Item description for The Pornographer's Poem: A Novel by Michael Turner...
The Pornographer's Poem is an edgy, important novel that tests the lines between pornography and art, exploitation and exploration. Introduced at the age of 16 to adult cinema by an eccentric teacher, the unnamed narrator of this controversial novel secretly shoots a short film of his neighbors having a very unconventional kind of sex. Helped by his doomed poet friend Nettie, who thinks such work can be liberating, he uses what are essentially porn loops to try to make sense of the world, to right its wrongs, in the process becoming a cause clbre in the underground. But seen first through the eyes of a child and later an alienated adult of indeterminate age, this world is a brutal one populated by disposable people. In his highly acclaimed third novel, Michael Turner deftly blends time shifts, tableaux of radical sexuality and degradation, and an unexpected coming-of-age theme, bringing comparisons to Salinger and other chroniclers of growing up absurd.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6.5" Height: 9" Weight: 0.92 lbs.
Release Date May 14, 2004
Publisher Soft Skull Press
ISBN 1932360239 ISBN13 9781932360233
Availability 0 units.
More About Michael Turner
Michael Turner is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Reading.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Pornographer's Poem: A Novel?
Poetic and almost surreal Nov 1, 2007
The narrator, a young boy recently graduated from high school, gives and account of his life to an unnamed interrogator. He tells about his friends, and especially his long standing friend Nettie, and the new friends he makes including Robin who takes a particular liking to him; and the enigmatic Flynn. He also tells of his remarkable elementary school teacher who introduces him to film making; and the new neighbours, an open-minded young couple.
When he catches his new neighbours supposedly in the privacy of their own garden enjoying one another, he uses his movie camera, a gift from his school teacher, to get a better view, but he can only use the zoom while depressing the shutter. What he unwittingly captures on film turns out to be quite outrageous, especially when the family dog joins in! It is this film which in turn determines the subsequent events in his life, as the story reveals.
The unusual format of the book coupled with the quality of the prose makes for most interesting reading. As the young narrator explains himself we are never quite sure how much is truth, how much is exaggeration, how much is dreamed or just pure invention. Some of his descriptions, reflecting his interest, are in film script format, some are in fact dreams. At times he is very frank and explicit, and here the prose can be quite blue, yet such passages are somehow neutral and detached.
The conclusion reveals the true situation, but it is not until the last few pages, if then, that one even has so much as a glimmer of what is really happening. To say more would spoil the story, and if my review seems somewhat vague, please forgive me, but to reveal any more (and there is a great deal more) would be unfair to potential readers.
Interesting premise May 30, 2005
An interestingly written novel, "The Pornographer's Poem" is a great read diminished only by numerous distracting typos. Where was the copyeditor on this one? This story and this author deserve better.
I stumbled upon Michael Turner's "The Pornographers Poem", while browsing discount book shelves at a local book store. I purchased the book partly because of the excellent reviews on the back cover including praise from the Globe and Mail.
I wasn't disappointed. Michael Turner's writing is very good, almost poetic. He is a master of creating time and place, I could see the beach from his words.
I won't spoil the story by delving too deeply in the format, which is similar to an interrogation, by an unnamed person. This however is the most effective part of the story and it makes for a most satisfying ending.
After finishing the book, I have often thought about it and I realize that there could be many different endings and you're never sure exactly which truths our main character has shared or withheld from his interrogator.
The book is raw and real in some parts, so it might offend the faint of heart, but those who appreciate serious, fresh writing will find this to be an excellent book.