From Thriller to the YMCA and that unfortunately unforgettable ’90s one-hit-woe – Macarena – music videos have been inspiring people to learn dance sequences for generations. There’s something uniquely liberating about piecing together a few moves in your lounge room with friends, then flash mobbing the dance floor with a perfectly synchronised routine when the DJ plays that song.
But there’s a long way between Nut Bush-style square dances and the choreography in the clip to Beyoncé’s Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).
If you haven’t heard anything yet about the book Wetlands – written by a German pop TV show host Charlotte Roche – hear this: it’s probably the most graphic and squeamish novel I’ve ever read. It beats J. G. Ballard’s Crash for shock value, it makes you blush more than Anais Nin, and (I’m told) it makes The Vagina Monologues look tame. But for all its boundary-breaking, the jury is out on exactly where the value is in reading Wetlands. Think you’ve read it all? Seen it all? Heard about it all? (Done it all?). Think again…
Fantasy is not my favourite literary genre. It was a struggle, I admit, for me to read The Hobbit, not to mention Harry Potter; and I didn’t even go near The Chronicles of Narnia. So when I heard about the next fantasy-series craze that was sinking its teeth into millions of readers around the world (of course, the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer), I was about as excited as a vampire in a vege patch. But then I began to hear whispers that they weren’t your ordinary fantasy novels, and that what had Meyer’s mostly female readership hooked wasn’t spells and sorcerers, but the sexual tension between the main characters: the fact that they resist the urge throughout the entire circa 2000-page story to have ravenous vampiric sex.
Abstinence… exciting? My interest piqued, I decided it was time – two years after the book’s release – to break my ‘fantasy’ abstinence and find out what it was that made Meyer’s writing tick, or tickle, the fancy of millions of women readers. Continue reading