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Naked Son

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by George Asimos


ISBN 0 9678233 0 7
Published by Goldentongue Press, 2000
149pp, paperback
Retail price $10.00

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Review by Chris Williams

The author of "naked son" has chosen to write under a name consisting entirely of Greek characters which can't be reproduced here. I don't believe I am giving too much away by saying that the name on the accompanying letter is George Asimos. I say that purely because, if I refer to his name again, I'd rather type it than constantly copying his pseudonym.

Mr Asimos has written, what felt to me, a rather old-fashioned work. I don't mean that in any way pejoratively. I don't mean that what he is writing has been superseded by later writers and is no longer relevant. It's just that I haven't come across his sort of thing in quite a while. On page 46 of this book he says: "He never sat at sidewalk cafes with Hemingway and Joyce and Miller..." but you really get the idea that he wishes he had.

This is a psycho-sexual novel. It explores the nature of man, primarily man but also woman, primarily through their sexuality. In particular it investigates the nature of his first person narrator. This narrator is in Greece. He is having a drug experience with his guru Rolf, who is taking him through various past experiences with various women, in particular Claudia and Ans. These experiences focus primarily on the sexual and also on the movement of power between them. The novel skips across time as the narrator, in his drugged state, skips between relationships and memories.

All is written in heightened consciousness and with a feeling of the utmost importance. The sex, and theres a lot of it, is graphic and powerful and, while occasionally we get a self-conscious, almost stupid line, which drags us out of the narrative, these are not common. Mostly, Mr Asimos is in command of his material.

My comment about old-fashioned is just that I felt most of this had been done before, by the writers mentioned above and by others. This does not mean that Mr Asimos can't also do it though. Lots of people write romances, thrillers, sagas, etc. Why shouldn't people continue to write what the author describes as "auto-autopsies?

I found it refreshing to read a work without a straight narrative and with time jumping and a concern with the inner self rather than the external story. I feel certain that other readers might apply the term "pretentious" to this book, but I think they'd be mistaken. I believe the author's aims in writing this book are honest and I think it should be approached as such.

Mr Asimos describes this book as being the first in a tetralogy. While I may not want to read all four, I would certainly be prepared to experience a second and, if that continued to work as I feel this one does, a third. This is an ambitious work and, while by no means completely successful, I, for one, certainly found it commendable.

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