Sex Offender: A Novel

Overview

This extravagantly imagined tale chronicles the rehabilitation of a man - a lapsed teacher who is guilty of having had a love affair with a twelve-year-old boy. While the man's crime was to mistake molestation for love, his cure will partake of the same confusion. In the name of love, the police and the doctors will molest him, inside and out. Subjected to a battery of strange therapies (many of them actual practices in health institutions across America), the man struggles to understand and embrace the lessons ...
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Overview

This extravagantly imagined tale chronicles the rehabilitation of a man - a lapsed teacher who is guilty of having had a love affair with a twelve-year-old boy. While the man's crime was to mistake molestation for love, his cure will partake of the same confusion. In the name of love, the police and the doctors will molest him, inside and out. Subjected to a battery of strange therapies (many of them actual practices in health institutions across America), the man struggles to understand and embrace the lessons being offered to him by the Criminal and Health Ministry in charge of his new life. Under orders of the Doctor-General Nicholas, he is to find a new career away from the schools. He will become a writer: an occupation deemed therapeutic by the ministry's professional staff. As the city descends into winter, the man finds his life falling into a regular routine: psychoanalytic sessions with his doctor; aversive therapies in the laboratories of the technicians; long afternoons spent idling at the Cafe Eichelberger; and each evening, a secretive sojourn to an underground club, the Burlesque, to watch the forbidden entertainments of a towering drag queen banned from the city's official stage. The city is under siege, threatened by insurgent rebels encamped in the hills. The drag queen, suspected of ties to the rebels, has been forced underground. The sex offender's life becomes increasingly duplicitous. By day, he is ensnared in the posturing and costumes of the city's official culture and politics. By night, he revels in the theatrical excesses of the banned drag queen. He is pushed to the brink as the Doctor-General's therapies become increasingly violent and bizarre. Torn between his allegiance to the Doctor-General and evidence that the drag queen is indeed linked to the rebels, the man finds himself straddling the breach between official politics and subversion. The Sex Offender is at once a burlesque of the State and an unmasking of the foundations on
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Editorial Reviews

Charles Harmon
In an unspecified country at an unspecified time, a sex offender tells us of the court-ordered "rehabilitation" for child molestation he has been ordered to undergo. Therapy sessions involve watching pornographic movies featuring a young boy (whom the narrator later meets) masturbating. During the films, the offender is attached to an instrument that measures and records sexual excitement and administers negative reinforcement. This, other aversive treatments, psychotherapy during which both patient and his "Doctor-General" wear bags but are otherwise unclothed, and a futuristic political situation evoke the tone and terror of Orwell's "1984". In the novel's world, drag is outlawed, yet the offender and prominent politicians seek out the exotic drag queen Lucrezia. The story really takes off when we learn that the young porno star and Lucrezia are members of a rebellious criminal faction, and a surprising revelation at the end of the book is a special treat. The pedophiliac protagonist's very frank narration is, however, as disturbing as it is well written, which perhaps commends the novel to only very inclusive adult fiction collections.
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Guilty of having had an affair with a 12-year-old boy, a male teacher is accused of having mistaken molestation with love, and is brutally "rehabilitated" by a therapy of similar molestation by police & doctors. A novel of politics, satire, & subversion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060171070
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 224

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