Permanent Obscurity: Or a Cautionary Tale of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography and Death


A youthful bohemian satire, a story of alienated nonconformists, a "girls on the lam" story, a sexploitation and S/M romp. Welcome to the psychosexual world of PERMANENT OBSCURITY. Inspired by the underground sexploitation films of the 1960s, this bold updating of the "roughie" subgenre largely takes place in New York City's East Village (ca. 2006), and it chronicles the rise and fall of a unique and intense relationship. Dolores and Serena, two chemically dependent, down-and-out artists set out to take control ...

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A youthful bohemian satire, a story of alienated nonconformists, a "girls on the lam" story, a sexploitation and S/M romp. Welcome to the psychosexual world of PERMANENT OBSCURITY. Inspired by the underground sexploitation films of the 1960s, this bold updating of the "roughie" subgenre largely takes place in New York City's East Village (ca. 2006), and it chronicles the rise and fall of a unique and intense relationship. Dolores and Serena, two chemically dependent, down-and-out artists set out to take control of their lives by making a fetish-noir/femdom movie. Of course, things don't exactly turn out as planned.

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What People Are Saying

Josh Alan Friedman
Ready-made for Russ Meyer—assuming, that is, if Meyer was around and still at his peak. (Josh Alan Friedman, author: Tales Of Times Square, When Sex Was Dirty)
Lynn Breedlove
The American Baise-Moi! (Lynn Breedlove, author: Godspeed)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780971341548
  • Publisher: Ludlow Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2010
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Initially published small literary magazines, Richard Perez has also written for The New York Times. His first novel, The Losers’ Club (aka: The Losers’ Club: Complete Restored Edition!) was a small press success, with three foreign translations to date: Korean, Turkish, Italian. PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or A Cautionary Tale of Two Girls & Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death—his second novel—also reflects his infatuation with bohemia and willful nonconformists. For more visit:

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First Chapter

Permanent Obscurity

Or a Cautionary Tale of Two Girls and their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death
By Richard Perez Dolores Santana

Ludlow Press

Copyright © 2010 Richard Perez
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-9713415-4-8

Chapter One

Permanent Obscurity by Richard Perez Pages 39-51

* * *

To play it safe, I called out mad early on a Thursday morning, and that same day we hit I-95 on the road for New England. Destination: the state of Maine. Way north. Baby at the wheel of the old-fart Chevy Caravan, The Siren's tour van. Serena, lead singer, dead asleep in the back, her hair strewn across a pillow. Me, riding shotgun, dozing oft. A greasy road map on my knees.

I'd been to Maine before. With Raymond. But I tried not to think of those times, except for once when we were supposed to go camping in Acadia National Park but got caught in the pouring rain.

We ended up in a hotel near Bar Harbor, in some room that had some fishy smell or maybe it was mildew, but 1 soon took care of that by producing a granny smith apple.

"What the hell is that?" asked Raymond.

"Our antidote to misery!"

I took out a Bie pen from my purse, then punched a hole halfway through the stem and another through the middle, clear through. "See?"

Then I packed the hole from the top with dro. "Tuh-dah!" I said, "We'll smoke out the stink!"

Despite his arty leanings, Raymond could sometimes be uptight and on occasion frowned at my little weed habit, but this time I convinced him it was earned; hell, we were on vacation, right? Didn't we just drive a thousand freakin' miles? Plus, he admitted, using a fresh apple was cute. Of course, I knew he would think that. And that was only phase one of my plan.

"We'll smoke it, eat the apple, then go get some fresh lobsters in Bar Harbor," I proposed.

Naturally, I made sure he got good and high.

And, instead of lobsters, we ended up staying in.

Having what I'd call a real vacation.

Sometimes the right combination of green and alcohol really loosened up his inhibitions and Catholic guilt, and he was able to cut loose on me, block out his "sweet" nature, get in touch with his inner predator, you might say.

I kept blowing apple-scented smoke into his mouth as we kissed, begging for a good roll.

And that night he was able to take charge of me, tune into my fantasy of being ravaged, and really unleash. All I remember was porn dimly blinking on the TV monitor and that hazy feeling of being oh so helpless, "forced" into this position and that, his cock working, feeling harder and thicker than it felt in ages.

Raymond turned into a caveman as he finally took me good, yanking on my hair and growling, "Take it! Take it all!"


It was a raw, unselfconscious avalanche of passion. And I loved it.

His domination and power were so total it made me scream!

Just as entertaining for our neighbors, I'm sure, was this running dialogue as he plowed me:

Him: So-so you're my dirty girl?

Me: (gasping) Your sweet, dirty, nasty girl!-that's what I am!

Him: (grunting) And you like this, huh?-like it when I take charge, uh?

Me: Yeah, I do!-Take charge with your BIG fuckin' cock!

Him: (panting) 'Cause you need it, right?

Me: Sure do, killa'! Need it!

Him: Need a good, hot FUCK!

Me: Need it! Want it! (pushing hard against him) Gotta get me some! FUCK ME, ughhh! ...

Things got so freaky and wild that we probably had the whole hotel listening-so nasty hot that I imagined the pay-per-view porno actors through the TV screen breaking off just to watch us-Raymond and me: two fiends-busting it XXX-reinventing the dirty act.

Ah, the healing power of sex.

* * *

Reaching Maine took about forever, driving at legal speed.

Once there, it took about another million years to reach up north, where we wanted to go. Beyond that was Nova Scotia and Canada-if we wanted to escape Jesus country, once and for all.

Along the way, I touched my stomach, wondering what was going on in there, imagining a tadpole with Raymond's face.

It made me melancholy.

Raymond. What a prick.

Raymond. What a dickhead.

Raymond. What a sop.

Raymond. What a shit.

Raymond. The sweetest man I'd ever known.

Raymond. Who believed in my art and did everything in his power to encourage me.

I almost cried, thinking about him.


Then I thought of that Paris Hilton clone.

I still couldn't believe it.

It was so disappointing to discover, in the end, that your man was not one in a million, but just like any bonehead, young or old. Take your pick.

I turned away from the passing scenery to gaze at Serena, who was still asleep in the back.

Baby, her sub, was still at the wheel and would be the entire way.


Baby Love, as Serena sometimes referred to him.

That little weirdo. Serena's boy.

Or bitch.

Okay, I liked him.

He was even kinda cute in more ways than one, if you want to know the truth.

Sweet faced and innocent. Easy-going and steady. Selfless and kind.

Not that he was my type really.

Baby had been driving us the whole way in focused silence, now and then glancing back at Serena, her royal highness, who was dozing under a comforter.

Now and then, Baby even smiled at me.

Baby had large eyes, that was one thing.

Large, calm, deep eyes.

At one point we stopped at a gas station, and I fell asleep. When I woke up we were back on the road, and I realized that Baby had bought me breakfast, completely unasked for.

Of course, he'd meant to provide for Serena, sleeping beauty, first and foremost.

But still it was thoughtful of him. And generous.

"Aren't you the gentleman?" I remarked.

"No big deal." He shrugged, looking back at the road.

Serena stirred at that point, probably smelling her food, which consisted of an omelet on a toasted roll, juice and coffee. "Are you hitting on my Baby?" she asked, stretching and yawning.

"Fuckin' right I am," I told her. "You better watch out!"

"Communal property," she announced. "Help yourself."


"You heard me," said Serena. "Share and share alike. Make him do anything you want."

WTF? I thought. "That's a bit much, Serena," I said, feeling embarrassed now.

But Baby seemed totally at ease with this, even chipper as he passed her back her food, keeping an eye on the open road.

"Did you eat anything?" she asked him.

He smiled. "You first."

"Right," she acknowledged. "Of course."

All this made me feel awkward, I'll admit. Too many head-games to wrap my mind around this early in the morning.

"How much longer?" I asked Baby, meaning our estimated time of arrival in butt-fucking Egypt.

"Two and a half, maybe three more hours?" he said, turning to me.

After that he fell silent, concentrating on the task at hand, which was driving-getting us all there, safely.

In fact, there wasn't another sound in the Caravan as I recall, until Serena, at the end of her meal, let loose with a monster belch, like the slob that she was, saying, "Oh yeah. That hit the spot. Now this bitch's going back to sleep!" then mashed her face back in her foam pillow and almost immediately began snoring.

* * *

The first thing we did, once in Bar Harbor, was to confirm the hotel room, which Baby had hooked up for us.

Then we parked on a side street, and casually rolled out from there.

It was a cute tourist trap basically, though not worse than San Francisco, which was about fifty times larger.

We strutted about, the three of us, checking out the so-called authentic folk art in various boutiques and souvenir shops.

Baby bought us all pumpkin flavored ice-cream, and then we headed toward the main park, which was sort of like the town square, where there was currently something referred to as "an art fair."

No matter where you went in the U.S., the art at these things was always the same. In a word: "nice." In a word: "pleasant." It was the kind of art that didn't rock the boat; the kind of art that said nothing, challenged nothing, showed no darkness or grit, but just lay there like a hollow fuck-me decoration.

Overall, it made my stomach turn.

Art, my ass.

Serena noted my sour expression and suggested, "Why don't we get the hell out of this outdoor mall and take a boat trip?"

"Good idea," I replied.

The three of us took a little nature tour around the many tiny islands comprising this part of Maine.

"Oh look, there's an eagle!" our tour guide cried at one point. We could barely hear him over the put-put noise of the boat engine.

We looked in the direction he pointed, strained our eyes.

"Do you see anything?" asked Serena.

I couldn't see dip.

Baby pointed to a tiny clump of shit stuck up in a tree. "That's a nest," he said.

I squinted and could barely make out what looked like a stuffed animal propped in a tree.

Nature. You gotta love it.

At least there were no people around, except for half-wits like us, trying to scope out invisible animals and pretend like we were getting in touch with the natural world.

I kept coughing because of the diesel fumes of the engine.

"And look!" said the tour guide excitedly. "Over there! Seals!"

I strained to make them out, but it just looked like a bunch of rocks.

* * *

After docking, we had pizza, then did more exploring, this time for a non-franchise neighborhood bar.

Along the way, I asked Serena about her encounter with the LA publisher and the future of her fetish model career.

She confessed, "I'm not sure we're on the same page. That's what I told him."

"Whaddaya mean?"

"He gave me a sample DVD to watch. I didn't like it."

"Why not?

"It went from verbal abuse to face-slapping to punching to trampling; finally to dick-sucking and straight rutting."


"Exactly! And that's what I told him, Mr. LA! Is this your idea of a fetish video? I made it clear! NO straight porn, NO penetration, I said. And if you want me to show my behind? Put up some of this-" Serena rubbed her thumb and index finger together. "'Cause that other shit That's not what I'm doing, at all."

"And what did he say?"

"He didn't say anything but looked disappointed."

"They're all about exploiting "da bitches.'"

"Tell me about it. And they all want the same thing," said Serena. "The same thing. I told the fucker: 'Let me have creative control.' He says, 'You wanna direct?-After only one fetish video of your own?' I said, 'Why not?' As if I couldn't handle a little production of my own. As if I couldn't provide something of better quality. Or like I couldn't enter the head of a real domina and relate to a real sub!" She snorted.

"Yeah, what a stretch!" I had to laugh.

"Fuck, Dolores," she said. "We should just do it ourselves."

"Whaddaya mean?"

"You know about photography," she reminded me.

"Yeah, still photography. Not moving image."

"But you know how to frame a shot, at least. You know about lighting. So what's the big deal?" she said. "We could rent a high-end video camera for a day. I know someone who could edit it later."

I was doubtful. "I don't know, Serena. It sounds like a lot to do. I might fuck it up."

"So what?" she said. "It's only video. It's cheap. We can reshoot."

"Where would we even film it?" I said. "I live in a closet. Your place is a squat, practically."

Baby interjected, "You can shoot it at my place, in Williamsburg." He'd been so quiet the whole time, it startled me to hear his voice.

"That's right!" said Serena, brightening up. "Williamsburg!"

"I'd have to think about it," I said, not really liking the idea. "What about a script?"

Serena laughed. "A script?"

"We'll need one, believe it or not. Or we may end up running out of ideas. Inspiration is never there when you need it."

"Inspiration?" Serena said, making a face.

In the next moment she turned to Baby. Playfully tripping up her unsuspecting victim.

He hit the open pavement hard-dropping backwards. And, as soon as he was down, she mounted his chest, way high. "How about this?" she offered.

"Hey," he protested, finding her ass practically on his face.

"Right." Serena laughed, leaning forward and tugging his hair. "Like you don't love it!"

* * *

Skipping the bar, we went straight to our hotel room.

Actually Serena and Baby went up first. I followed later, after stopping by a liquor store just up the block.

As it turned out, the room was a honeymoon suite, spacious and pleasant, with a huge TV and an inviting king-size bed.

Just as I entered, I saw that Serena was having her toes done. Painted a coppery brown.

Baby had paused to open the door for me, then with a focused look on his face, went right back to his task, on his knees.

Serena, watching some forensic show, was reclined in an overstuffed chair, feet up, playing the bitch goddess.

I almost felt like I was intruding on a weird private moment and even lurched, but Serena assured me with a wave and a wink that everything was hip, smooth-just lovely. Evidently this was part of some common head-game between them.

"You gotta let people be who they wanna be," Raymond once told me, and more and more I understood that to be true.

So Serena and Baby had a Venus in Furs thing going. This was how they played together and relaxed.

Who was I to judge?

Going one step further, Serena tried to suck me into their little vortex.

"Need your toe-nails painted?" she asked me, slyly.

"Not right now."

"'Cause Baby wouldn't mind," she insisted.

Baby seemed to be fighting back a smile. Actually he looked happy.

"Isn't that right, Baby?" she asked him, teasingly.

"I wouldn't mind," he said, rolling with it. "Not at all."

"See? Baby likes to put his talent to good use. Don't you, Baby?"

"Uh-huh," he replied serenely, delicately applying the brush. "That's what I'm here for."

Then he bent over and planted a kiss on the top of her naked foot.

Serena seemed to get off on it too.

Whatever rocked their boat.

I stood there like an idiot before saying, "Look what I got!" Raising a liter bottle of Citrus Stoli from a brown paper bag. "This should last us, don tcha' think?"

Serena smiled. "Now ya' talkin', babe!"

"Should we put it on ice?" I suggested, trying to get into the swing of things.

"Baby?" she directed.

Right away grabbing the nearby empty ice bucket, he sprang for the door. As soon as the hotel door closed, I mentioned, "Look at what else." Pulling out two separate baggies from my jacket: one with a quarter of weed, the other a double of shrooms.

"Oh yeah?" said Serena. "How about this?" And she produced an eye-popping amount of coke, all snowy and white-close to a half a baggie. The bitch.

"Damn, yo! You plan on skiing or something?"

She laughed. "That's the idea!"

* * *

The night was a sludgy blur, that's all I can say.

The shrooms put me in a mellow-sexy mood, where all I felt like doing was kissing and melting into someone.

I offered shrooms to Serena, but she passed in favor of the booze and yeyo.

"Oh Serena," I sighed, laying back on the bed.

"What, honey?"

"I wish Raymond were here," I said, frowning.

"Forget about him for tonight," she told me.

"It's just that I feel like ..."

"I know what you feel like," she said, then threw a glance at Baby across the room, winking him over.

Focused on her, he climbed the bed. Baby was high too, I could see. His eyes were shiny and soft.

She told him: "I want you to play with Dolores."

"Huh?" I said.

"Just play," she said, smiling.

"What are you talkin' about?" I argued, feeling funny.

"Shut-up," she told me.

Baby looked willing, as I sat there tense and blushing.

"Go on," Serena demanded. "Just kiss her."

That was the last thing I remember before I felt him near me, the moment suddenly feeling gushy and surreal.

And I just let myself go with it.


Excerpted from Permanent Obscurity by Richard Perez Dolores Santana Copyright © 2010 by Richard Perez. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Raw and Ugly and Fun

    Facesitting. That's what this book is about. No lie. Well, it's about more than that. Maybe friendship. And betrayal. And BDSM. And Drugs. The story of Permanent Obscurity is the recounting of a "relationship." That being between Dolores and Serena, two drug abusing women (who often behave like teenagers) and get into trouble over drug money. Perez, the author, writes well: something like a cross between Quentin Tarantino and Hunter S. Thompson. Like Tarantino, his narrative is dialogue heavy, much of it sarcastic and loaded with expletives, which might turn off many. It struck me in reading it -- how cinematic it is and how it would make a great film, with one scene wheeling madly into the next, underscoring the characters insane plummet toward disaster. Though the BDSM or "female domination" content may turn a lot of people off, I found it incredibly funny and in many ways original.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A THRILLING adventure!!!

    Once upon a time (actually about 20 years ago), I ran a small indie video store in the Boston MA area. A major part of our business came from the sale of "femdom" videos. People visited our little store from as far away as Germany and Japan. They came from all walks of life- quiet college professor types to the raincoat crowd. I was to meet several "starlets" and "directors" during my employ there.

    That being said, I scored this story a BIG HIT! True to its subject matter and bringing the reader into the "amateur porn" business on a personal level. You see how someone could see this endeavor as a way for quick cash, and an easy way out of poverty and anonymity.

    The author is skilled at the art of writing believable dialogue, making the reader quickly ensconced in the story. These are believable characters who take you on a wild ride through lives so chaotic they seem almost too wild to suppose any base in reality. Don't get me wrong. This is a novel, dark and comic but like all such efforts it has to have a grounding in reality. This book does.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a quirky character driven story of porn, drugs, sex and yes, love. You will surely not be disappointed!! I wasn't!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2010

    Great Novel! Streetwise Tale of Two Kinky Troublemakers!

    Maybe the best "outsider" book I've read in the last year. The two girls remind of friends of mine in the arts -- who couldn't hold down regular jobs, so did some stripping to make ends meet. Sounds like a desperate thing to do? Have you ever been in the arts? So, instead of dirty dancing, these characters try another scam: the femdom or "female domination" stuff, taking out ads on Craigslist, etc. Why does this book ring so true to life? It's really good. I mean, the characters are realistic so that means that at times, they're repugnant. And the story of the novel is something I enjoyed. In the end, it's less about kink, and more about trying to maintain your integrity in a world that doesn't allow it. I highly recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2010

    Dark, Sexy, Thrilling and Captivating!

    PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography and Death by Dolores Santana (as told to Richard Perez)

    While this type of genre is way beyond what I would normally read, I was asked to do a review by the author and so agreed. WARNING: Adult content, sex and drug-use!

    I was pleasantly surprised! The story is captivating and interesting. It is presented in a way that delves into the minds of people who follow this lifestyle, yet is "tame" enough for readers who might be interested but never exposed to this subject matter before.

    It tells the tale of two young women who are into the fem-dom lifestyle and who are desperately trying to not only make ends meet financially but who are trying to figure out who they are and what their place in life is. It barrels through many of their experiences on a daily basis and their thoughts about where they are going. You become quite attached to them and want them to succeed, but also agonize with them over the difficulties they face. Life is tough for everyone, and how you handle it can make all the difference, good or bad, as you'll see in this book. Sometimes you try your best, based on what you know, how you were raised, etc and things never quite turn out exactly how you plan them.

    This is not erotica, not politically correct in any way, shape or form, but when is real life the way it "should" be?

    I do recommend this book for anyone who has had a friend who you love dearly, but just flat out won't listen to advice, for anyone who has struggled with not only daily living, but trying to make it in the world and who might have an "off-beat" idea to deal with rent, food and living expenses.

    Just be careful of how you put your ideas into you'll see with these just never know how it will turn out!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I 'Permanently' love this book!

    I was a little bit skeptical about accepting this book from the author. Judging from the cover (yes I for one, at times, judge a book from its cover), I thought that it would not be a subject that I nor my readers would want to read about. That led me to do a little research on and Librarything and I noticed that the book was getting really great reviews. Great reviews and an unconventional topic and cover, maybe I should give it a try. And so I did and Permanent Obscurity turned out to be a page turner.

    Now Permanent Obscurity is not for squeamish readers as the content is adult and thought provoking. In Permanent Obscurity, Richard Perez has opened up a whole different world unknown to us; one wrapped up in sex, pornography and drugs. The book is not just about porn but it is grounded in several themes such as loyalty and friendship and it even takes a jab at sensationalism in the media and the ills of a capitalist society. The tile is really appropriate when you think about it since Perez is examining the world of underground artists. That subject is pretty obscure and to a large extend suffers from the old case of stereotypes. Yet Perez brings it to life, albeit in a funny, cynical way through his main characters Serena and Dolores.

    The story is told in first person by Delores Santana, a young woman who is a non conformist and is constantly angry with the world. Having the story told in first person with the allure that Dolores is confessing to the author really lent itself to making the story very realistic. The writing style is short quick prose that also made the story move along a lot faster than most books. There is also an element of suspense to the novel that really impressed me. As the reader you're watching the chain of events playing out thinking to yourself, something bad is going to happen but it never occurs to you what that bad thing might be until it is finally revealed.

    I loved the banter between the characters. It's what you would imagine people with that type of mind set would say. The characters themselves are equally as dynamic and they are the ones that really made the story more than just about sex, pornography and drugs.

    Don't raise your eyebrows too much if I say I would definitely read this book again. It's really an unpredictable story with a cast of characters that I really enjoyed reading about and i am looking forward to hearing more of Richard Perez.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2011

    Permanent Obscurity: a cautionary tale

    Cautionary tale indeed. What happens when you mix drugs, bad relationships, mounting debt, careers with no focus, and a generally wandering existence with the seemingly problem-solving-idea to make a femdom movie involving drugs, alcohol, a willing submissive, and a bit of boosted equipment? Mayhem. Page-turning mayhem. My only complaint is that it takes us awhile to get to the point of this page-turning explosion of storytelling; there's a lot of buildup to the really meaty part of the story.

    But the buildup isn't all bad. We see Dolores' dependent relationship with the domineering Serena, see the chronicle of her self-destructive habits, generally get to delve into the world of a would-be artist who's stuck in the groove of a vastly unfulfilling 9-5 daily grind as a temp at MTV. Art meets life, as it were. And they don't mix well, throwing Dolores into dependence on drugs and cheap booze just to get through her days. Dolores' voice is quite spunky; she's intelligent, and we hear that fierce sparkle of wit, but she's also street-wise, and that gritty street language comes through loud and clear as well. In her voice, we hear the contradictions of her personality.

    Her friend Serena is equally well drawn as a vortex from which little emerges. She is a relentless force, taking advantage of everything and everyone that stands in her way. She has a few moments of vulnerability in which we see that life truly has been hard for her, and these moments really do stand out. But by the end of the novel, she's as hard as a glittering diamond, unforgiven and unforgiving.

    Baby, Serena's submissive, is equally worthy of mention. He is intensely likable and is a very well-developed character for someone whose over-driving passion is to serve. Dolores' moments of connection with him are intense and powerful.

    If you're the squeamish type, stay away from this novel, but the title really ought to tell you that. There's nothing gratuitous here; what's said and done is crucial to plot and character development. Perez is hardly wallowing in filth; far from it. The language, the drugs, the sex: these are all part of the culture he wishes to portray, and he portrays it faithfully, in whole, sparing no detail. The dialogue is snappy, the street scenes crisp, and the characters so realistic that you want to grab each of them by the shoulders and give them a good shake at times.

    Four stars.

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  • Posted November 29, 2010

    Get high, Make a Female Domination movie, Flame out.

    Serena and Dolores are two raunchy female chauvinist pigs, out to take advantage of anyone. Dolores, the pot smoker and narrator, is the more likable of the two, though I didn't like her at first either. This is a good book. Definitely slow in the beginning, but from the middle part on -- excellent. Dirty, fouled-mouth, kinky, really a grungy story. Drugs galore. Crazy train wreck, with a thoughtful ending. Funny too.

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Dirty Girls on the Run or a Satire of Downtown would-be artists.

    It's easy to say that this is a story about two "losers" but I hesitate to say this knowing friends who are very much like the characters in this book, Dolores and Serena. Both have a sense of entitlement (Serena especially). Both over-indulge in drug use and anti-social behavior, and finally go too far in alienating everyone around them. This is a satire, yet the situations and dialogue are very real. But I enjoyed this book a lot. This a great book to bring along on a long trip; it's easy to read. Richard Perez can really write. Not exactly like Bukowski, but Bukowski-influenced, you can tell. The dirty parts are fun.

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  • Posted July 26, 2010

    Wanting of Life

    I received this free e-book from Richard Perez on Librarything's Member Giveaway.

    'Wanting is a manifestation of the whole of life' Dostoevsky

    Permanent Obscurity by Richard Perez tells the story of two girls, Dolores and Serena in their 'wanting of life'.
    The book is divided in three parts: 1 The Kinky Hook, 2 Strange Hungers, 3 No Man's Land; and is narrated in first person by Dolores.

    What about the way of life of Dolores and Serena? I don't know, maybe the same of other girls in this world, or maybe full of unfortunately events.
    We try to accept the last one and explain the story with this words: slowly and relentless a net of depraved people surrounds Dolores and Serena all along the book, until the inevitable ends, where the freedom is no more (and even the dead appear grotesque).
    Dolores and Serena's hopes to get rid of these events are trying to make a movie; but, as always, nothing follows the right path.

    In my opinion the title of the book is inadequate: most people could just think a book obscene, although in the book there is more than that. For instance the theme of friendship.
    In the first part of the book we can find several similarity with the literature of the last century; I was thinking about the endless Bohemien nights narrated in Journey to the End of the Night by Celine, or A Moveable Feast by Hemingway. So it's difficult to accept this new Bohemien world; although we can try to think about an evolution of this way of life, maybe with less poetry and literature and more 'raw' life.

    Some quotes from the book:
    'There was the world you experienced and art you made for real - then there was that sorry s. you shared with others.' (p. 91)
    'Regardless, a ray of sunshine had broken through my blackened sky, and, just then, I felt that everything would be okay somehow. Everything ... I just had to burn all my bills, avoid the phone when it rang, and not leave my apartment, like EVER. All the trouble in the world was outside, and I was in here. SAFE. In safety.' (p. 194)

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  • Posted July 20, 2010

    Defenitly Read!

    This book is not one I would normally read. Having said that it was so good and so addicting (appropriatly so). It was a fast read and one that was hard to put down. I'd say it was a page turner but I read it as an e-book so it was a fast scroll. I've already got a friend reading it! Don't let the cover or the title put you off go ahead with the story it is mind blowing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Kinky Existentialism ... Or how not to make a Dominatrix film

    Permanent Obscurity is an interesting tale of two drug-addicted artists in New York City, searching for a way to make a living, and escape their mounting creditors, through their art. What do they decide to try? Making pornography, of course! After Serena has a rough experience of her own in the business, she and her best friend (and the book's narrator) Dolores set out to make their own fem-dom fetish video.

    Of course, things go progressively wrong for the girls. With a slew of characters after them and very little right going for them, the two girls try to make things work any way they can, up to scamming, stealing, and even gun play. Finally, though, they have their equipment, their script, their actors all lined up. It's time to shoot. Now everything will be okay, right? Right?

    This is a gritty look at some of New York City's less glamorous aspects, written with humor and style. With a heavy drug and sex content, it may not be to everyone's liking, but the book stops short of being pornographic in its own right. The writing and format of the book make it an interesting read.

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  • Posted June 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A very good read.

    This is a perverse, twisted, deranged book. You would not want your mother to read this book; you would not even want your mother to know that you were reading it. The subject matter includes sex, drugs, crime, and degradation.

    It is, however, a very, very good read. The author creates characters that come alive and make you care what happens to them. It follows the journey of a post collage, aspiring artiest who is trying to get by in the world with the help of a few friends. She makes a determined attempt to get right with the world and have a life with meaning. There are complications. The complications have complications. The situation spins completely out of control.

    The language and descriptions are XXX rated. The drug slang will send you to the urban dictionary web site. But it is all worth it. This is a great book.

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  • Posted May 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    Richard Perez is a lone wolf. He is one of the more erudite and gifted authors who has the courage to challenge the reader, seducing them into his wildly imaginative world (or is it?) and find not only a story created out of outlandish characters who are even beyond the fringe of normalcy, but also create a satire on our 'contemporary' concepts of sexuality. His previous novel, THE LOSER'S CLUB, gained wide readership because it dared take us places few writers care to go. But even that challenging book seems tame in comparison to PERMANENT OBSCURITY: OR A CAUTIONARY TALE OF TWO GIRLS & THEIR MISADVENTURES WITH DRUGS, PORNOGRAPHY, AND DEATH. In this 450 page book lies enough satire, anguish, startling language and description of strange behaviors - along with some very well drawn characters - that once started it is a difficult book not to finish - if even for the idea that you can prove to yourself that you cannot be grossed out! In another author's hands this book would 1.) not have occurred in the creative mind and 2.) would not have the 'credibility' that Richard Perez manages. Reading PERMANENT OBSCURITY is like coming upon Gide, Schiele, and Burroughs all rolled into one toke. Perez has guts - and talent to burn!


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    Posted October 20, 2010

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    Posted January 20, 2011

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    Posted May 3, 2010

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