Aversion by Eric Monsky, the Book Review - a Scrotum Scratching Sexual Blather


Aversion by Eric Monsky – Scrotum-Scratching Sexual Blather



Aversion, a novel by Eric Monsky

Whiskey Neat Press, 2014




Eric Monsky


It is said that men think about sex every 7 seconds, i.e., about 8000 times a day.  If you’re skeptical of this urban legend, as I am, Aversion by Eric Monsky will almost turn you into a believer.


The book is supposed to deal with parental loss.  Instead, the book reads like a ship’s log of sexual stimulus-response reactions.  For example, we are barely 85 lines into the book and the protagonist is at a wedding looking for “an uncommitted (i.e. available) pair of legs.”  Four lines later he spots a pair of qualifying legs belonging to a redhead—which to him means she almost surely has a ‘fire bush.’ 


(the stimulus)

What’s more she has a sexy figure, heavy breasts, and strong calves.  He prays that she has a plump athletic butt; and he prays for “nada pubis red hairus” because he, for one, does not like to feel pubic hair on his tongue.


(the response)

He makes his move on the redhead by catching her eye and giving her a “polite, warm, non-aggressive smile,” letting the smile linger just long enough so that it registers in her peripherals that he is a polite, warm, non-aggressive admirer.  


Later on, at the reception, he decides that she is a sloppy drunk.   


His penis goes limp and he preemptively dumps her like this: “You know what. I get that you are upset that my cock doesn’t want anything to do with your vagina, but there is no reason to be rude.”


(and Bada Boom)

This guy is a self-indulgent, coke sniffing, boorish peasant who thinks with his gonads. At this point I felt like grabbing the nearest piece of wood and banging him over the head with it.


 And this was at only the 5th page of the book. 


This book has more sex in it than clowns in a phone booth, but none of it is erotic. It’s a clichéd tale of a Hollywood boor, doing boring Hollywood things.  Yes, it has sex, if you call it that.  It is mainly an accountant’s litany of masturbation: when, where, number of strokes, and who he was thinking of. 


Moreover, the shock value of the overt sexuality in the book is destroyed by the author’s hackneyed writing, hackneyed platitudes, banalities, and clichés.  Here, from the book, we get lines like:


“I will say this about ‘Rubenesque’ women; they love anal sex...” (overtly sexual)

“Mom looked strung out... ‘I just can’t do it,’ she spat aloud.” (incredibly clunky)


Charged sexuality layered with prosy writing, page after page after page, makes for mediocre reading.  It’s sort of like saying Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit... a hundred times.  After the third “shit” the word has lost all meaning.  In the same way the shock value of the book’s sexuality disappears -- the book becomes a literary limp dick. 


This book is monotonous.


Charles Bukowsky said “To do a dull thing with style--now that is what I call art.”  Well, Monsky got part of the recipe right.  The book certainly is dull.  But it is without style and it is certainly not art.


This is a sadly written book.  Monsky is not a stylist or a poet.  It’s almost as though he were tone-deaf to the musicality of language. 


If you want to read lines like:

     “Venice was foggier than a bowl of miso soup.” (which makes no sense)



     “Whoever coined the phrase, ‘The eyes are the windows to the soul’ must have been an I-tie.” 

(which is so trite I want to beat him over the head again and it is demeaning to “I-ties”)



     “I had only masturbated twice in the past three weeks, both times when I was alone at Louis’s house.  They were lousy orgasms too...”  (who cares?)

then Aversion is the book for you.


However, if you want to read really good scrotum-scratching literature, read Charles Bukowski (Barfly, Love is the Dog From Hell) or Hubert Selby (Last Exit To Brooklyn). 


If scrotum-scratching lit is not for you and you simply want to read a reallygood book, read Paul Harding’s Tinkers which, by the way, deals with parental loss better than Aversion does with all its smatterings of muff gangling galoot spouting dispirited sexual blather.






Book Frontpiece





Aversion, a novel by Eric Monsky

Whiskey Neat Press, 2014


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