Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Early Pleasures: memoirs of a sensual youth

by Frederick Kohner

When one does an internet search for this author's name, the results are either about this book or about a guy who wrote all the Gidget books and worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood. I'm pretty sure it's the same person, but I didn't find any websites that say so explicitly.

In any case, this book is nothing like a Gidget story. It's a biography — or maybe memoir is more accurate, since one description calls it a "fictionalization" — recounting the author's sexual awakening as a young man in Austria and Paris during the 1920s. Like many an adolescent, his sex life was more a matter of frustrated desire than erotic fulfillment, so definitely not smut and not exactly titillating. I found it very interesting, though, in a documentary sense, as a record of what it was like to be that age at a particular time and place in history. Maybe a touch on the boring side.

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