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Live Nude Elf: The Sexperiments of Reverend Jen Paperback – May 1, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this lively memoir, Troll Museum creator, mail-order Reverend and all-around creative type Jen (who has a quirky fondness for wearing fake elf ears) recounts a two-year series of "sexperiments" performed for her online Nerve magazine column. Though common wisdom asserts there's nothing new under the sun, Reverend Jen gives the cliché a run for its money, with material to make a sailor blush: she witnesses a jar of mayonnaise violated, attends an S&M "reform school" and hosts a "sex toy Olympics," in which she puts an untold number of appliances and rubber goods through rigorous trials. Happily, Jen's candor, well-developed sense of humor and honesty prove endearing; she's a hard narrator to dislike, with enough charm for anyone with an opinion on Sex and the City-there's enough wry cynicism and disbelieving-but-nonjudgmental attitude for lovers and haters. Genuinely curious and game for just about anything, Jen's more conventional quest for love, especially near the end of the book, feels tacked-on despite its sincerity. Still, this narrative is a rarity in its field: a hedonistic nonfiction sex romp with an enormous heart.

Review


"From beginning to end, Jen remains a sharply observant, genuinely funny, and trustworthy guide through this tumultuous era of her unusual life, and it's impossible not to root for her." —Bust Magazine

"This is one of the most unusual sex memoirs you'll read all year, but without doubt the most entertaining." —UK Forum

"Jen’s candor, well-developed sense of humor and honesty prove endearing; she’s a hard narrator to dislike, with enough charm for anyone with an opinion on Sex and the City—there’s enough wry cynicism and disbelieving-but-nonjudgmental attitude for lovers and haters." —Publishers Weekly

"I don't often finish a book in one sitting, but that was the case with Live Nude Elf. From the Rev.'s experience with balloon fetishists (aka "looners") to her creation of 'The Face of God' in a sex tape through the use of an old RCA DP3 camera, I couldn't help but find myself absorbed by her storytelling." —Bookslut.com

"Live Nude Elf shows the funny side of kinky sex with hilarious, witty, and positively triple-X prose." —Hipsterbookclub.com

"Live Nude Elf is funny, sexy, weird, beautiful and brave—just like the author." —Janice Erlbaum, author of Girlbomb and Have You Found Her

"Note to publishers. Rev Jen is a writer. Let her write. About anything. And she will produce a kick-ass book. So I hope this one flies off the shelves so she is given that opportunity." —Trav S.D., author of No Applause--Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous

"Live Nude Elf, like Jen, goes down easy...you might finish Live Nude Elf without realizing you've been reading at all." —The Village Voice
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press; Original edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593762445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593762445
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,711,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Rob Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Reverend Jen Miller has a long history of doing odd or shocking things. That might be especially peculiar in a reverend, but she (like myself) is legally a minister, via the Universal Life Church, which ordains anyone who asks, and (unlike myself) she uses the "Reverend" title in all she does, and responds to greetings such as "Hi, Rev!" For over a decade, she has hosted a monthly performance show called "Reverend Jen's Anti-Slam" which is sort of an amateur night for those who want to act weird in front of an audience. For such stars, she founded the Art Star Scene, which has a magazine that takes advantage of the acronym. She curates a Troll Museum in her apartment. She is well known to her fellow New York citizens, but she came to national attention when she took over from Grant Stoddard in writing the "I Did It for Science" columns at Nerve.com. She would do "sexperiments" on assignment, writing up each with a hypothesis, description of the experiment, a statement of results, and a conclusion. She had written for Nerve before, she was done with boyfriends and wanted lots of sex without strings, and she needed the money. Now her book _Live Nude Elf: The Sexperiments of Reverend Jen_ (Soft Skull Press) collects the columns, fills them out with some autobiographical essays about what she was going through before this assignment came along, and in between the monthly columns, and what happened after the last one. The Rev is enthusiastic, charming, and funny. Her reports on her adventures are fun because she obviously had fun with them, and because they are titillating, and because no one else is going to wind up doing all the experimentation to which she has so selflessly submitted herself.

She learned a lot. For instance, she learned how to clean a bathtub.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really loved Rev Jen's book. I had read several of the pieces when they initially appeared online but those that I missed were a real treat to catch up on in this compendium. Not to mention the addition of a few shorter chapters that add some context about what was going on in her personal life at the time.

There are scenes that I've recreated in my head from reading the book that make me burst out laughing just thinking of them. I won't give them away here, you've got to read it for yourself!
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Format: Paperback
I had enjoyed Rev Jen's columns when they originally appeared on Nerve and was pleased to see them gathered together in book form as they are laugh out loud hilarious. I have read some of these essays five times. I have read them out loud at parties. I have read them over the phone to friends. There is an ineffable quality of pleasure in this book of someone who is wholly and truly themselves, who tries and succeeds, who tries and fails, who succumbs to the ordinary human need for love only to discover that love will leave you with a bruised coccyx in a ditch at someone else's wedding.
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Format: Kindle Edition
As the title says, this book was great. Engaging, funny, and really upsetting. Reverend Jen's life brings you into new light. I really can't write good reviews but this book is one of the best memoir's I've read, I consider her up in the ranks with Augusten Burroughs.
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I love the honesty! Sex columnist, sex surrogate, art star, and the cutest elf I've ever had the pleasure listen to :) This book is hilarious, and actually opened my mind to a new dimension of human sexuality. Loved it.
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