- Mass Market Paperback: 204 pages
- Publisher: Dell (January 15, 1975)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0440161495
- ISBN-13: 978-0440161493
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Venus on the Half-Shell Mass Market Paperback – January 15, 1975
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Top Customer Reviews
Because Shulman portrays the sexual escapades and pot smoking in candid fashion, it's easy for critics to stigmatize Dukes as a trashy novel. That however neglects the many dimensions to the book, including some very fine writing by the author. Instead, I take it as an honest depiction of what Shulman knew and chose to set out in unusually forceful and unpatronizing terms. Coveted by teenagers of the time for its daring assault on censorship, the language and events may seem tame compared with today's non-existent standards. Yet Shulman's characters and their dramatic narrative remain as fresh and timely as ever, the murder of the teacher standing, in retrospect, as an opening shot in the youth rebellion to come. Substitute Latino or Black for the Jewish Dukes, add a level of drug trafficking, and the story (including the awful conditions that spawned them) remains essentially unchanged from then to now.
Also, author Shulman goes into vivid detail describing the youth fashions and moral behavior of the day, or what kids then considered 'cool'.Read more ›
I kept my copy hidden in my closet, always fearful that my parents might discover it and raise hell with me for reading such "smut." Kids who took the book to school had it confiscated by the faculty. That fact alone increased the desirability of the book--much as the old 'banned by the Catholic Church' or 'banned in Boston' boosted sales of novels and movie tickets.
Amboy Dukes appealed to the sexual interests of we then-adolescent boys who read it. The characters routinely "felt up" their girlfriends and occasionally had sex--much as we hoped to do when we were a little older.
Of course, the social implications were lost on most of us kids. We were more interested in the sexual capers of these 1940's gangbangers.Read more ›
Originally I found it on the "book shelf" at the Kroger in Petoskey, Michigan just after its publication in '70-something. Where else would one find a Kilgore Trout novel? I knew immediatley that I had happened upon a black pearl of literature! I couldn't wait to get home to start reading it and actually went next door to the Big Boy and had some warm salad a cold hamburger while I entered into the universe of Simon Wagstaff.
The only problem with the edition available here is that it is a new hardback. This is anitpodal to the concept itself. This book MUST be read in paperback, which is available with a little perseverence at your nearest used book shop. Kilgore Trout was NEVER published in hardback, and neither did he ever win a second edition! In order to properly appreciate this book, you really need to know Kilgore Trout as a character. Then read this book. Then read Philip Jose Farmer. If you have put the cart before the horse and already have encountered Philip Jose, it won't ruin the experience...he also wrote some pretty far out Tarzan stories.....
Read and enjoy! And, Mr. Farmer, if you check this particular message board, THANK YOU!!!! It is gratifying to know that you are out there!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic, other-worldly, gentle fun poke at Kurt Vonnegut. Jr.'s fiction author KilgoreTrout. Firmly tongue-in-cheek, a great read.Published 3 months ago by Matchboy
His three "dirty" books were new and I was in 4th grade. Sold under the counter and passed around. Re-reading now I enjoyed his writing very much.Published 4 months ago by R. Lester
First off, this book is fun because of the shifting explanations of how it came to be. We know it was written by Farmer. We know Trout was created by Kurt Vonnegut. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Pop Bop
Perfect for a college afe student or very well read high school student. I'm an adult and still love it!Published 6 months ago by Cindee Goodspeed
I thought Kilgore Trout was a made up character by Kurt Vonnegut. Is Kilgore Trout a real writer, or is this Vonnegut using the name KT?Published 11 months ago by Raskolinkov
Loved the concept and the writing. Probably one of the most wonderful books debunking the existence or need for a God.Published 12 months ago by Michael T. Coolen