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The Voyeur's Motel
by Gay Talese


Overview - On January 7, 1980, in the run-up to the publication of his landmark bestseller Thy Neighbor s Wife , Gay Talese received an anonymous letter from a man in Colorado. Since learning of your long awaited study of coast-to-coast sex in America, the letter began, I feel I have important information that I could contribute to its contents or to contents of a future book.  Read more...

 
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More About The Voyeur's Motel by Gay Talese
 
 
 
Overview
On January 7, 1980, in the run-up to the publication of his landmark bestseller Thy Neighbor s Wife, Gay Talese received an anonymous letter from a man in Colorado. Since learning of your long awaited study of coast-to-coast sex in America, the letter began, I feel I have important information that I could contribute to its contents or to contents of a future book. The man went on to tell Talese an astonishing secret, that he had bought a motel to satisfy his voyeuristic desires. He had built an attic observation platform, fitted with vents, through which he could peer down on his unwitting guests.
Unsure what to make of this confession, Talese traveled to Colorado where he met the manGerald Foosverified his story in person, and read some of his extensive journals, a secret record of America s changing social and sexual mores. But because Foos insisted on remaining anonymous, Talese filed his reporting away, assuming the story would remain untold. Now, after thirty-five years, he s ready to go public and Talese can finally tell his story. The Voyeur s Motel is an extraordinary work of narrative journalism, and one of the most talked about books of the year."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780802125811
  • ISBN-10: 0802125816
  • Publisher: Grove Press
  • Publish Date: July 2016
  • Page Count: 240


Related Categories

Books > Psychology > Human Sexuality (see also SOCIAL SCIENCE - Human Sexuality)
Books > Social Science > Privacy & Surveillance
Books > Business & Economics > Industries - Hospitality, Travel & Tourism

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-06-06
  • Reviewer: Staff

A Peeping Tom with delusions of grandeur takes notes on the human condition in this tawdry but revealing casestudy. Journalist Talese (Thy Neighbor's Wife) was contacted in 1980 by Gerald Foos, a Colorado motel owner who spied on guests from the motel attic through fake ceiling vents, meticulously recording his own observations. (Talese is releasing the book now because Foos recently released him from a confidentiality agreement.) The book's heart consists of excerpts from Foos's decades-long observations of the guests' sex acts and other interactions; these include perfunctory marital couplings, clandestine trysts, florid swinger parties, goat costumes, an ugly bout of incest, a possible murder, and other lesser crimes. (Foos sometimes tricked guests into thinking a suitcase held $1,000 cash to see if they would try to steal it; most did, including a minister.) There's a prurient charge to these vignettes, but Foos's pretense of sexological research isn't entirely misplaced; his accounts are well-observed, with telling details—"they all three laid quiet on the bed and relaxed, discussing vacuum-cleaner sales"—and insights into the psychology behind the physicality. Foos's rather appalling personality is too dull to sustain Talese's enveloping biographical sketch, but the dirty laundry here has some interesting stains. Photos. (Jul.)

 
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