definitely rolled my eyes. It's just so typical to do the "out-of-town" new girl who's ~worldly~ so obviously Cole immediately falls for her. I did think it was interesting how he was sort of just coasting before, but then he becomes OBSESSED with Grisaille. Unfortunately, he immediately dumps Alec in order to spend all his time with Grisaille. Grisaille however, ends up using him and manipulating him into hooking up with another girl, so that she can then hook up with another guy.

And this serves as how Cole finally has some introspection on how he's hurt others by doing almost the same thing. I did enjoy getting to see him start to learn from his behaviors and issues. I also really enjoyed Cole's voice throughout it. While still a bit extreme, his voice sounded authentic to the character, and was fascinating to read. I'll also say the audiobook version was great, and I thoroughly recommend it.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Don't bother

Really thought this would be funny.... only of your are a thirteen year old boy