The Other Side of Desire: Four Journeys into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing

Daniel Bergner

The Other Side of Desire: Four Journeys into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing

Jacob is a man with an overwhelming attraction to female feet. The Baroness is a clothing designer and evangelical sadist. Roy is a wedding band singer entranced by his step daughter. Ron and Laura are simply in love – only Laura lost both her legs in a car accident, and Ron is beguiled by a beauty many would be blind to. How do we deal with desire? Our own, and the desires of others? How do we comprehend desires that are extreme, or unacceptable? And how do those who have them, live with them? In A Map of Desire Daniel Bergner takes us on a journey into human passion suffered, endured, and celebrated. Desire is a sometimes anarchic, sometimes ecstatic, sometimes destructive, sometimes redeeming, and always powerful force. Immersing himself in it through the people whose lives he follows and the scientists he spends time with who are trying to understand it, slowly he exposes and illuminates layers of our humanity. 4.0 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
The Other Side of Desire: Four Journeys into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Psychology & Psychiatry, Sex & Sexuality
Format Hardback
Pages 200
RRP £17.99
Date of Publication March 2009
ISBN 978-0713999167
Publisher Allen Lane
 

Jacob is a man with an overwhelming attraction to female feet. The Baroness is a clothing designer and evangelical sadist. Roy is a wedding band singer entranced by his step daughter. Ron and Laura are simply in love – only Laura lost both her legs in a car accident, and Ron is beguiled by a beauty many would be blind to. How do we deal with desire? Our own, and the desires of others? How do we comprehend desires that are extreme, or unacceptable? And how do those who have them, live with them? In A Map of Desire Daniel Bergner takes us on a journey into human passion suffered, endured, and celebrated. Desire is a sometimes anarchic, sometimes ecstatic, sometimes destructive, sometimes redeeming, and always powerful force. Immersing himself in it through the people whose lives he follows and the scientists he spends time with who are trying to understand it, slowly he exposes and illuminates layers of our humanity.

Reviews

The New York Times

Lori Gottlieb

Bergner’s gift as a writer is his ability to combine the story­telling of a talented novelist with a journalist’s skill at standing back and letting his subjects speak for themselves... On one level, this book has all the elements of a top-rated HBO series — provocatively graphic sex, humorous dialogue and moral ambiguity. But what makes it so powerful is that it’s as much about desire and what’s normal as it is an exploration of why we are the way we are, whether we like it or not.

06/02/2009

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The Observer

Alexander Linklater

[A] fine, brief, intense study... In Bergner's delicate but unblinking tales of extreme sexual longing, we glimpse the more routine truths of human psychology, also operating by some inescapable law of perversity.

15/03/2009

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The Washington Post

Lisa Zeidner

Given how much of paraphiliac experience involves the twin poles of mortification and exhibitionism, Bergner might have engaged in a little more metajournalistic revelation about his presence, as a witness, at a group session for sex offenders or at an S&M sex party. Still, the book's strength lies in its attentive, carefully controlled tone... He gives depth and shadow to his subjects' longing, never mocking, oversimplifying or vilifying.

25/01/2009

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