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The Inner Circle (2004)

by T.C. Boyle

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2622510,656 (3.48)54
A virginal man with a beautiful wife accepts a job as an assistant to Dr. Alfred Kinsey, a charming professor whose life's calling is sex.
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» See also 54 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
»Hör mal, ich wollte dich fragen, ob du dich vielleicht mit mir verloben möchtest... Du weißt schon, für diesen Kurs.«

Es ist das Jahr 1939, als Dr. Alfred Kinsey an der Universität
Indiana mit seinen spektakulären empirischen Studien über
das Sexualverhalten von Männern und Frauen eine RevoluÉ
tion auslöst. John Milk, ein junger, ehrgeiziger, aber in sexuÉ
ellen Dingen völlig unbedarfter Student, lernt Kinsey perÉ
sönlich kennen und wird dessen erster Mitarbeiter. John ist
von diesem Mann fasziniert und wird einer seiner treuesten
Anhänger. Und doch gerät er in einen Zwiespalt, denn da gibt
es eine junge Frau, die er liebt und mit der er leben will...
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
This is the fictionalized story of Dr. Alfred Kinsey, the zoologist at Indiana University who revolutionized the field of sex research and authored The Kinsey Report. The novel is narrated by John Milk, a (fictional) assistant to Kinsey and a member of his inner circle of aides, assistants and their spouses. Milk is presented as a worshipful innocent, and Kinsey as charismatic and manipulative of his circle--Kinsey's view is that sex is strictly animalistic, and he requires all his "inner circle" to have sex with him, his wife, and with each other's spouses--sometimes with an audience.

Boyle is an excellent writer, although this is not his best book. The plot keeps the pages turning and all the characters are well-developed. An interesting look at an iconic figure. ( )
  arubabookwoman | Apr 24, 2017 |
Disclaimer - I'd pretty much read anything by Boyle and have yet to dislike anything I've read. This is a good example of a subject I am not even remotely interested in and yet I ate this book up. It's not primo Boyle but it's darn good and just a little bit creepy.

I wonder if that's what Kinsey and the folks that worked for him were really like. The amorality of it was very disturbing - not the sex but the rationale behind not interferring with, for example, pedophilia.

It's funny how a book about sex can be so unsexy but I am sure that's purposeful.
( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
I don't know what happened. This is particularly lifeless for Boyle. You certainly don't want to start here if you are new to his fiction; you would want to try Drop City or Tortilla Curtain, for example. ( )
  nog | Apr 3, 2015 |
This is a fictionalised account by one of Professor Kinsey’s protégés and is so engrossing it’s difficult to keep in mind that on the whole it actually happened. Boyle captures the '50s beautifully and by the end the characters were some of the most well-drawn that I’ve read, though not necessarily people I’d like to know. Yes, it’s about sex research, but it’s not at all salacious. Boyle had a case of over-blown prose in the first fifty pages, but it cleared up after that (thank goodness). ( )
  vlcraven | Jan 9, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
Bliss in our brows' bent....
- William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
Some sort of non-penile stimulation of the female genitalia is almost universal among the lower mammals, where, however, the lack of prehensile hands places the burden of the activity on the nose and mouth of the male.
- Alfred C. Kinsey, Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female
Dedication
For Robert Coover, mi apreciadisimo maestro
First words
Looking back on it now, I don't think I was ever actually "sex shy" (to use one of Prok's pet phrases), but I'll admit I was pretty naive when I first came to him, not to mention hopelessly dull and conventional.

Prologue
For all my bravado that day at the tavern, I have to admit I had my qualms about the interview, and I know this must sound ridiculous coming from me, since I've contributed materially to the project to a degree exceeded only by Corcoran and Prok himself, and ultimately wound up conducting some two thousand interviews on my own, but if the truth be known, I was scared.
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