Stadler, Matthew The Sex Offender: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780060171070

The Sex Offender: A Novel

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9780060171070: The Sex Offender: A Novel
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This extravagantly imagined tale chronicles the rehabilitation of a man - a lapsed teacher who is guilty of having had a love affair with a twelve-year-old boy. While the man's crime was to mistake molestation for love, his cure will partake of the same confusion. In the name of love, the police and the doctors will molest him, inside and out.
Subjected to a battery of strange therapies (many of them actual practices in health institutions across America), the man struggles to understand and embrace the lessons being offered to him by the Criminal and Health Ministry in charge of his new life. Under orders of the Doctor-General Nicholas, he is to find a new career away from the schools. He will become a writer: an occupation deemed therapeutic by the ministry's professional staff.
As the city descends into winter, the man finds his life falling into a regular routine: psychoanalytic sessions with his doctor; aversive therapies in the laboratories of the technicians; long afternoons spent idling at the Cafe Eichelberger; and each evening, a secretive sojourn to an underground club, the Burlesque, to watch the forbidden entertainments of a towering drag queen banned from the city's official stage.
The city is under siege, threatened by insurgent rebels encamped in the hills. The drag queen, suspected of ties to the rebels, has been forced underground. The sex offender's life becomes increasingly duplicitous. By day, he is ensnared in the posturing and costumes of the city's official culture and politics. By night, he revels in the theatrical excesses of the banned drag queen. He is pushed to the brink as the Doctor-General's therapies become increasingly violent and bizarre. Torn between his allegiance to the Doctor-General and evidence that the drag queen is indeed linked to the rebels, the man finds himself straddling the breach between official politics and subversion.
The Sex Offender is at once a burlesque of the State and an unmasking of the foundations on which our notions of love and psychological health are based. In lavish prose reminiscent of the drag theater of Ethyl Eichelberger or Charles Ludlum, this chronicle weds compelling mystery with comedy, satire, and politics.

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From the Publisher:

The controversial novel about an older man's infatuation with an adolescent boy, by the acclaimed author of Landscape: Memories and The Dissolution of Nicholas Dee.

From the Inside Flap:

This extravagantly imagined tale chronicles the rehabilitation of a lapsed teacher who is guilty of having had a love affair with a twelve-year-old boy. While the man's crime was to mistake molestation for love, his cure will partake of the same confusion: in the name of love, the police and the doctors subject the teacher to increasingly bizarre forms of therapy. The Sex Offender is at once a burlesque of the State and an unmasking of the foundations on which our notions of love and psychological health are based. In lavish prose, it weds compelling mystery with comedy, satire, and politics.

"Equal parts Kafka, Burgess, and Brazil, Matthew Stadler's novel is beautifully morbid. The eloquent, florid prose in which Mr. Uh Uh describes his passions gives him an overwrought nobility.... Stadler's narrative weaves in and out of humor, grandiosity, fantasy, and sentiment with rare grace and cleverness."--The Village Voice

"A daring, controversial, necessary book."--Lynne Tillman

"Stadler writes with wit and precision, cleverly dramatizing the dialectical nature of social truths."--Publishers Weekly

Matthew Stadler is the author of Landscape: Memory, The Sex Offender, The Dissolution of Nicholas Dee, and Allan Stein. He is the recipient of Guggenheim and Ingram-Merrill fellowships and a Whiting Writer's Award. He is the literary editor of Nest magazine and senior writer for The Stranger.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780802136954: The Sex Offender

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0802136958 ISBN 13: 9780802136954
Publisher: Grove Press, 2000
Softcover

9780060926557: The Sex Offender: A Novel

Perennial, 1995
Softcover

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Stadler, Matthew
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