14 Aug 2010
"Wetlands" - provoking but not thought-provoking
A couple of months ago I was in Copenhagen airport waiting for a flight and in one of the kiosks, they had a sale of English hardbacks. Three books for the equivalent of ten British pounds and they had some interesting titles. One of the books I got is "Wetlands" by German author, a book that was hyped quite a lot when it came out in Germany and I expected it to be quite provoking.
The progtagonist Helen is in hospital because she has but herself. In the anus. I don't even want to comptemplate how that happens and there are several other topics in the book such as various kinds of sex and bodily functions. Helen is preoccupied with her body and how it works and she enjoys provoking her surroundings with her immodest apparel and behaviour.
I know this is meant to be shocking and liberating but honestly, I found it a big boring. Even embarrassing at times because it showcases a few of women as generally being prudish, Victorian creatures who are as natural as dolls. It becomes a bit much really. I mean, come on. Let's think back to the sixties and free love - we've kind of heard this stuff before.
So I'm ambiguous about this book. Some of its points, I like. The theme of being more comfortable with being natural is cool but it is just taken to a level where I ended up finding it boring and repetitive. And the story line is too weak to make up for the incessant dwelling on body odours and masturbation. Unless you want to see for yourself what the hype is about, don't bother reading it.