Melissa Panarello’s One Hundred Strokes of the Hairbrush Before Going to Sleep, the latest “sexually frank memoir,” is different from the usual memoirs, but only in the sense that Larry Clark’s Kids is an artier, more teen-centric approach to the oeuvre of Zalman King. As the Times reports (user: dr_mabuse, pw: mabuse), “The title of the book refers to a kind of purging ritual that the book’s narrator, also named Melissa, performs after she is prodded by one of her sexual partners into having sex with him and four other men at the same time. That happens on her 16th birthday.”
Indeed. Personally, I’m waiting for Three Thousand Ice Cream Cones Against His Left Testicle Before the Horse Sodomized My Sister, the frank memoir written by an eight year old incest survivor who, like Panarello, smokes cigars, but only Cubans.
Meanwhile, the real criminals can be found in Iowa, where a woman has pled not guilty to stealing 450 library books. If she’s guilty, the funny thing here is the lack of subtlety. 117 hardcover cookbooks disappeared gradually over a short period. If you’re going to do something as ignoble as steal from the library, shouldn’t you broaden your interests just a tad?