I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve long been fascinated by the idea that music and literature are very similar in the way that themes are presented and developed and a story is told, using notes instead of words. For this reason I’ve been eager to read music-related fiction to see if the authors can find a way to blend the forms. This is what drew me to a book titled The Old Sex Symphony.
Author Vincent Kane has put together a small collection of short stories – each, presumably, a movement in a symphony – dealing with sex among seniors (Perkins-menu-seniors, not high-school-seniors). And Kane, or his publicist refers to the book (according to Goodreads) as “Chaucer meets Masters and Johnson in a humane and hilarious novel about overage sex – including the joys, aches and fearlessness that it entails.” Unfortunately, the funniest thing about the book is this description.
The humor here tries to be all sorts of humor at once: droll, tongue-in-cheek, sophisticated, slapstick. But for this reader, none of it works.
I was put off immediately when our first story about a soldier seeing the doctor for a physical, but the soldier refuses to bend over for his rectal examination because he’s heterosexual. The doctor quickly suggest bringing in a lady doctor (“Well it would be a bit naughty. I don’t think the missus would be too pleased. But it would be more my cup of tea.”) But the first doctor isn’t allowed to stay … “No peeping Toms allowed.” Then the pair of doctors just laugh at the man for thinking that a rectal exam was sexual.
Aaaaaand that’s pretty much the style of the rest of the book. Only the situations and characters change.
There are some good opportunities and ideas here, but this book just doesn’t work. Trying to tie the short pieces together with a pair of doctors reflecting on past cases while trying to write a book about sex over 60, really doesn’t work. It’s clearly a gimmick to tie these stories together and frankly this might have been better if it had just been some stories about seniors and sex.
I don’t recommend this at all.
Looking for a good book? The Old Sex Symphony by Vincent Kane is a limp read.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Old Sex Symphony
author: Vincent Kane
publisher: Tsada Publishing
paperback, 396 pages