Monday, April 06, 2009

Book Review: Straight Up and Dirty, by Stephanie Klein

When I was given this book, I had never heard of the author and hadn't read any press releases. Nobody said a thing about it within my hearing. So all I had to go on was the name. "Straight Up and Dirty". I cringed. I'd never found sex memoirs appealing, and I could just imagine what lurked between the covers. I anticipated jaw-dropping detail, so elaborate I'd get bored and watch the news instead that evening.

However, I read it all the way through, and at the end I felt somewhat short-changed. This book is not dirty. Whoever came up with the title has a really low smut threshold. It's not all that straight-up either, and I don't think it says anything new about relationships.

Although it wasn't a bad read, and I did make it through to the end without getting bored, there was just nothing standout about it, nothing to really make it worth my time. It's not difficult to read, and can be enjoyable in places, but overall it's clich├ęd and doesn't make any sort of interesting statement. The author jumps about when telling her story, and tries to be funny (calling her ex-husband "the wasband"), but ultimately falls flat. I found the ending to be vague and inconclusive. Klein dates some men, dates some more men, is miserable on and off, finally enrols in a photography class, and then stops being miserable and starts being contented, with no real explanation as to why or how. I would have found it much more interesting if she'd charted how her self-satisfaction started to improve, and included some reflection on it. It's alright for what it is, but I saw potential in it for more.

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