This is a fictionalized memoir. It says so right there in the description. However the author, Melissa P, has made comments that suggest this story is similar to her own and the character in the book is also named Melissa. She was only 17 when this book was published, which I find amazing. As someone else reviewed, the prose is quite beautiful and even poetic.
Read the description above fully so you know what to expect. There are graphic descriptions of certain activities that are not for the faint of heart. Personally I found the writing so eloquent and the story so consuming that the disturbing passages did not bother me as they might have in another book. Basically, Melissa searches for happiness through a series of rough sexual escapades. Not a "feel good" read, but compelling. I was immediately sucked in to Melissa's world. I even picked up the book at red lights.
Easy read, I don't know how to classify this book - fiction or non-fiction. It has just a little bit of every erotic fantasy to make you wonder if it is all fictional. The writing style is flowery; you must give credit to the Itilian school system for producing such a colorful and at times eloquent writer at such a young age - if it is non-fiction. But, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and say it is non-fiction and that a few of the scenes are erotic - you will have to find out for youseld which ones are.
. I requested it thinking that it would be a typical erotica novel but once I got the book I couldnt even bring myself to read it being that the writer talks about performing these sex acts at the ripe old age of 14. Not that I am a prude by any means but I dont want to read about someone so young having sex, maybe being the mother of a young girl makes me feel this way. I made a mistake in requesting this book at all.
I had heard of this book when it first came out and read some very good reviews. They must have read something different then what I read. I was prepared to be impressed by this book. I was underwhelmed by the "Total Story" but as you will see I came away with an understanding of what the author was truly writing about.
The prose is extremely well written in places. The problem lies in the disjointed nature of the story. It is a sporadic diary and at times leaves issues completely unresolved or resolved with no explanation at all. Understanding that diaries can of course do this I don't fault it as a diary.
The tale itself is painful depiction of teenage girl without confidence or real affection in her life. She is a washrag passed around to various abusers. She at times claims she made the choice herself but in each situation it is to justify the shame she feels toward herself. I unlike most others do not think this is a tale so much about the girl as it is about the people that abuse her. She exposes not the victim but the abusers. In some cases the abuser is Melissa herself.
Focusing the spotlight on the abusers is difficult without making them theatrical and a bit less repulsive. This is not a book that focuses the spotlight brightly at an individual but rather exposes many of them to a broad sunlight that makes them appear all the more grotesque. I think it is a cautionary tale for young men and women if read in that light. Brilliantly done.
The book that scandalized Italy! I wasn't so put off as some other readers by her age as I found myself feeling sorry for her - her view of men and attitude towards love and being loved is so typically that of a troubled teen girl. She confuses the search for love with meaningless sex, thinking that the way one finds love and respect is through giving oneself physically to strangers - a mistake that admittedly, a lot of young women make. Even at the end when she is imploring God that her new suitor deliver her from the terrible deviance and vileness that has been her life, I couldn't feel sorry for her - it is a life that she consciously sought at every corner, whether she believed that or not. Not a fan of women believing that they are victims of circumstance when they've brought it on themselves. Nonetheless, the story was mildly entertaining, if not at all erotic (in my opinion.)
I find it incredibly disturbing that a child of 14 or even 17 even KNOWS about this kind of sex. To use and abuse a young girl, both emotionally and sexually, with or without her consent, is not to be tolerated. And, no, I am not a prude (just the opposite). Wether this book is fiction or non-fiction doesn't matter; the fact that it was written by a 17 year old girl is, in my eyes, very, very sad.
I found this book deadly boring. About a third of the way in I just started skimming to see if anything interesting happened. None of the characters are likable and there is little story to grab your interest. The title suggests maybe a little spanky-panky, don't get your hopes up.
What a powerful story. This young girl's diary of her self-loathing and voluntary descent into sexual degradation and abuse is heart-wrenching. I found myself hoping against hope when good things came into her life, and felt crushed when they didn't pan out. Her struggle against her own feelings of inadequacy and self-worth was admirable and her search for a better life kept me turning the pages. Fascinating read, hard at times to deal with the things she allowed to happen to herself, but worth the discomfort.
This book will definitely keep you reading it. It is really graphic, so it's not for anyone that is easily offended. Usually this book is in the "erotic" genre of books. I read it all in one sitting pretty much. The book, though, is in perfect condition. It read it once, very lightly.
this book wasn't as good as i thought it would be. melissa begins to keep a journal about her sexual encounters as she searches for love. although she is only 14, she comes off as being older. i'm not really sure what i expected the book to be like, but i don't think it was like this. i guess i was looking for more suspense or detail. more about why she was doing this.
this is a book i would recommend to teens around the age of 15 or 16 to read. i know some people may disagree saying that it may give them ideas about being sexually active, but i believe it won't. alot of girls have fanasies like these growing up. in this book, melissa shows the reader (at least a little) that doing this could could hurt you. the end of the book really tells the difference between real love and "sex" love.
frankly, i find it hard to believe this was written by a 17 year old girl, but it is really a beautiful account of a young woman exploring her sexuality and exploring her self through her sexuality. The honesty, self-awareness, and conclusions she comes to are touching. And the language is beautiful as well - perhaps a combination of well-written and translated from the flowery Italian.
OMG this book was more graphic than i could imagine... i enjoyed it and read it in one sitting, but definately NOT for everyone.... very erotic yet disturbing at the same time since the author is a teen....
100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed - My Humble Opinion
Overall, this book was forgettable. Furthermore, given I was reading an English translation, there was much that made little sense to anybody not familiar with Italian geography, customs or traditions. For example, Melissa is a teenager, in high school perhaps, yet the reader is to believe she heads down to the pub and gets drunk - leaving with a stranger. Either the translation needs work or the author is assuming too much from her readers.
The synopsis, while technically accurate, is mostly hype and most "erotic" detail alluded to is non-existent.
I give this book three of five stars; it is a quick read and is somewhat interesting on the whole.
From the synopsis...
"... 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed is the fictionalized memoir of Melissa P., a Sicilian teenager whose quest for love rapidly devolves into a shocking journey of sexual discovery..."
(not so shocking!)
"... Told with disarming candor, Melissa P.'s bittersweet tour of extreme desires is as poignant as it is titillating. One Hundred Strokes of the Brush Before Bed is a stunning erotic debut, a Story of O for our times..."
When the book was first published in Italy was publicized as non-fiction,in my opinion that is why sold so many copies,people were curious about the life and sexuality of teens,especially in a place like Sicily.
Since the book became famous,the author revealed her full name and decided to tell the book was a fictionalized memoirs.
I read it in Italian and found not redeeming qualities.
Not worth the time.
My sincere apologies to the author, and hoping the book truly is fiction, because the writing is not floral or poetic nor was the story poignant. This book would fall somewhere around the fringes of the genre erotica.
The diary entries (therefore the story) are choppy and scattered, and while the type/style of sex mentioned is titilating and perhaps scandalous to some, the penned "sex scenes" themselves are extremely basic and occasionally just aluded to.
It is apparent that you are reading the work of a very young author which is fine, but I prefer my erotica full-fledged, well described, with a plot, and with characters the reader can invest in. The Melissa in this fictionalized account is Bi-Polar and cycles back and forth from majorly depressed to manic and looking for a man (or woman.)
I lived through my own adolescence and my daughter's, and have no desire to relive either. Once again, my apologies to the author, but I found this book forgettable and, actually, somewhat irritating because I kept wanting to scream at her, "Go get some therapy."
This was a very easy read. It can be finished in one day. The writing is in journal style and does not flow well. The writing is OK. Not a book I would recommend to others to read. Just was not worth the time.
You are reading what is on the mind of a Teenager as she discovers herself and her worth.