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Generation S.L.U.T.: A Brutal Feel-up Session with Today's Sex-Crazed Adolescent Populace Paperback – February 24, 2004
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S.L.U.T. is Beckerman's acronym for Sexually Liberated Urban Teens, and in this outrageous, chilling blend of fact and fiction, the 20-year-old author characterizes his view of his generation: hypersexual, emotionally vacant, and disturbingly tolerant of abuse. Beckerman sets his story in a high-school social scene in which parties are seemingly joyless orgies of detached sex. Naive, sensitive Max is an anomaly, unlike his crass friend Brett. Julia is a new girl with soul and integrity; Trevor is a precocious young tycoon, adored by his parents, who is actually a rapist and a pornographer. The slight story about Max's first crush and Trevor's profound villainy is overpowered by Beckerman's purposeful unveiling of the vicious social climate: there's an extremely graphic gang rape, several kids attempt suicide, and parents are caricatures of ineffectuality. Beckerman runs into some trouble with occasional autobiographical segments that show he is clearly a participant in the world he chronicles; a swagger (references to the state of his penis and his favorite sexual position, for example) seeps into some of his writing, undermining what seems to be his strident message: a generation is being lost. He reinforces that message much more effectively with the deeply unnerving "S.L.U.T. Stats," culled from journalism and medical studies, that appear throughout the book, and it's this skillfully edited compilation of contemporary teen attitudes toward sex that is perhaps this disturbing book's best justification for purchase. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Hunter S. Thompson Good work, you morbid little bastard.
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Top Customer Reviews
While I can't personally relate to the "party scene" in this book, I thought it was an interesting read overall. Is this the reality of the situation this book tries to portray? Well, not every High School will be like this, not every teenager will do these things. On the other side, there ARE some teenagers that do this and there ARE High Schools that have these problems. Not everyone has parents who don't care about them. Not all of these statistics are 100% accurate. I'm a Financial Analyst and math is kind of my thing. And anyone who knows anything about Probability & Statistics knows that you can easily lie or misconstrue the truth with them. So I take stats with a grain of salt, but I did find them interesting. I also found the way they worked into the book a very creative and unique idea (and yes, a good idea as well). I also thought it was a very interesting and good idea for the author to have little personal stories between the chapters.
I think the books message overall is a good one, but I don't think everything is a major problem and it's not just an "America" issue like some people think. Throughout history there have ALWAYS been people that fall into this category and roles (i.e. the sex crazed party maniac). I mean there are ancient rulers that had harems, it's not like this group sex concept is totally new and revolutionary. I think the more disturbing part is that people find this "shocking" as if it's never happened before. I think the books message of being a general wake-up call IS the point. People do need to wake up. I think this points out that the lack of parenting in some cases is becoming a problem. My parents are both High School teachers and I, too often, here stupid stories of uneducated parents trying to point the finger someplace else for their childs misdeeds. The parents are usually the first ones to say it's the schools fault, when if the parent had been around more then maybe something wouldn't have happened. This is also a societal problem, because the parents aren't around just becuase they don't want to be (all the time), in a lot of cases they are at work. Society now demands the work of TWO parents in a household a lot of times. Being a stay at home mom or dad is not that easy anymore. And no, this isn't just an American problem, it's going to be Global as the third world more and more joins the forces of our growing economy.
I think, in the end, maybe the book was a little over the top in it's portrayal of sex scenes, but a lot of times you need to go to extremes to get people to pay attention these days (within logical reason of course). I think he wrote an engrossing story with characters people can get into, even though just about all of them are tragic characters. The book was not very long so character development was sort of minimal, but I think the point there was to get our ADHD plagued society to sit still for an hour to read a book that might mean something to them. I'm sorry but "To Kill a Mocking Bird" didn't really speak to me generationally when I was in High School and I doubt it does now even though some may enjoy the story.
This book purports to be a voice for Generation Y, but Beckerman is too caught up in his own misogynistic universe to really analyze the situation with true depth. If you want to find out what's really going on with today's young people, I suggest you speak to someone a little more balanced . . . unfortunately, the balanced ones don't seem to be published.
But this book is worth reading if you want to understand contemporary teen despair (at least for some). Ashley's explanation for her promiscuity and her resulting suicidal tendencies at the end of the book are poignant and don't come across as stilted or preachy. And the brutal gang rape of Quinn (Brett's flighty star-struck ex-girlfriend) literally gave me nightmares. At one point, Beckerman (in one of his copious footnotes) blames feminism and the resulting absentee parenting on the screwed-up life of these teens. But the adults who are in the book are either inept in a beaurocraticized way, or completely dysfunctional (like Julie's alcoholic parents.) It all ends badly for everyone, except maybe for Max, the one teen who hasn't (yet) gone completely emotionally numb or haywire.
This story may have some relevance to some small segments of today's teens - but it's certainly not representative of the majority of them. The 'bad guy' is an overblown Eddie Haskell (anyone else remember Leave It To Beaver?), held up as an icon of success by parents, fantastically wealthy from his own earnings, amazingly sadistic, and totally without fear of consequences - easy to despise, difficult to believe at all.
Are there parents as absent and ineffectual as this book depicts? Certainly. Are there teens as vicious and depraved as are shown in this story? Oh, probably. Is anyone as shallow and unthinking as the author claims is typical in the generation being "exposed" in this book? If there is, I've never met them.
By the author's own admission, he was unable to lose his virginity until he was 18, yet he describes a high school world of casual sex and weekend orgies with no consequences at all. In essense, he whines about being excluded from this world he invents while he sneers at it.
Some titilating scenes, a fair narrative voice - not a total waste of time, but it certainly does not live up to the hype.