Perv--a Love Story and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.34
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: This item has been gently used.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Perv--a Love Story Hardcover – September 22, 1999

32 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$2.19 $0.01

The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel by Nina George
"The Little Paris Bookshop" by Nina George
Set in a floating barge along the Seine, this novel is a love letter to books - and to the complicated, sometimes broken people who are healed by them. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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 fatherAwho 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

It was 1970. Woodstock was over, Nixon was in the White House, and the Vietnam War continued full steam ahead. This is the backdrop for Perv, Stahl's excellent first novel about adolescence, tacky sex, lots of drugs, and a horrifying cast of misfit parents and predatory adults. The early 1970s provides convenient wallpaper, but this book could be set any time in postwar America. Bobby Stark, the 16-year-old hero, finds himself back home in Pittsburgh after being thrown out of prep school. With the public schools on strike, he's stuck at home with his pill-popping mother and her creepy crowd of misfit boyfriends. A chance encounter with a grade-school acquaintance, a disenchanted Hare Krishna named Michelle, gives him a chance to go on the road and into even more perilous situations. This is black comedy at its darkest--alternately funny, poignant, and neurotically absurd. At some points, Stahl goes over the top, and his self-indulgence becomes painfully unpalatable. But overall, it's a worthwhile trip back into teenage nightmares. Ted Leventhal
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (September 22, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688170943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688170943
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,795,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Pushcart Prize-winning author Jerry Stahl has written six books, including the memoir Permanent Midnight (made into a film with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson), and the novels Pain Killers and I, Fatty (optioned by Johnny Depp). Former Culture Columnist for Details, Stahl's widely anthologized fiction and journalism have appeared in a variety of places, including Esquire, The New York Times, Playboy, The Rumpus, and The Believer. He has also written extensively for film and television, including the highest rated episodes of CSI and, most recently, the HBO film Hemingway & Gelhorn, with Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked up PERMANENT MIDNIGHT on a whim and loved it so much I gave copies out as Xmas presents that year. It's so hard NOT to fall in love with Jerry Stahl's smart & twisted voice. I love PERV just as much - think I'd follow Jerry anywhere. Definitely one of those great books you read so fast because you can't put it down, and then, when you're done, you're depressed because it's over.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A small masterpiece in the coming of age genre, in the tradition of Bellow, Updike and most of all Roth. After a few pages of Perv, most other contemporary fiction feels flimsy, repressed and cold-hearted.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Baxter on November 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I agree that this book should be compared to "Catcher in the Rye", but not for the reasons that everybody thinks. Like "Catcher in the Rye", it is the story of a young boy trapped in a world of insanity. But mainly, I agree with this notion because Jerry Stahl is the first person since J.D. Salinger to effectively compress extremely complicated emotions and situations into one-liners. His writing is compelling, provocative, heart-felt and just plain beautiful. I LOVE this book. On a personal level, I can identify with certain aspects of it and as an apiring writer, I can admire the superior diction. Just a warning: If you are squemish or conservative, you will not enjoy this book. It is very (refreshingly) blunt and sometimes (delightfully) horrifying. If you like experimental and honest writing, you NEED to own this book. I can only hope that Mr. Stahl does not emulate Salinger by becoming a recluse because I eagerly anticipate his next release.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Jerry Stahl captures real life so vividly that not for onesecond are you distanced even an iota from the events of the book. Itis an intensely painful and deeply rewarding read and life-altering in effect. If all books were this immediate we might have a better world where people could actually touch each other in a larger and more comforting way.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jmz VINE VOICE on March 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Perv: A Love Story does just that. You have to get through three quarters of the book to understand what I'm talking about, but you'll get it. You think the beginning is shocking? You think anything in the middle is disturbing? Just wait until the end. Based on the graphic details of what occurs to Bobby and Michelle with their, let's call them, captors, I can only assume Mr. Stahl has been there and done that.
Overall, it was a funny and sad story, but I don't think Stahl wants us to feel sorry for the main character. As stated in the book at some point, there's empathy and there's sympathy. I think Stahl wants us to empathize with the characters but to just stand back a minute and not get too close.
Recommended for those that aren't uptight. If you are, you won't even get through the first couple of pages.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert R. Mitchell on March 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perv - A Love Story is a Y2K The Catcher In The Rye. Published on the eve of potential apocalypse in 1999 but set during the Vietnam War; Holden is Jewish, Mr. Antolini is a Charles Mansonesque rapist, scotch and sodas are replaced by every illicit drug known to man and you can't help thinking page after page that Quentin Tarantino should make the movie. If Perv had been published in 1982 instead of 1999, and Nancy Reagan (who realistically wouldn't have made it past the second page) would have made it required reading in her "Just Say No To Drugs" campaign, the War on Drugs would have been won before The Great Communicator left office.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christy on May 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my all time favorite books that I read back in high school. The price was great, the condition was better than I expected, and the shipping was fast. I was very happy with this purchase, and I would recommend buying from this seller!

The book is a very fun and interesting read. I recommend this to teenagers to encourage reading (as my hippie teacher did for me). Keep an open mind that there are drugs and sex in this book, but the author is so brilliant, I guarantee young adults will take it seriously.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kara Hayden on November 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story it's self was fascinating, adventurous and sexual in the oddest possible ways. It seemed so hard to believe that the maker of ALF had written this book! Not for the weak of heart, or stomach. Lots of drugs, sex and violence.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?