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Sex and Death to the Age 14 Paperback – June 12, 1986


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (June 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394742575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394742571
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The five stories in this volume developed out of the author's work in avant-garde theater, in which he is renowned for conducting extemporaneous interviews with his audience and delivering monologues about growing up in New England. The provocative title promises to deliver insights about common experiences which, the reader expects, will be refracted through the nimble imagination of the narrator (Spalding Gray himself). However, the stories are not thought-provoking. Incidents are not tied togetherindeed, the abrupt breaks in the narrative are irritatingand the stories themselves are related only in that they recount the narrator's experiences. Finally, the self-absorption of the author is boring and distances the reader from the material. Not recommended. Michael J. Esposito, formerly with Special Libs. Assn., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Spalding Gray's monologues inspire a reaction rare in theatre: affection. You're aware of the art involved, but most of the time it might be you and he in a bar somewhere, two friends from way, way back."--Los Angeles Times

"In the same way an Ann Beattie story, a Woody Allen movie, or a Bob Dylan song might capture the essential quirks of a group or a generation, a Spalding Gray monologue exemplifies the current Zeitgeist."--Other Stages

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hilde Bygdevoll on March 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book made me laugh. Laugh out loud! Over and over again...
Spalding Gray's "Sex, and Death to the Age 14" is autobiographical. Spalding Gray is funny, very funny, and a little... extreme. Sometimes you read and wonder if the author's fantasy is "running wild" or if he is flat out lying just to add the little extra to the story. But nevertheless, this is spot-on super-funny book, a book you can expect will crack you up, over and over again.
I am not giving away the story, but I can tell you that I found myself almost speed-reading though the pages, eagerly waiting for something that would crack me up (again). I read this book in big gulps at the time, and finished it in a few sittings. There are few books that I have read, that have truly made me laugh out loud. This is one of them.

A super-funny book!
(If you like this one - I suggest you read David Sedaris' "Me talk pretty one day")
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By chris@rashmagazine.com on November 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
These essays are nothing compared to hearing the man actually relate them, but are nonetheless invaluable illustrations of the human condition. Spalding Gray may never learn his lesson, at least not until he's had lots of time to obsess over his mistakes. This has been his MO since his first theater piece, and will prbably follow him to the grave. Never is his wit and hindsight better aimed than in this collection of mostly coming-of-age type pieces. Nobody but Gray could usurp the poweral archetype of nostalgic, recollected youth with such ease, without appearing to try at all. Of his works, this is probably my favorite, but I still must recommend an audio recording of it over even this fine smorgasboard of sex, death, oedipal complexes, obsessive behavior and rash judgments. Add the man's voice to it and it all almost makes sense.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book in one sitting, laughing so hard at some parts that I cried. This is the perfect book to read when you're home sick or stuck in an airport lobby. Spalding Gray is whacked out, but just sane enough that he could very amusing as your next door neighbor or distant cousin.
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