Wetlands Paperback – 25 Jun 2009
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'Profoundly unsettling' Rowan Pelling, Daily Mail
'If you ever wondered what you'd be like if you weren't shy, polite, tolerant, modest, sexually repressed, logical and constrained by modern standards of hygiene, this may be the book for you!This is not a beautiful or perfect book, but an enterprising one, and its cumulative effect is admirable!Our bodies mean a lot to us -- even the asshole, about which far too little has been written. Every writer needs to claim a bit of territory, and assholes are there for the grabbing. Boldly, Roche takes them for her own' Guardian
'"Wetlands", in the tradition of Plath's "The Bell Jar", is a remarkable novel about mental illness that has been mistaken for feminist literature' Alice O'Keefe, New Statesman 'The cause of the fuss is the novel's extreme obscenity -- though "obscenity" doesn't quite catch the particular, pungent flavour of the thing. "Grunginess" is nearer the mark' Adam Lively, Sunday Times
'Literary news this week suggests that when it comes to women writing about sex, reviewers are still reacting in the same way as Dr Johnson to his walking dog, surprised that it's being done at all. So hats off to Charlotte Roche, who has managed to give both the "Sunday Times" and the "Guardian" the willies by cheerfully confessing to consuming pornography with her husband and starting her book "Wetlands" with a graphic discussion of hemorrhoids' Lisa Hilton, Spectator
'Maeve Binchy is famous for her unique humour and insight; Cecelia Ahern is popular for her unlikely twists and touches of magic; Charlotte Roche has a different formula for success -- haemorrhoids, hairy armpits and halitosis, mixed together into an unlikely erotic pot-pourri' Irish Independent
'Graphic, brutal scatological glimpse of one young woman's sexual proclivities!Helen celebrates shattering sexual and social taboos in a way others might only dream of' London Lite
'Carrying "Wetlands" around with me over the past few days, I have bumped into quite a few people who imagine, from all the publicity, that it is a steamy sex-romp of the type few of us can resist. But I have had to disappoint them. Steamy it may be, but the steam comes from something less attractive than sex; in a characteristic phrase, Roche describes the smell coming from her bowels as being "like warm pus mixed with diarrhoea and something acidic"' Craig Brown, Spectator
'As the furore surrounding the publication of "Wetlands" has shown, there's a very vocal segment of the population ready to accuse women who embrace pornography of some sort of treachery' The List
From the Inside Flap
Helen Memel lies in the Department of Internal Medicine at Maria Hilf Hospital. While she waits for her divorced parents to come and visit her - who she hopes will finally be reconciled by the side of her hospital bed - she begins to examine those parts of her body usually seen as distinctly 'unladylike'. She lets the orderly, Robin, take photos of those areas her curious gaze can't reach. And, on the side, she tends to her collection of avocado stones - which also happen to provide her with invaluable sexual services ...
Wetlands takes an unflinching, and very funny, look at one of the last remaining taboos of today. Courageous, radical and provocative, Charlotte Roche's novel rebels against hygiene hysteria, the sterile aesthetics of women's magazines and standardized dealings with the female body and its sexuality. This is a wonderfully wild story of a heroine both pleasure-seeking and vulnerable, who voices what others do not even dare to think. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The author is English but brought up in Germany and it is surely the combination of English lavatory humor and German openness concerning the body that is responsible for producing such an unlikely best-seller. So is it worth reading? Only if you've got nothing better to do and want to know what all the fuss is about. (Yes, there's been a lot of fuss over this book, which has been taken far too seriously for a novel that was obviously intended as a joke.)
The blurb on the back cover, a Granta quote claiming the book evokes 'The Catcher in the Rye', is nonsense, and anyone expecting such quality will be sadly disappointed, as is usually the case with back-cover blurbs. The best that can be said about this book is that, considering the limitations of the subject matter and the location (we never leave the hospital), and the fact that there is no plot whatsoever, it is quite entertaining and easy to read, assuming you aren't too squeamish.
But at heart this is a story of Helen, an emotionally-damaged eighteen-year old, scarred by her family, sexually-promiscuous but lonely, and screaming her pain through her defiant and rebellious relationship to her own body. Like a seven-year old, she thinks she's being clever and shocking, but what gradually builds up in this short book is not a sense of empathy but of pity.
Charlotte Roche isn't Helen, but she has created a monstrously vivid anti-heroine. I can completely understand the people who have slated this book for its repellent and sometimes nauseating episodes, but I can also understand their necessity in defining who and what Helen is. So not a pleasant book to read, but ultimately a brave and interesting one.
Without the 'controversial' content 'Wetlands' would be very short story and a thin book, in many ways comparable to many generic Hollywood blockbuster films that take themselves too seriously. Take away the special effects, stunts and explosions and you are left with very little, it is over very quickly and you are left feeling unfulfilled at the end and desire something with greater substance and originality.
If you must waste three hours of your life reading this, borrow a copy and save your money.
In my opinion it just wants to shock and when you take away all of that it leaves very little for the reader to get involved in.
It's very very detailed and very imaginative but not for everyone.
Ok now you've been warned by me and everyone else here it seems, the choice is yours haha.
Yeah i mean it is pretty gross, but there's kind of more to it than that....well i would like to think there is , some parts make you want to just put it down and stop reading because you're thinking 'what's the point , she's just trying to gross us out as much as she can' but it's actually a good book , and it's weird to say that given the topics and the content but there is some heart in there somewhere. You just have to have a good hard look.
If you look past the varied and very strong nature of the main characters knack for describing every inch of her & what she produces , it is a good book and i mean , i couldn't put it down (even if one bit especially did nearly turn my stomach 360...bed brake pedal..for anyone that's read it).
It's very different from anything ive read , sure ive read books that are detailed when it comes to such 'taboo' subjects , and books that focus on a very controversial topic but never anything quite like this.
I wouldn't read it again , and i very much doubt i would recommend it to anyone i know but all i can say is it's a page turner and it's unique.
Some of the stuff the main character comes out with is quite refreshing and im sure there will be things the reader can connect with on some level , you might read things and think 'oh my god yeah i do that' or 'haha yeah..' .
So if you're curious , have a strong stomach and don't mind books that a bit out there, then i'd recommend.
If you have a weak stomach , are easily offended and have never read anything other than romance novels & you've ended up here by some weird twist or turn , id suggest you hit that back arrow and continue looking at what you previously were. You'll thank me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I started this out of curiosity. Gross for the sake of being gross. If people do all these things then they should get help!Published 2 months ago by kaysbooks
WOW bizarre surreal not for the faint hearted was recommended to me .Published 5 months ago by A J Redmond
Although I read the book to the end, I didn't feel there was much of a story line to it. I guessed that because of her trauma when younger, with her mother, and brother, had made... Read morePublished 6 months ago by bev hogg
I really enjoyed this. It is not just erotica; a mystery unfolds during the narrative which gives insight into the somewhat bizarre psychology of the protagonist. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jonathan Sherwin
This book is completely disgusting and I thought it would be gratuitous but despite that I absolutely loved it. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Sera