I first ordered Generation S.L.U.T. because of its purposefully provocative title. I was more than ready to tear down a book I thought was an attack on the “sexually liberated urban teens” of today. After reading, I was surprised to find a poignant, purposed and surprisingly well-voiced book.
The one word I would use to describe S.L.U.T. it would be depressing. The story plays out much like American Beauty, or any other spiral into insanity teen drama. I’ll be honest, the story is not exactly where its strengths lay. It’s very mellow dramatic the characters are as dimensional as a piece of printer paper and as interesting as a used condom. I wonder if having dynamic characters would have improved the story, but I think the overall message would not have been as effective. However, I find that the topic and the way author Marty Beckerman handles it to be a much more impressive and considerable factor.
While reading Generation S.L.U.T. I got the sense that this was two different books, which could not survive on their own. The first is a novelization of the UK television show Skins (think Laguna Beach with average people) based in North Boring As Fuck, Alaska, USA with a bit of Daria level high school cynicism thrown in for good measure. The second is a parent baiting, fear mongering, fact misappropriating, piece if Bolshevik. If I were to have read them separately and only gotten half of the message I would have dismissed it as either stunningly mediocre or railed on it for being a parent baiting, fear mongering, fact misappropriating, piece if Bolshevik. Together they make a well-rounded experience, that is definitely stronger than it’s singular parts.
If for no other reason, Generation S.L.U.T. is a great book because it is the first of the type to accurately portray the feelings that are all too real for many high school and college kids. I know far too many people like Ashley, Brant and Max. All of them messed up kids who are trying their best to fuck the pain away. It’s so hard for people, especially those who are in the thick of it, to rise above and make a statement. Luckily for them, Marty Beckerman accomplishes this beautifully.
I know that at the time his motives for writing Generation S.L.U.T. were limited to, “making some money, getting the hell out of Alaska, and maybe fucking a bitch or two.” No matter the reason, Marty Beckerman wrote a novel that needed to have been written.
Just so we’re clear, this novel is a work of fiction. There are many well-sourced facts sprinkled in between chapters but you should not be looking to Generation S.L.U.T. as an encyclopedia nor an exposé on modern sex. However, for what it is, this book does its job effectively.
To sum it up, buy it. Spend the $10 bucks read a scandalous story filled with interesting facts. You may come to hate the writer (There is an addendum at the end of the book that makes me want to choke him) or you may come to love him for his honesty. Either way you’ll have a book that you can put on your bookshelf, or more likely for my readers a pile on the floor, that your friends will see and think of how interesting you are. Isn’t that really what you read a book like this for?
Tomorrow we will have a Q&A with the author.