Perv--a Love Story [NOOK Book]


Set in 1970, in the last, dark days of hippiedom, Perv -- A Love Story is the saga of Bobby Stark, a sixteen-year-old batch of desire and angst struggling to stay sane in a world gone Day-Glo.

As the novel opens, Bobby loses his virginity in a drug-addled tryst with a one-armed barber's daughter. For his sins he's thrown out of school and dispatched to live with his mom, a festive electro shock aficionado, whose condo he flees to track down ...

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Perv--a Love Story

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Set in 1970, in the last, dark days of hippiedom, Perv -- A Love Story is the saga of Bobby Stark, a sixteen-year-old batch of desire and angst struggling to stay sane in a world gone Day-Glo.

As the novel opens, Bobby loses his virginity in a drug-addled tryst with a one-armed barber's daughter. For his sins he's thrown out of school and dispatched to live with his mom, a festive electro shock aficionado, whose condo he flees to track down Michelle, the gorgeously damaged, lasped Hare Krishna-ette he's adored since kindergarten.

Like the rest of their generation, the couple hit the road for California, only to be picked up in a hell-fueled Lincoln by a pair of Bad Hippies -- Meat and Varnish -- smacked-out spiritual cousins to Charles Manson. From here the trip gets vicious....

Already an underground classic, Perv-A Love Story is relentlessly twisted, sexy, and savagely funny literary excursion, a novel of doomed youth in the era when Flower Power had begun to wilt.

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Editorial Reviews

Eric Bogosian
"Jerry Stahl's Perv is Philip Roth in a head-on collision with Harry Crews. Naked, ugly and funny. Hard to swallow, hard to put down."
Ben Stiller
"Imagine Holden Caulfield on bad acid. . . . Perv is the definitive young outsider story, told only as Stahl can tell it. It'll make you laugh at everything your parents told you not to laugh at."
James Ellroy
"Dig it: Perv-A Love Story is a beautifully wrought and twisted ode to freaks, beatniks, hopheads, and the wild-assed and strange everywhere. Jerry Stahl is the American hipster bard."
Mark Leyner
"Utterly charming! Surely the most registered evocation of youthful phalli and pudenda since George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss."
Rosanna Arquette
"Jerry Stahl writes like the bastard lovechild of Terry Southern and Flannery O'Connor. Perv-A Love Story is sexy, heartbreaking and painfully funny."
Matt Pinfield
"Jerry Stahl is brutally cool! He brings on the end of the peace and love youth optimism the same way Altamont and the Manson murders did. Fast, furious and in your face."
Mark Mothersbaugh
"Perv is nothing short of pure genius. Hysterical, disturbing, insanely funny, Perv blows the rest of American fiction out of the water."
Nick Tosches
"It is one thing, fine and rare, to write from the heart. It is another thing, finer and rarer, to write from the secret unutterable chambers of the heart. Jerry Stahl, whose words are as cool and deadly striking as a cottonmouth in the moonless dark night of the soul, does just that. No one who reads him will remain quite the same, for in that dangerous night, amid its horror and wicked laughter, lie the powers of a writer as brave as he is gifted. Jerry Stahl is the real thing."
Lydia Lunch
"A biting and hilarious expose which reveals the American Family for what it really is, a horrifying monstrosity whose poisoned tentacles attempt to snuff the life out of you. . . . I laughed so hard I wet the bed."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Memoirist Stahl Permanent Midnight breaks into fiction with this sharp novel, which starts as a tale of wisecracking teenage malcontents and ends as blazing testament to the human ability to endure pain. The narrator, prematurely jaded 15-year-old Pennsylvania prep-schooler Bobby Stark, begins his saga on the night in 1970 when he loses his virginity. Two older boys introduce him to the local barber's compliant daughter, and they are enjoying her favors, gang-bang style, when they're discovered by her drunken father--who brands Bobby with a tattoo. Expelled from school, Bobby returns to his native Pittsburgh and his pill-popping, alcoholic mother, who's inconsolable over the recent suicide of Bobby's father. Desperate to escape, Bobby spots Michelle Burnelka, a girl he's adored since kindergarten, singing Hare Krishna chants at the Pittsburgh airport. He tracks her down, learns that she is fleeing the cult, and the two decide to hitchhike to San Francisco. They travel first with an eccentric older couple, and then get a ride with Meat and Varnish, two predatory junkies who drug and trap the teens in their Lincoln Continental for a night of verbal, sexual and psychological abuse. This grim, drawn-out scene darkens the tone considerably after the sometimes glib buoyancy of the early chapters. Stahl spikes his protagonist's drug-addled adolescence with sardonic sagacity; his embodiments of middle-class despair Bobby's mother, youthful ambiguous rebellion Michelle and sensitivity masked with sarcasm Bobby are lucid through the haze. But when excruciating brutality erupts, the novel goes haywire, nearly capsizing under the powerful horrors. However, Stahl pulls the story together with tender, erotic surprises and poignant emotional transformations. While the tale is risky in its darkness, and sometimes swerves into cartoonish violence, Bobby's honest voice pierces through the chaos and makes for a memorably harrowing journey. Author tour. Oct. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
...most of Stahl's brilliantly demented riffs beg to be read—or screamed—aloud. Not for the easily confused, offended or overstimulated.

Entertainment Weekly

Kirkus Reviews
Readers familiar with Stahl's Permanent Midnight (1995) will not be surprised to find his doped-out hero reaching epiphanies during an extended, drug-addled rape sequence that constitutes his "coming of age" in 1970.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061956751
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,105,492
  • File size: 922 KB

Meet the Author

Jerry Stahl is the author of Permanent Midnight; I, Fatty; Perv—a Love Story; and Plainclothes Naked. He has written extensively for film and television, and his work has appeared in Esquire, Details, Playboy, and other publications. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Read an Excerpt

little trophy

I was third in line the first time I ever actually "did it." This was 1970. I was fifteen. The girl involved was a plump, freckled nursing student named Sharon Schmidlap. a ponytailed barber's daughter who lived with her parents three blocks from the small-town boarding school to which I'd been shipped and who had, apparently, been of special service to a select few of my schoolmates for a season or two. before my own arrival in eleventh grade. "Who's the Nervous Nellie?" young Sharon giggled, gaping up at me through gapped teeth while Number Two in line, a carbuncled southern boy named Tennie Toad-- on account of his Tennessee roots and his bumpy epidermis-- humped away and turned his sizable head to wink repeatedly in my direction.

Number one was a boy named Farwell whose father'd been ambassador to Turkey until his mother found him hanging from a chandelier in the embassy banquet room. Rumor had it Daddy Farwell checked out in stockings and heels, and his mother'd slapped the body in a tux before the guards came. His son hadn't said one way or another.

On account of he'd only just come back from Ankara, where he met his bereaved Mom and waggled smelling salts at her nose on a State Department jet, Farwell got the leadoff slot with freckled Sharon. This seemed like the least we could do. It took no more than a minute for him to do his job, and he didn't take his khakis off.

As it happens, we were all of us fatherless sons. My father had stepped in front of a streetcar the previous spring, and Tennie died in a boating mishap when he was nine and a half. "Before we could grab him, the sharks ate his calves," the toothy Memphis boyliked to say. "He was six-three in life, and five-two in the coffin. The bastard thought he was John Wayne, but we buried him like Mickey Rooney...."

When Tennie was done, or when I thought he was done, he hopped onto his knees, reached under Sharon's ample hips and kind of flipped her onto her stomach on the wall-to-wall shag that covered the rec room floor (a shade of purple, incidentally, that matched the nubby aureoles around her nipples, and the much chewed-upon, fruity gloss of her lips). This is what she laks," he giggled, in that half-screechy, half-cackling way he had, like Alfalfa from the Little Rascals, but grown up and nasty. "My gal laks a bit of spanking, donchu honeybutt?"

Before I knew what to make of that, Sharon gave a little coo. She adjusted her pillow-sized nether-globes upward for maximum impact, and Tennie let rip with a meaty thwack to her left buttock. I was amazed, horrified, nervous, and sort of in love. Sharon kept whipping her head from side to side. Her chocolate brown eyes rolled back, so that the whites showed down to the bottom, reminding me of pictures I'd seen of horses in barn fires. She looked scared. She looked like she liked it. I thought my brain would leak out of my ears. Even Farwell, sullen and bummed while the three of us slipped past the Schmidlaps chained-up schnauzer and down the outside steps to their basement, perked up and raised his brows from his spot on the green-and-pink plaid sofa.

By the time Tennie rolled off of Sharon and onto the shag, her whole body had sprung a sheen, a glistening coat of sweat that made me think of supermarket chickens. Skinless and boneless.

Id become so transfixed, when it was my turn I all but forgot I had to mount the girl myself.

Sharon wrapped a strand of mousy hair around her finger and ran it between her incisors, teasing. "Whatsa matter, Hercules, your pants glued on?"

I never even liked undressing in gym class, and now I had to de-pants in front of two older guys and a girl who looked like she could eat me on toast. But I had to do it. I had to!

Copyright ) 1999 by Jerry Stahl

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2001

    perv- A love story ....Stahl a mastermind

    I love this book. Jerry Stahl has truly recaptured the spirit in American litterature left void by the beats and has the makings of another Cathcer in the Rye, banned everywhere. This book reminds us of what it is like to be 16 and not be sure of anything.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2000

    A Wild Ride!

    This book was a pretty quick read that provided a few good laughs. Worth reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2000

    Absurd N Poignant

    The story of young Bobby Stark as he fights his way through the oncoming disillusionment of adulthood. I found this to be a well written book. When at the end it seems to give in too gratuity, the writer has the grace to pull back. While sometimes uneven, it is always funny and there are many moments of true poetry. Jerry Stahl seems like a guy you'd want to hang with.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2000

    This book was awful!

    I hated it! I trudged through it! If this book had a plot (which I'm not sure it did) it was utterly ridiculous. The particulars of the book were disgusting, disturbing, and made me have bad dreams. If you want to feel horrible, read this book.

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    Posted November 22, 2011

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    Posted May 18, 2011

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    Posted December 16, 2009

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    Posted April 9, 2011

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