Unique and interesting, but the dialogs do not

4stars

INSECTUAL: The Secret of the Black Butterfly – by Barbara Sala – Review

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This is quite an exciting book written in a unique manner. In fact, a lot of the bitter truths about life can be found here. Consider, for instance, the very opening paragraph of the book: which couple, married or in an otherwise long term relationship, won't be able to relate to the

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Unique and interesting, but the dialogs do not live up to the promise

This is quite an exciting book written in a unique manner. In fact, a lot of the bitter truths about life can be found here. Consider, for instance, the very opening paragraph of the book: which couple, married or in an otherwise long term relationship, won’t be able to relate to the mundaneness and monotony of sex life after the initial fervor is gone? –

“Making love. Oh making love! I really hate it. Day in, day out, always the same ritual. I don’t desire it as often as he does. Therefore, we get the passive sessions, when he “rapes” me, and the active sessions, when I play along”

OR

“To me, making love is boring and a waste of time. One housewife once confided to me that eating a steak was much more pleasurable than making love.”

Is it any wonder that there is something called ‘marital rape’ in lawbooks? Is it any wonder that sometimes men and women in long term relationships cheat on each other? The whole book is a very accurate mirror into the mind of a woman who has lost the urge for sex.

Surprisingly enough, a lot changes in the protagonist’s life except for one thing: her sexual ardor: she is still frigid, even with a new lover:

“Sexually, I am still a cripple.”

Well at least she realizes the reality of sex therapy, thank goodness!

The atmosphere is sometimes chilling and often takes you by surprise; many a times the character’s actions themselves are shocking. In one of the chapters (“Abortion”) for instance, you are transported from the relatively calm and serene images of refectory and flowers to a comparatively bleaker imagery of cemetery.

The dialogs could have been better, however. A lot of times they are unoriginal, hackneyed or cheesy:

“Hi,” it says cheerfully. “I am here, look at me.”

“Come, Chérie, sit on me. Give yourself to me,” says the little thing. It is trembling.”

“”Yes, I will perform a proper abortion. But abortion is illegal in this country. That’s why we have to be so prudent.”

Considering the effort the author spent on creating extremely relatable, multi-dimensional characters and a page turning plot, if only she had invested just as much effort on the dialogs too, I would have given it five stars.

As it is stands though, it is worth the money due to the unique nature of the plot and very realistically drawn characters. I believe both genders would be able to relate to this book: women, who confuse sex with rape when the relationship gets old and tired, and men, who are frustrated by their wives’ increasingly reduced appetite for sex. It even has something to appease the feminist crowd (“I am riding on this powerful wave.”Get the bastard,” I hear myself say. “Castrate him. Get justice for all of us who are in brothels, underprivileged, bound to sexual slavery or mistreated for our womanhood.”) as well as for the ‘religious’ crowd (“The “devil” represents temptation, guilt and sex”). More importantly, for me, it finally answered a long standing question I used to have about the most lucrative career ever: well I believe it is the job of a sex therapist, well for men anyway!

Conclusion Rating
4 stars

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