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Roach's glimpse into the inner workings of sex, be it the orgasm, erection or even the use of Viagra on animals, is a refreshing and fascinating study. Sandra Burr offers a straightforward, unfiltered reading that captures Roach's sense of humor perfectly. Taking the taboo out of the touchy subject matter and giving listeners an entertaining, unbiased look at sexual intercourse, Burr offers an everyday approach to the hot topic that will appeal to a wide ranging audience. Simultaneous release with the W.W. Norton hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 25). (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Roach (Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers) has written an incredibly informative history of human sexual physiology, one about the "dirty old men" (and women)-researchers-who, despite societal taboos, have tried to understand the biology of sex. Narrator Sandra Burr's enjoyment of Roach's descriptions and wry comments is obvious (Burr both reads and directs for Brilliance), making this a pleasure to hear. While probably not a great choice for children, this program isn't pornographic, and librarians should not hesitate to put it on general library shelves. Recommended for all adult recreational audiobook collections. [Audio clip available through library.
It takes one kind of skill to pack a book full of scientific information (physical, chemical, emotional) about human sex and sexuality research in the 20th century and to do it with care and thoughtfulness. And it takes another kind of talent to do it with wit, humor, and pure enjoyment. Roach's third book (after Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadaversand Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife) beautifully succeeds in both categories. Working from the early 1900s to the present, Roach carefully and systematically surveys sex research and its findings, examining what was scientific about these studies. She also investigates the sometimes bizarre equipment and conditions devised for the research. There are frequent references to past contributors such as Masters and Johnson and Alfred Kinsey and plenty of information from current contributors both in the United States as well as around the world. Readers will find that Roach's informative and witty footnotes skillfully anticipate questions the text will stimulate. Any side avenue Roach may appear to go down always loops back to her central topic, and she handles the nuances of discussing sex and sexuality very nicely-even when the discussion involves the author and her husband. Highly recommended for all collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ12/07.]
—Michael D. Cramer Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information