Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Isle of Dogs-Daniel Davies

The Isle of Dogs
Daniel Davies
Serpents Tail, Feb 1 2009, $14.95
ISBN: 9781852429980

In London Jeremy Shepherd as the editor-in-chief of a London fashion magazine seems to have it all, living a glamorous life as an in person. However, he finds himself unsatisfied with his life and as he looks deep inside himself and concludes what he does is so insignificant it means nothing to anyone. Having a breakdown of sorts, he quits his position and leaves swinging London for his parents’ home, a couple of hours by train from his previous haunt.

He decides to apply quantum physics to reengineer his life into something less complex except for more sex. He takes a low paying, non demanding demographics collector civil service job and begins his sexual quest. Jeremy is especially fascinated with “dogging", having outdoors sex with total strangers. He soon finds fellow adventurers wanting to share a tryst in a parking lot as well as pervert-hunters wanting to slice and dice him and his revelers.

This is an engaging look at a local rebel using public sex in spite of the Patriot Act (England’s equivalent that is) surveillance society with official cameras monitoring everyone (great job for secret agent voyeurs). The story line is driven by Jeremy who tossed the glitter for parking lot encounters. Although the vigilantes stalking and assaulting the free public sex crowd never comes across as realistic as it seems (hard to get it up even the outrage when it appears the transgressions are relatively minor unless you’re a bible thumper politician). Readers will enjoy this fine character study mindful of Benjamin Franklin’s cautionary adage that "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither."

Harriet Klausner

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