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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Three by Julie Hilden | LibraryThing

I have always wondered when reading a book that indulges in some sexual gymnastics or kink or whatever, just how much the author separates him or herself from the contents. Is the activity something they have experienced, always wanted to, frowned upon?

So when I saw this book mentioned on Julie Hilden’s bio on her column at, a very interested blog related to court decisions, my eyebrows shot up and I had to scrape them off the ceiling.  Hilden graduated from Harvard and Yale Law School and also holds an MFA in creative writing so the writing is quite competent.  She writes frequently on First Amendment issues and I have enjoyed her columns.

I don’t know what to make of her book, however. It’s about a wife who marries Ilan with the understanding up front they will engage in threesomes. Following their marriage her obsession with him leads to all sorts of self-destructive behavior.  This not the kind of book I usually read, nor like to read, and nothing in this book made it more appealing.  I don’t enjoy reading about self destructive behavior; sex with guns and razor blades has no appeal at all and frankly, if I had my druthers, Ilan would be locked up.  My wife is sensible enough that if I pulled a stunt like that she’d pull a Lorena Bobbitt.  Billed as erotica; it’s not.

Hilden has also written a memoir (a Bad Daughter) which apparently details some of her less fortunate romantic choices. I wish this book had left me with a clearer picture of what a woman should not do, given the outcomes here. Her romantic adulation of Ilan struck me as bizarre.  I’m no prude and would willingly indulge in all sorts of fantasies (well when I was younger perhaps, now I’m just happy to be able to tie my shoelaces and those velcro ones look appealing) but nothing that involved razor blades.  On the other hand, I learned from a description of her memoir that Hilden carries the same gene that led her mother to develop early-onset Alzheimer’s.

But, maybe it’s just the rush to indulge in writing about S&M given the meteoric rise of Shades. I have no idea how to rate this book.  Writing is good (4), content is totally unappealing (1). It would be a very interesting book to discuss with the author, however, so I guess a (3).

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