"A billion husbands are about to be replaced."From the author of Fight Club , the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of a new product that gives new meaning to the term "self-help." Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. Read more...
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"A billion husbands are about to be replaced."From the author of Fight Club, the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of a new product that gives new meaning to the term "self-help." Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of gratification for days on end. What's not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of feminine products to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell's plan for battery-powered world domination must be stopped. But how?
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-05-26
- Reviewer: Staff
Palahniuk (Fight Club; Doomed) continues to push limits in this satire of sex and consumerism, in which “the Nerd’s Cinderella,” Penny Harrigan, finds her average self in bed with tech megabillionaire Cornelius Linus Maxwell, dubbed “Climax-well,” the greatest lover ever known. What begins as Penny’s shy sexual exploration quickly becomes experimenting for Maxwell’s research into pleasure products. While enduring erotically induced comas and life-threatening orgasms, Penny moves up the social ladder, meeting Max’s former lovers, actress Alouette D’Ambrosia, and U.S. President Clarissa Hind. But as he did with his previous lovers, Maxwell dumps Penny on exactly day 136 of their relationship, and then releases his Beautiful You personal care products to the public—a revolutionary event that marks men’s obsolescence and turns women into titillated zombies. While women withdraw to their rooms for days and weeks, Penny learns that Max has much more power than anyone realizes. Men in suits following Penny and a Nepalese sex witch discuss the power of trends and brands, and the choice of self-pleasure over intimate human contact all contribute to Palahniuk’s satire. His cheeky wit is at its best in this grotesque novel; his semi-erotic writing is efficacious and there are some downright beautiful scenes. (Oct.)