Thursday, October 4, 2012

Anything For Joe by Ann Griffin (1974) Book Review

Joan is crazy for Joe, and has been for a long time. They were an item in high school, but now it's been a year since she last saw him. When they do get together, she immediately suspects something is wrong and asks him what it is.  Joe replies, "There you go again... Thinking is going to get you into trouble one of these days."  It's nice for a man to be so considerate, to worry about her welfare like that.  But something is bothering Joe.  His company, Electro Systems, is after a government contract. And there is competition from other firms, and some trouble with subcontractors.  Joan decides to help him.

But how can she help him when she has absolutely no idea what Joe is doing or talking about? How else? By having sex with a lot of men.

First, she has sex with a man who can provide a list of the competitors, and who is also one of the subcontractors Joe was having trouble with. A list of competitors, for Joan, is a list of people she should have sex with.  One of these men, Roy, has the biggest penis she's ever seen. Regarding the head of this member, Griffin writes: "That was a deep, angry shade of red and pulsed as he stood there, holding it firmly in his hand. He could barely get his fingers around it and Joan sat back, wondering how she would get it inside her" (page 34).  Don't worry, folks - she manages it.

Joan goes about her business, and her name changes to Ruth for a moment during a sex scene (page 71). That's how involved she is in the task, even losing her identity during sex, all for the man she adores, the man she hadn't seen in a year.  The men all know what she's doing, and why. And they all dislike Joe. They all tell her she's an idiot for helping this guy out that way.  Well, remember, thinking would get her into trouble, so it's best if she just avoids thought, and thus is an idiot.

One of the men, Morris, takes her to his cabin, which turns out to have a dungeon in it.  And in that chapter, of course, is the most interesting sex in the book. That section boasts this odd description: "His balls moved in his hairy scrotum, rose up and down gently, as if they were free and floating in a jar of thick liquid" (page 94).  Who says porn is devoid of poetry?  The writer gets creative again and refers to a telephone as an "apparatus": "She raced to the apparatus, lifted the receiver and whispered into it" (page 107). I myself often whisper into my apparatus, so I was pleased to be able to connect to the story in this fashion.

However, we never get the sense that there's any real love between Joe and Joan. He is barely present, and she comes off as a desperate, misguided and promiscuous moron.

But here is another beautiful passage: "Her lovely, shiny pink knees peeking at him from the open front. Her lips, sagging a bit under her pretty green eyes, luscious golden hair falling around her face" (page 111). Is there anything lovelier than shiny knees? Of course not. And the book features this peculiar line: "I thought you're lovely cock could take it" (page 154). Most writers would have written, "your lovely cock," but Ann Griffin (perhaps not his real name) defies expectations and actually has the man become his cock.

By the way, this book was written in the 1970s, back when women had sperm. Ah, the good old days!  Several passages refer to Joan's sperm, including: "soothe it with her sperm" (page 120) and "She kept coming until her sperm oozed from her cunt" (page 168).  I'm not sure exactly when women stopped producing sperm, and why. But I will ask the very next woman I come across, and - assuming that thinking hasn't gotten her into trouble - I will include her brilliant reply later in this blog.

NOTE (10/19/12): Oh boy, I did a little more research on this book, and learned that it's actually be Dean Koontz. Yeah, he wrote some adult books back in the day. Good for him. And good thing he improved as a writer later.

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