Review: Night School for Scandal
Another one of the novels sent to me for review by Xcite Books.
Warning: SPOILERS ahead!
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 1/5
“I want to begin by admitting that I never managed to finish this book. I just couldn’t stand it any more after reading chapter 6. I genuinely hated reading this and that is one of the reasons I put off my review for so long, particularly after reading the short part about Angela Meadow’s struggle to write it. I empathised with her and didn’t really want to criticise when she had done her best. I debated for a while whether I had to finish it or whether I should even review it at all and decided it would be best to just get my opinion out of the way.
The cover has loads of warm colours in it; reds, browns and yellows that remind me of Autumn. I liked the photograph used as the big earrings fit with what I know of the seventies. The font is the same as usual and so is the layout. Xcite seem to like all their books matching, which works just fine for me as I like matching sets too.
Based in the 1970s, Night School for Scandal is the story of widow Joyce and her friend, divorcee Eileen. They’re older ladies who are fed up with the only things on offer to them being evening classes in flower arranging and cake decoration. They want something new and exciting and decide that it should be spicing up their non-existent sex lives.
Using the large hall of Joyce’s home, The Old School, they open the Ladies’ College for Erotic Arts. They welcome three fellow students, Edith, Betty and Susan, and three young men, Johnny, Mick and Winston. Together, they all explore the joy of sex in multiple different ways, with multiple partners and many, many props. They have several adventures, which include photography, being on stage, dabbling in prostitution and even being filmed.
The ladies discover there is indeed a great deal of joy in sex, particularly when their partner is giving pleasure, not just taking it. They have fun, take risks, and have multiple orgasms throughout the pages of this quirky novel. ⏎
As I read this book I found myself becoming more and more annoyed. It starts out with the main character, Joyce, at home after her husband has died. She talks to one of her friends called Eileen and goes through her husband’s things, finding porn and whatnot. She then decides to make a school for sex with Eileen and they recruit people to join up and visit. The concept itself isn’t bad.
However, I have so many gripes with this novel that I almost feel ridiculous stating them. Everything seems to escalate at an alarming pace: not only the women’s attitudes towards talking about sex but the speed in which the school is established just seems a bit hasty. Am I supposed to believe these sexually repressed women go from “no I won’t discuss it” to “let’s set up a sex school” in a single day? Furthermore, I’m meant to accept that they’re willing to experiment with each other very quickly as well?
What’s worse here is that they kept insisting they weren’t lesbians and it grated on my nerves very quickly. They may not be lesbians but to constantly go on about it as if that’s a terrible thing is just infuriating. Sure, this novel is set in the 70s and being any type of homosexual was illegal back then but I didn’t need it shoved in my face every time someone mentioned it. The novel even introduces some men who end up being gay with each other on the side but instead of giving them the “oh no I’m not gay” treatment the author tries to gloss this over with one of the men insulting the other every now and then. This may or may not be realistic for the time but I didn’t care about that by the point the men were introduced. By the end of chapter six, pretty much every character was fucking everyone else as if they had no preferences or orientations.
I was actually shocked that the author hadn’t given any of the characters much personality by the time I stopped reading. They all still felt like cardboard cut-outs fucking for the sake of it and this was the main reason I stopped reading. If you can’t give much background on your characters or flesh them out in 6 chapters then you are clearly doing something wrong.
I was also quite offended by the treatment of one character in particular: a woman named Betty who is overweight. The novel never stops shoving this fact in your face either. Not only did the other characters take every opportunity to make fun of her but the descriptions of her were equally as unflattering and played for laughs. This happened right from her introduction as well. The woman was allowed no dignity at all and even made fun of herself for her weight. When she jokes that she might start losing weight due to all the fucking everyone finds that hilarious too.
I haven’t even begun describing my disgust at the way sex toys were used in this novel. Apparently it is alright to just shove toys inside yourself if you don’t know where they’ve been and you haven’t paid for them yet. Moreover, everyone does this right in front of a salesman, who doesn’t protest at all. What if they used the toys and didn’t want them afterwards? He would have been down stock and out of pocket yet he simply does nothing. The women even decide they’re going to fuck him and he simply obeys them then as well, though he is under no obligation to and it is just bizarre.
There is so much more about this scene that I hated: his magical shining cock helps to get off the woman who struggles to orgasm just by penetration alone and he even uses the same condom with two women after he has cum inside it. This is so unsafe and disgusting that I physically felt a little sick. One already used condom just gets thrown on the floor and a lot of the characters have simultaneous orgasms out of nowhere. Luckily, the women magically love the toys they picked the first time and they pay for them before he goes.
Later on they get the other men to join and they don’t use condoms with them at all because they are young and handsome. The toy salesman was an older man and the women all range in age so I found this strange. It also worried me. They go from caring about their safety and potential pregnancy in one chapter to not giving a fuck the next – and this was only chapter 4! I really don’t understand how this is supposed to be arousing.
I understand that this is supposed to be an erotic novel and that it is just a fantasy but I just couldn’t get behind it after all of this. I pushed myself to read it until chapter six but that was it for me. I couldn’t force myself to read it any more. Admittedly some of the things the women did were sexy in concept but the language used really turned me off. Here are some examples:
“He chewed on Betty’s clitoris” / “purple helmet” / “milked like a cow’s teat” / “eggy fluid”…
Put simply, I am not aroused by this. I am wincing in sympathy pain, feeling sick and wondering if they have diseases. It isn’t sexy.
The editor didn’t seem to do their work properly either. In the few chapters I read there were plenty of instances of missing or incorrect grammar which really got on my nerves. I expect more from a professional publication, especially one from a company that has been running for years. One line even read “The future looked like being fun”. I don’t understand how this can get past an editor. I don’t understand how this got past all the other people who read it before it went into print as well. Am I stupid for expecting more? ⏎
I hated pretty much everything about this book and so I cannot recommend it. You may have read this review and thought I am being too harsh or incredibly picky but I genuinely mean everything I have said. I know I didn’t read to the end and that the novel may have improved but I was sick of reading it. I won’t be on the lookout for anything by Angela Meadows in the future, unless I’m looking for books to avoid.”
You can buy Night School for Scandal from Xcite Books by clicking the image.
About SubReiSkyeMOwner of Thoughts of a Growing Sub. I've been blogging for a year now and still loving it! Check my blog for reviews, blogger memes and BDSM talk!
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