It’s been a long time since I did a book review. That’s because it’s been a long time since I’ve read something that made me go, “I should tell the entire world about this!” Most of the books I’ve read over the last year or so have been big name blockbusters that were sure to be read by the people who wanted to read them. When you’re writing a review of a big name author, and you’re a dude that can barely put a few words together without spelling half of them wrong, or worse, using a completely different word than intended, you tend to attract a certain type of grim response from the fan base. It turned me off of doing reviews for a long time.
Then, I sat down and started reading Stunted. When the sun came up the next morning I put down the first half of the book and went to sleep. Last night, or rather, this morning, I did the same thing when I finished it.
Stunted: My 20 Years at 12
I don’t know if the events depicted in Stunted are fact or not. Jonathon Sims certainly portrays them as being his actual life to the best of his memories in the text, so who am I to dispute that. I will say, if it is true, then it serves as definite evidence that there might actually be a lot more people in the world that look back on their deathbed and say, “I had far too much sex,” than previously thought. Actually between this book and Jonathon Ames’s What Not to Love, I’ve developed two theories about the 80s:
1) People Named “Jonathon” have unusually promiscuous lives.
2) Genital Warts might have been a pandemic.
It wasn’t the fact that Jonathon Sims is a hardcore man-whore that made the book compelling, though. It was that Jonathon Sims let you see inside the head of a hardcore man-whore. Not just the actions, but the self-delusional, disgusted, loathsome eccentricities that go on in that brain all the time. If Jon was a character in a book written from the point of view of just about anyone else in the story, he might be seen as the villain, or at least a foible to contrast the “good” people against. When you’re in his head, he becomes an understandable character. Jon’s thoughts are on the page with the actions. We understand him. We get what he’s feeling from his side. Suddenly, he’s a little less a monster and more a confused man-child.
It works. It gives you a perspective that makes you realize one of the single most important truths of reality, the world isn’t black and white. It’s a vibrant landscape of a billion shades of color…. not just the 50 gray ones.
I do feel that I should put out a warning here:
Jon is a man who spent 14 years running a porn store. I think that desensitizing to sex has left him a little more descriptive than some people would enjoy. He isn’t writing porn, or even erotica; most Romance Novels have more details than Stunted but, he doesn’t shy away from it either. Think V.C. Andrews, and you might be on the right track.
Also, some of the descriptions and situations are very real.
Basically, if you get offended by anything, you’ll probably find something offensive in this book. Seriously offensive.
If you think you can handle the world a little less whitewashed than you’re used to, read and enjoy Stunted. You’ll enjoy it.