From Publishers Weekly
Readers of Grant Stoddard's popular Nerve.com column "I Did It for Science" won't be surprised that Stoddard opens his memoir with a description of himself, down on all fours, about to be anally penetrated by a latex replica of his own phallus. For three years, Stoddard's was the thinking pervert's go-to guy for behind-the-scenes reporting on everything from chin-mounted dildos to group sex. Now, in this consistently hilarious exploration of the life of an accidental sexpert, Stoddard combines adventures from his dot-com days with a portrait of the artist as a young virgin, growing up luckless and loveless in London. Stoddard would probably balk at the suggestion that he has a "typically English" sense of humor, but whatever he'd choose to call it, his self-deprecating style and wonderful appreciation of the absurd serves him well, whether he's describing his highly unusual university flatmate (an octogenarian named Mrs. Montague) or a more recent stint as a terrified extra in a pornographic movie. If the book has a weakness it's in the pacing: toward the end the narrative threatens to stall, and an over-long description of Stoddard's failed attempt to woo a visiting French teenager falls flat. Fortunately, though, these slightly uneven interludes don't significantly diminish the pleasures of this smart and appealing book. (Jan.)
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When British expatriate Stoddard was hired as a columnist for Nerve.com, he agreed to participate in a series of sexual experiments and write about it for publication. In short order, the self-professed "sexual nonstarter" participated in a quasi-sexual food fight with two gay men, attended an upscale orgy, played bridge in the nude, and had sex on the subway. And although Stoddard's adventures are graphically described, they are also relayed with self--deprecating wit, a surprising sweetness, and an unceasing sense of amazement at his own unlikely career path. Born and raised in rowdy, working-class Essex, Stoddard was enamored with American people and culture and eventually followed a college friend to New Jersey when he was 21. With equal parts tenacity and naivete, he tackled visa problems, poverty, and loneliness to stake his claim in New York City. When he won a trivia contest--first prize was intercourse with a married sex columnist--his career was born. What is, perhaps, most amusing about Stoddard's unusual memoir is the squeamishness with which he approaches his raunchy escapades. Joanne WilkinsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved