A uniquely witty novel exploring sex, freedom, and the process of growing up
Sydney Skate considers himself shockproof. For as long as he can remember, he's known that his fashionable Manhattan mother is secretly a lesbian, although he's never let on that he knows. He spends his summer days caring for snakes at the local pet shop before leaving for college at Cornell, shrugging off his father's demands that he skip college and join the exciting world of swimming pool sales for suburbanites.
Far from throwing himself into work, Sydney can't seem to keep his thoughts from wandering to women. He has memorized the sex scenes of every book he's ever read in order to better seduce the opposite gender. When he's called to help remove a snake from a bathtub that belongs to the gorgeous and sophisticated Alison Gray, everything changes. But nothing could prepare him for his glamorous mother sweeping the girl of his dreams off her feet.
This hypnotizing coming-of-age story captures the timeless ecstasies and struggles of adolescence, and has been a classic of lesbian literature since it was first published in 1973. Hailed as the Catcher in the Rye of the seventies, Shockproof Sydney Skate exposes the confusion of its time and remains keenly relevant to the sexual absurdities of today.
Is there anything you would change about this book?
The pacing of this book is extremely slow.
What do you think your next listen will be?
I will probably listen to a dystopian adventure, a hipster love story, or a collection of feminist essays.
What didn’t you like about Graham Halstead’s performance?
I felt that the narrator could not properly imitate women's voices. I question whether or not narrators should even attempt to mimic accents or voices that vary with race, age, sex, etc. It sounded as if he was mocking women, making them sound dramatic and whiny. Most women don't sound like snobby, hoity-toity, whiny drama queens. His narration made the story difficult to enjoy because when female characters sound stupid, you begin to believe they ARE stupid.
Was Shockproof Sydney Skate worth the listening time?
I'm not sure this book is suited for audio. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read a hard copy.
Any additional comments?
This book is memorable with unlikeable yet interesting characters. While the subject matter convinced me to listen, it wasn't as exciting or engaging as I thought it would be. Overall, it's a good book that will stick with you for a long time, but it's not necessarily an enjoyable read.