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Doing IT Paperback – 6 May 2004

3.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Paperback, 6 May 2004
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141018038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141018034
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 513,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

In Doing It Melvin Burgess has written what is potentially the most controversial young adult novel ever. It's an honest and funny book about three teenage British boys learning about themselves and life through their sexual experiences. But here's the catch: the story is told from the point of view of the hormone-sodden young males, naughty bits and all.

Gorgeous Dino thinks that equally gorgeous Allie should realise that they belong together and is puzzled and frustrated when their passionate lovemaking always ends with her refusing him. Jonathan fancies sensible, sexy Deborah but can't admit it to his friends, even after several steamy grope sessions, because she is…well…plump. And Ben is living every teenage boy's dream, an affair with a lusty teacher--but somehow it's getting to be too much of a good thing. Nearly all young adult novels about love and sexuality are told by and for girls: the perspective of this book will be educational for female readers. --Patty Campbell, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"What's invaluable is the sneak peek we get into how guys' self-obsessed minds work. (And thankfully--beneath the smut--they actually do have feelings.)"--"Seventeen""" "The funniest young adult book I've read in a long time. Fresh, honest, and totally hilarious."--"Alloy.com""""As a card-carrying boy, I appreciate the male P.O.V. of this novel, so kudos to Burgess for exploring a sensitive subject in an honest way."--"Elle Girl "

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an entertaining story about three 17 year old boys, each of whom have their own problems when it comes to their sex lives. Being 17, these problems are uppermost in their minds (and in any case, how could they ignore what certain parts of their anatomy are telling them?).
The characters are easy to identify with, most of us will recognise them from our own schooldays. The style of the book makes it easy to read, and the plot draws you along: although maybe I would say it is more well written popular soap than classic serial. The author shows a great deal of empathy with his characters and the problems they experience, and the language seemed about spot on to me. In other words, the book was, I felt, realistic and set in a world a lot will recognise. It seems clear that the author wanted to set teenage readers thinking about their lives, rather than preach to them about the right way to behave.
I personally don't think this will be a medal winner, but that isn't to detract from it being a good read. I also think this unashamed/explicit/relevant (delete depending on your viewpoint) book might appeal to those teenagers who perhaps aren't drawn by many of the teenage titles on the market. Of course, the aim is to interest boys, although I don't think girls will feel left out.
I don't want to give away the plot, but I think it would be reasonable to say that issues covered include a pupil having an affair with his teacher, attempted suicide, image conciousness, parent's separation, a girl who will, a boy who won't, a cancer scare, shoplifting, and many, many attempts to have sex! As you can see, a busy book!
Who is this book for? Well I guess anybody aware of the hype/debate will want to know this!
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Format: Hardcover
This book was probably written for teenagers but it's perhaps easier to empathise with (and laugh at) the characters - 3 testosterone-fuelled, sex-desperate seventeen year old boys - from the More Mature angle (she says at 24 putting on her horn-rimmed glasses), looking back on one's teenage years in absolute horror and sniggering at things which seemed oh-so-important ten years ago.
Yes, the book is about sex. Lots of it. Graphic sex. But it is also about first love/crushes, peer pressure, and above all (and rather joyously) about good friendship. At the end of the book it is friendship which triumphs above sex, lust, and anything else.
Dino is the "golden boy" of the group, desperate to lose his virginity, with his eyes set on Jackie who teases him. Jonathan is annoyed and worried by his feelings for his friend Deb - she is lovely, but she's *fat*. How can he hold his cool and go out with a *fat* girl? Ben is carrying on a secret affair with his drama teacher - but the schoolboy fantasy soon turns into a nightmarish reality.
"Doing It" is horribly, fantastically believable. It's a great rollicking read, like Jilly Cooper for boys, but whatever your age you'll find it addictive and cheering for the lovable characters.
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By A Customer on 10 May 2004
Format: Paperback
It's definitely one for older teenagers - even though my 12 year old sister would be perfectly capable of reading it, I don't think I'd been keen for her to.
Having said that, it's an amusing, accurate story of four boys first discovering sex ... or at least trying to. It shows the intensity of those days and the terror that everyone else is doing it so you really should, as well as the power games that develop.
The characters aren't the most well rounded ones I have come across, but it is a good read for adults as well as older teenagers.
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Format: Hardcover
Although I had seen some of the adverse publicity surrounding Doing It I was determined not to let it affect my opinion. Although the idea behind the story is a good one, the way it is written is questionable. Lots of swearing and sexual references don't make up for a bad story. Unlike Junk which also touches upon a delicate subject this one seems to have been written to shock and not to show off his writing skills. I'm not quite sure who this is aimed at but under 16's would just giggle and over 16's would be bored. In his attempt to be "cool" Burgess is in danger of alienating his target audience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a female reader, this book was fascinating to me as a 'snapshot' of teenage boys' thinking processes. I laughed and screwed up my face as the boys talked about their girlfriends to each other in an extremely derogatory way, and yet all of them were terrified of the girls finding out they had behaved like this! All the boys have problems of their own - each is keeping a secret that he can't possibly share with anyone. Unlike girls, who tell each other everything (often to their own detriment, as such secretc can be used against them later), boys use words to impress each other and thus boost their own standing within the group - words that may not necessarily be true and are certainly unlikely to reflect their true feelings.

The book is written in shifting points of view and alternately in past and present tense - a style that does hold the interest (as each chunk is short and quick to read) but also makes it difficult to keep caring about the overall story.

I would have given this book three stars but for the storyline involving Ben, who is sleeping with his teacher. I thought this storyline showed excellently how an older (emotionally damaged) woman could manipulate a younger man in a sexual situation. And how that seventeen-year-old would feel trapped because, to all intents and purposes, he is living every boy's fantasy - even though it's turned sour.

The book is explicit but not unnecessarily so. An interesting and insightful read.
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