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When I first read about this novel, which was published in Germany last year and just came out here, I was really excited at the prospect of reading it. Charlotte Roche is a young, female author who has long proclaimed herself to be a feminist (not many 30-year olds would say that!), and who describes her novel as a “cri de coeur” against a world in which women’s desirability is predicated on cleanliness and good hygiene. I envisioned the novel as a brutally honest account of female sexuality and empowerment.
As I started to read more about Roche, however–that she was the host of an MTV-type show in Germany, that this was her first attempt at writing–I also started to fear that the novel’s language and insights might not be as sophisticated as I would like them to be in order to temper and add depth to the book’s explicit raunchiness (bodily fluids and avocado pits figure prominently, apparently).
Well, it turns out that Sallie Tisdale has come to the conclusion that part of me feared. In her New York Times review, she describes Wetlands as “clumsy” and having “all the nuance of Mad Magazine but less wit.”
That said, I’m still curious enough that I’ll try and get my hands on a library copy, and if I manage to read the entire thing without puking or wanting to throw it out the window, then I’ll post a follow-up review. So, to all you readers out there who are dying to know what Wetlands is REALLY like, stay tuned!