The Other Side of Desire and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $13.99
  • Save: $2.07 (15%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for FREE Super-Saver shipping.
Add to Cart
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 all 2 images

The Other Side of Desire: Four Journeys into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing Paperback – March 9, 2010


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.92
$7.46 $0.55

Frequently Bought Together

The Other Side of Desire: Four Journeys into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing + What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire + Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
Price for all three: $39.34

Buy the selected items together

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 66%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; 1 edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060885572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060885571
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. As if it weren't already difficult enough to find a suitable mate, what if a prerequisite was that the lover be missing an arm or a leg? Or willing to be roasted on a spit? Comparatively, a mild-mannered foot fetish seems, well, pedestrian. Bergner (God of the Rodeo) investigates how we become who we are sexually, whether our lusts are common or improbable. The book's combination of titillation, shock value and documentary evokes a set of page-turning conundrums: is a man who desires feet any less odd than the psychiatrist who treats him or the scientist who studies pedophilia or the journalist who describes a whipping session in precise detail or the reader who becomes voyeur? It's all fairly delicate and disturbing material, and while the descriptions can grow florid, the author's strongest moments (e.g., evoking the tabooed desires impelling the artist Hans Bellmer's work) compensate for the lapse. Bergner has an empathetic sensibility and convincingly suggests that what a fetishist needs is a willing and loving partner with complementary interests. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Bergner does what science cannot: He illuminates peculiar longings. His method is at first descriptive and finally poetic. . . . Given the limitations of science, resonant journalism may be the best way to approach paraphilia, and Bergner’s book has a musical quality.” (Slate)

“In this fascinating book, Bergner, with a novelist’s eye but a reporter’s grit, examines amputee devotees and S&M fanatics without resorting to sensationalism.” (Metro New York)

“Girded with scientific data about the nature of sexual identity, The Other Side of Desire is a foray into extreme passion, in quest of the human soul.” (O, The Oprah Magazine)

“In carefully etched prose, Bergner unpacks the tightly twisted roots of desire, power seeking, self-hatred and theatricality that motivate his four pseudonymous subjects…Compassionate wisdom about dark needs.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Searching, deeply humane. . . . Our reactions to the stories Daniel Bergner recounts reveal as much about ourselves as they do about his oddly winning subjects.” (Jennifer Egan, bestselling author of THE KEEP)

“Daniel Bergner’s characters live in erotic no-go zones where most of us would fear to tread. Their stories will sadden, enlighten, disturb, and move you—for they are completely, intimately human.” (George Packer, New York Times bestselling author of THE ASSASSIN'S GATE)

“Attentive, carefully controlled…[Bergner’s] goal is empathy. He gives depth and shadow to his subjects’ longing, never mocking, oversimplifying or vilifying.” (Washington Post Book World)

“Unsettling but riveting....what makes [this book] so powerful is that it’s as much about desire and what’s normal as it is an exploration of why we are the way we are, whether we like it or not.” (New York Times Book Review)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Overall a great piece of journalism.
Melacanth
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the provocative topic (who isn't?)
Paul Barrett
I was expecting more; it was too short and only touched the surface.
Patrick Oglethorpe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Karen Franklin on January 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Journalist Daniel Bergner has a knack for getting inside his subject matter, which often focuses on the edgy extremes where most of us will never venture in real life, and about which little has been written. In the Land of Magic Soldiers: A Story of White and Black in West Africa gave us a glimpse of Africa's poorest and most violence-ravaged nation, Sierra Leone. In God of the Rodeo: The Quest for Redemption in Louisiana's Angola Prison, Bergner introduced us to the rodeo champions of Angola Penitentiary in Louisiana, "the last slave plantation." Here, Bergner give us a glimpse of another forbidden zone, that of extreme sexual practices.

Bergner's status as a skillful writer for the New York Times Magazine shows in his ability to bring both insight and compassion to bear on characters that might otherwise come off as mere freaks. The narrative is woven around four stories, involving a dominatrix, a foot fetishist, an amputee fetishist and -- of interest to those of us who work with sex offenders -- an incestuous stepfather. Describing that case of "Roy," Bergner introduces competing theories of sex offending and describes the time he spent with Roy's pedophilia therapy group as well as with well-known experts in the field.

If you are undecided about whether to buy this book, you can start with a little taste from the Internet: Bergner's New York Times article of January 22, 2009, "What Do Women Want?" illustrates his knack for translating dry science into accessible prose.
Read more ›
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
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sir Charles Panther VINE VOICE on September 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Q: What's the difference between weird and kinky?
A: Weird is when you use a feather. Kinky is when you use the whole chicken.

That's essentially what you get with this book, but what is weird, and what is kinky? Where's the break line, and who gets to define where the line is? What is it like if you're on the "wrong" side?

I came to this book after reading Mary Roach's outstanding Bonk. The two are very different in content and approach, but the core subject is still the same, and the two complement each other quite well. I recommend Roach's book be read first, one because it's better written and more entertaining, and two because it's a better overview and serves as a good foundation from which to explore.

This book is about what Bergner calls "eros," the fringes of desire, or to be much more direct, sexual desire. The heart of the book asks what is a fetish, and when does it become a liability? How does one end up saddled with an overpowering fetish, or urge? And most importantly, is such a fetish normal or abnormal?

There are four real-world observations--these aren't nearly direct and detail-laden enough to be called "case studies"--on that edge. One reader will call these people sick or twisted or even evil, while another might just place them in the decidedly flatter areas of the traditional bell curve of human sexuality. Bergner's biggest success in this book is that he provides no solid judgment of his own as to whether these folks are wrong/right or normal/deviant; the reader is left to make that determination, if such a determination is even appropriate.

This is definitely an adult read, 18+.
Read more ›
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
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Cary B. Barad on February 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
For some reason, I couldn't decide initially if this book was fiction or nonfiction. The truth finally hit me when the narrative referred to "Fred Berlin"--a well-known sex therapist and researcher in my neck of the woods. In any case, we get to learn quite a bit about the strange, the weird, the odd, the bizzare and the different. There was some, but not a lot, of prurient material despite the potentially explosive nature of the pathology described. More cut-and-dry than sensationalistic. Gives a sympathetic viewpoint of persons with atypical sexual impulses and behaviors. Uses commonsense to skewer the cockeyed theories of "major thinkers" in the field.
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 3 people found the following review helpful By Miles on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
I loved the first chapter about the sympathetic foot fetishist and the idea that sexual compulsions are entirely separate from the self, similar to a disease or other medical condition. However, I found myself bored by the remaining chapters, more for the subject matter (not another B&D madame) than for any deficiency in the writing.
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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Emmett Anglin on August 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A good try at showing some insight to those among us that may have somewhat unconventional tastes. If you are one of the four or five people in the book it is especially interesting. S&M is covered along with devoteeism (amputees) and two others.
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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Hale on March 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this book because it showed how fetishes play into the notion of love and desire without making the people involved seem like freaks. It was very well written and interesting.
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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By reader01 on November 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully written with care and compassion. Good for professionals who treat these disorders as well as those aflicted with these disorders. Also just a lovely read for anyone who is interested in human sexuality.
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

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?