Review: Nikki Gemmell’s “With My Body”
O, the woe of married-life mundania and mean mummies at school pick-ups! O, for the best shagging-summer of my life when I was a precocious fourteen year old! O, but my daddy showed he loved me by beating my lover into hospital and writerly oblivion! O, when I decide to shag my husband á la that summer, we truly love each other and want more babies! O, the end.
Gemmell’s not a bad porn writer if what you’re after is “erotica” – noting that the narrator’s 14 (unethical, not to mention a cliché), they use no condoms (why bother?), and bondage (how exotic!) is the near-epitome of titillation. However, and this is a damned big however, the Coventry Patmore-style moralising on wifely responsibilities and the melodramatic overwriting framing the 150pp bonk-in are just too painful for (any more) words. Really, you know what you’re in for: “a porn movie sprung to glary life” (p. 355). Have fun.
Where it came from: Library via Bookclub
Time and manner of reading: One mercifully brief afternoon
Where it went: Home
Reminds me of: A Mills & Boon for the maritally fatigued
Who I’d recommend it to: Porn-seekers; don’t bother otherwise
Also reading: Rabbit #4; How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch; Selected Essays by George Orwell