Praise for The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex
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In this engaging melange of personal essays, previously published profiles and reports from the forefront of scientific and technological research, Kennedy (The First Man-Made Man) takes readers on a "safari" where the awesome sights to behold are ordinary citizens blessed with outlandish ambitions to transform the world into a "kinder, sexier, smarter, funnier, or more compassionate place." The book spotlights such visionaries as world-renowned neurologists, a precocious parrot, rabble-rouser Vermin Supreme (self-professed "Emperor of the New Millennium"), inventor Amy Smith (who received a MacArthur "genius" award after Kennedy's profile first appeared) and occasionally the author herself, who experiments with alternate fuel sources and normative definitions of marriage and intimacy. Kennedy excels at making the complex compelling and in identifying the personal motivations driving these innovators. Although there are a few limp essays in the collection (notably on singer Conor Oberst), the eponymous essay on Alex Comfort (The Joy of Sex)--is a stylish and wholly original triumph. Written in a form inspired by the seminal book, the piece is a moving elegy to the elusive author who was alternately reviled and celebrated--without ever being fully understood.
—Publisher's Weekly Starred Review
The most daring writer I know, Pagan Kennedy prowls the shadowy, creepy, eye-popping limits of the culture where other writers fear to tread. And the stories she brings back are so tomorrow, if not so next year, that I sometimes wonder how life can ever catch up. This book is a crystal ball. Take a look: Your future is inside.
—John Sedgwick, author of In My Blood
Plots to destroy monogamy, the Emperorship of America, these are elements featured in Pagan Kennedy's The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and Other True Stories, a riveting compilation of short stories about real events that actually have happened although some of them are so absurd that they seem like fiction. The stories follow a British biologist turned sex guru, Brain Machine construction, crafting paradise on earth, and other strange stories which open a window to the creativeness and resourcefulness of the human mind. The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and Other True Stories is highly recommended and inspired reading.
The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex is a dangerous joy of literary pleasure--a compelling, spellbinding reading experience. In this book, Pagan Kennedy writes with clarity, honesty and impeccable grace.
—Lee Gutkind, Editor: Creative Nonfiction magazine
What these different strands of the book have in common is Kennedy's gift at exploring the personal, at striking the emotional notes that humanize a genius, making someone doing the exceptional seem approachable. Even in her essay on Vermin Supreme - whose inner life Kennedy found inaccessible - she found a way to bond with her readers (or with this reader, at least) by using him as a starting point for a sad meditation on the farcical aspects of our national politics.