Permanent Obscurity: Or a Cautionary Tale of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography and Death (Paperback)
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Short Description for Permanent Obscurity Permanent Obscurity is a youthful bohemian satire, a story of alienated nonconformists, a Thelma & Louise story. This pulp epic could be labeled a black comedy. It could be labeled anticonsumer and subversive. Welcome to the psychosexual world of Permanent Obscurity. Inspired by the underground sexploitation films of the 1960s, this bold updating of the roughies subgenre largely takes place in
- Published: 01 April 2010
- Format: Paperback 449 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780971341548 ISBN 10: 0971341540
- Sales rank: 661,530
Reviews for Permanent Obscurity
An aptly named novel, Permanent Obscurity delves into the world of two women, struggling with growing desperation to navigate the world. With an interesting, albeit accurate mixture of Brooklyn and stoner vernacular, the two try to claw their way out of financial mire. It's a poignant tale of heartbreak, female rage, secrets, and increasing uncertainty in friendship. The thing I loved most about it was that, just as there looked to be hope for the protagonists, the situation devolves in a horrifically absurd manner, much as real life's problems do; a predicament made worse by ignoring instinct and growing debt.
While the speech used can be offputting, in the context of these girls' personalities, it suits the story, especially once things begin to go awry. This book definitely isn't for everyone( ESPECIALLY children), but both fetishists and vanilla readers alike will be able to appreciate this novel. by ulfhjorr
Once upon a time (actually about 20 years ago), I ran a small indie video store in the Boston MA area. A major part of our business came from the sale of "femdom" videos. People visited our little store from as far away as Germany and Japan. They came from all walks of life- quiet college professor types to the raincoat crowd. I was to meet several "starlets" and "directors" during my employ there.
That being said, I scored this story a BIG HIT! True to its subject matter and bringing the reader into the "amateur porn" business on a personal level. You see how someone could see this endeavor as a way for quick cash, and an easy way out of poverty and anonymity.
The author is skilled at the art of writing believable dialogue, making the reader quickly ensconced in the story. These are believable characters who take you on a wild ride through lives so chaotic they seem almost too wild to suppose any base in reality. Don't get me wrong. This is a novel, dark and comic but like all such efforts it has to have a grounding in reality. This book does.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a quirky character driven story of porn, drugs, sex and yes, love. You will surely not be disappointed!! I wasn't!! by iluvvideo
I was not 'put off' by the graphic sexual content in this book. In fact, given the nature of the characters, it all made sense and it gave you more of an understanding of the main characters, Serena and Dolores. What made this book so enjoyable and the plot so realistic is the complexity of all the characters. They brought the book to life and gave it substance. This is the kind of book where you can really get into in-depth discussions analyzing the characters.
My thoughts on Dolores was, yes, she was a nonconformist. She was told how talented she was by many people and had choices, yet she chose to do nothing with her life. Was that because of her drug use? Was she lazy? Was she afraid of selling out? Or did it have more to do with the negative influence of her best friend Serena? Although, Dolores used drugs, she did refrain from them at certain times and as negative as she was, she did have a heart. She had empathy towards certain people and the baby she was carrying. In the beginning, she loved Serena. She got very jealous when Serena spent more time around other people. Perhaps Serena is the reason why she wouldn't take Raymond back? The outcome of this book could have been avoided entirely if Dolores had cashed the check that Raymond had given her. That would have paid off all the people Serena "beat", but she chose to follow Serena instead. Maybe she thought her and Serena could have a future together? Towards the end of the book though, she came to her senses and realized Serena wasn't who she thought she was, but by then it was too late. Some of Dolores's negativity could have been a result of her age. She was young. Had a lot to learn about life (even though she may have thought she knew it all). If drugs and Serena weren't in Dolores's life, I think she could have had a good chance at becoming somebody.
Serena, on the other hand, no way!! She didn't strike me as a nonconformist for artistic reasons (like Dolores). She was a drug addict. She not only used drugs, but people too. It was obvious that she didn't have real feelings for Dolores. (She proved that in the end by selling her out). When given a choice, she chose to be with people who could provide her with drugs (Dolores lacked the funds). Had she known about Raymond's check, she would have talked Dolores into cashing it and spending it all on coke. She was also a liar. She never told the whole truth about stuff. There was also a lot of things that she did, but wouldn't admit to. I don't think there was much she wouldn't do, but acted the opposite so no one saw how pathetic she really was and how low she would go to get drugs. Serena was also very sneaky. She hid many things from Dolores. I'm not even sure if Serena was really into "femdom." I think Baby was and because Baby could provide many things to Selena, she conformed to meet his needs to keep him around.
I don't think Serena impacted Baby negatively. I think Baby had very deep psychological issues that could only be resolved with therapy. As for Raymond, he loved Dolores. Yeah, he wanted to see if the grass was greener on the other side when "Barbie" came along, but he realized his mistake. I think with a little AA he could have made a nice husband to Dolores.
This book was worth the read. The characters mentioned above brought the story to life. It doesn't have a happy ending and the main character's are plagued with one disappointing set back after another, but then again, so is real life, which is what this book is modeled after. by bjewell
Kinky and Raw and Real
Maybe the best "outsider" book I've read in the last year. The two girls remind of friends of mine in the arts -- who couldn't hold down regular jobs, so did some stripping to make ends meet. Sounds like a desperate thing to do? Have you ever been in the arts? So, instead of dirty dancing, these characters try another scam: the femdom or "female domination" stuff, taking out ads on Craigslist, etc. Why does this book ring so true to life? It's really good. I mean, the characters are realistic so that means that at times, they're repugnant. And the story of the novel is something I enjoyed. In the end, it's less about kink, and more about trying to maintain your integrity in a world that doesn't allow it. I highly recommend it. by Christina
Wanting of Life
'Wanting is a manifestation of the whole of life' Dostoevsky
Permanent Obscurity by Richard Perez tells the story of two girls, Dolores and Serena in their 'wanting of life'.
The book is divided in three parts: 1 The Kinky Hook, 2 Strange Hungers, 3 No Man's Land; and is narrated in first person by Dolores.
What about the way of life of Dolores and Serena? I don't know, maybe the same of other girls in this world, or maybe full of unfortunately events.
We try to accept the last one and explain the story with this words: slowly and relentless a net of depraved people surrounds Dolores and Serena all along the book, until the inevitable ends, where the freedom is no more (and even the dead appear grotesque).
Dolores and Serena's hopes to get rid of these events are trying to make a movie; but, as always, nothing follows the right path.
In my opinion the title of the book is inadequate: most people could just think a book obscene, although in the book there is more than that. For instance the theme of friendship.
In the first part of the book we can find several similarity with the literature of the last century; I was thinking about the endless Bohemien nights narrated in Journey to the End of the Night by Celine, or A Moveable Feast by Hemingway. So it's difficult to accept this new Bohemien world; although we can try to think about an evolution of this way of life, maybe with less poetry and literature and more 'raw' life.
Some quotes from the book:
'There was the world you experienced and art you made for real - then there was that sorry s. you shared with others.' (p. 91)
'Regardless, a ray of sunshine had broken through my blackened sky, and, just then, I felt that everything would be okay somehow. Everything ... I just had to burn all my bills, avoid the phone when it rang, and not leave my apartment, like EVER. All the trouble in the world was outside, and I was in here. SAFE. In safety.' (p. 194) by Graziano
- Top review
Kinky Girls and a Sexploitation Movie Gone Very, Very Wrong
Permanent Obscurity is an interesting tale of two drug-addicted artists in New York City, searching for a way to make a living, and escape their mounting creditors, through their art. What do they decide to try? Making pornography, of course! After Serena has a rough experience of her own in the business, she and her best friend (and the book's narrator) Dolores set out to make their own fem-dom fetish video.
Of course, things go progressively wrong for the girls. With a slew of characters after them and very little right going for them, the two girls try to make things work any way they can, up to scamming, stealing, and even gun play. Finally, though, they have their equipment, their script, their actors all lined up. It's time to shoot. Now everything will be okay, right? Right?
This is a gritty look at some of New York City's less glamorous aspects, written with humor and style. With a heavy drug and sex content, it may not be to everyone's liking, but the book stops short of being pornographic in its own right. The writing and format of the book make it an interesting read. by Stephanie Mustoe
Satire Of Tabloid American Excess
This is a wild trip to the dark side of contemporary life, particularly life in an underground fringe culture of aspiring performance artists who might also work as doms or fetish photographers on the side. Call it Fetish Noir or an erotic satire, either way it's highly entertaining, a fast and enjoyable book, funny and raunchy. It has a realistic street-wise quality, lots of hip slang, and an edgy pulp-fiction vibe.
The book is narrated by Dolores, a young woman with some problems, but none like those of the true love and loss of her life, Serena Moon. In the beginning, both young ladies have borderline boyfriends or what might be called hetero relationships, but it soon becomes clear, while not admitting it to each other, that the central relationship is between the two.
As things go along, they get into more and more trouble together. Dolores and Serena have major substance abuse problems and relationship problems and career problems. This book's central narrative is about a desperate downward spiral, a slippery slope to oblivion.
All the characters are well drawn and interesting, though most of the men are portrayed as inconsequential and pathetic, providing a kind of comic relief or acting as foils for the two main female leads. And much of the book deals with this subculture of S/M, or more specifically D/s ... Dominas and submissives. If that kind of thing bothers you, stay clear of this book. There's a lot of it here.
Overall, this is a fun satire of American excess and tabloid youth culture. The key word here is dark and the book has a lot of profanity. For me, being a fan of Naked Lunch by William Burroughs and books by Bukowski, the dark satiric quality made the book funny and more entertaining, but it's not for everyone. by Matt Dukes JordanwriteReview1b3t21Reviews21