Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Celibacy Club Paperback – January 1, 2001
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
In "Gypsy Lore," one of 19 stories in Janice Eidus's new collection, The Celibacy Club, 15-year-old Anna asks a fortune teller about sex. "He comes in, he goes out. He comes in, he goes out. That's all," the gypsy replies. The gypsy's evident ennui about sex might apply just as easily to this collection itself, in which a lot happens but nothing much matters. In the title story, Nancy joins a celibacy club where everyone talks about why they're not having sex. Then she has sex with one of the club members, quits the club and buys a condo in the Bronx. In "Making Love, Making Movies" screenwriter Jeff inexplicably starts cheating on his wife of ten years, an actress obsessed with Sigourney Weaver. During each affair he casts himself as a different Hollywood actor, while each encounter becomes a scenario for yet another trite film cliché in his hackneyed mind.
Ms. Eidus's tales are often amusing, but she tends to substitute pop culture references for character development, and high concept ideas, i.e., a Barbie doll goes to group therapy, for theme. Still, readers who enjoy this type of ultra-hip urban story-telling may well find The Celibacy Club entertaining reading.
From Kirkus Reviews
Most of the 19 stories here have been published in small magazines, and a number anthologized. This isn't surprising: Eidus's tales (Vito Loves Geraldine, 1990, etc.) often seem either written to order or just not weighty enough for more mainstream venues. The author's jokier tales poke fun at familiar targets: the therapeutic culture; health clubs; and the shallowness of Hollywood. Eidus also mocks our obsession with celebrity in a series of pieces about pop icons: In ``Elvis, Axl, and Me,'' a former mental patient discovers Elvis alive and well, living in the Bronx as an Hasidic Jew; in ``Barbie Goes to Group Therapy,'' a group of whiny women seek revenge on the doll they blame for their unhappiness; and in ``Jimmy Dean: My Kind of Guy,'' the narrator sleeps with the dreamy actor who's still alive and writing a play at an artists' colony. False hope, the loss of innocence, and nostalgia for a lost childhood all figure into other stories such as ``The Mermaid of Orchard Beach,'' in which a Bronx girl discovers her ability to create her own reality and to fashion happiness from ``what was really so very little.'' Similarly, a woman who believed in the power of goodness as a child can't understand why her mean and nasty sister (and not she) has achieved wealth and happiness as an adult (``The Princess of Lake Forest''). The least successful stories take themselves far too seriously and are written with a sledgehammer sensibility: a portrait of a phone- sex worker and her childhood history of sexual abuse (``Pandora's Box''); ``Ladies with Long Hair,'' about a group of women who refuse to cut their hair in solidarity with those dying from AIDS; and a disposable bit of advocacy on condom use (``Aunt Lulu, the Condom Lady''). A few self-reflexive pieces about writers add nothing to an altogether artless second collection. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I'm more than a fan...at the literary arts center I direct, I think it's important for emerging writers to study with people who have such craft and vision, so she's on our faculty, most recently teaching a master level class. (Full disclosure, she put a piece of mine in an anthology she edited, because we both share an love of, and love to write about, rock and roll).
There are few Americans working with magic realism and surrealism. Is it because we're Americans we don't trust magic?
I believe Janice is one of the more underrated writers of our time, and eventually people will catch up with her worldview.
The Celibacy Club, in particular, shows her range through the absurd/silly (The Ping Pong Vampire), to the heartbreaking (Pandora's Box).
Even in the silliest of stories, there is a kernel of hard truth: a woman falls in love with her exercise machine...each day I see women who work out for hours to achieve someone's ideal of the perfect body. Ladies all over the city refuse to get their hair cut...because their hairdressers have died of AIDS, and they need to remember and mourn. The Celibacy Club is a slapstick piece, vivid and detailed, which slaps the "new morality" and ideas like retroactive virginity in the face.
Don't let the absurd situations fool you: Janice Eidus is a serious, masterful writer with a lot to say. You won't be disappointed.
"Barbie Goes to Group Therapy" is funny too as it shows Barbie personified in a support group for women who group up idolizing her, but now she only feels disdain towards. A terrifically clever social satire. "The Celebacy Club" is ultimately a good read, although it only hit the ball out of the park on a handful of occations. It's inconsistancy prevents it from being the masterpiece it should have been, but I'm definately looking forward to reading more of Janice Eidus in the future.
However, the very lightness of the prose style hurts the collection as a whole. Here is the weakness: the lightness of the subject matter, which Eidus hopes is modern, popular culture and the drab normality of every-day-being-ness, can be effective in one or two shorter pieces but begins to fail in a longer work such as this.
What is more, her narrative tone is often journal-y, very personal connected. Again, this creates a good familiarity with the narrator (who Eidus does a good job of varying), but begins to wear thin. It leaves the reader--or, better put, this reader--hungry for more intellectually supported opinions or striking revelations, as opposed to mere observations backed with colorful and vibrant dialogue.
The most enjoyable story for me was "Elvis, Axl, and Me," which was a hilarious read as well as appealing to my taste in pop culture. One wonders just how much staying-power such a story will have, but nevertheless it is enjoyable and beyond the pale of much "personal-revelatory" fiction being produced today.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is like a fridge packed with food that's ready to be gorged on. And there's nothing bland here!Read more