Thoroughly disturbing find in son's bedroom

(122 Posts)
Bulldogjan74 Fri 14-Dec-12 01:55:13

Hi there, I'm new to the form so hopefully Im in the right place!

I just found something very disturbing in my son's bedroom - a number of books actually. I confronted him about it, asking him where and how he got them, and he said he got them from his teacher as recommendation.

Now. My son is a smart kid so is in a top-level English class at school (and wants to become a doctor!) so gets recommendations all the time, but I thought this time it goes a bit far. angry

I found these books;

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - what appears to be a book about a paedophile that targets a twelve year old girl.

Death in Venice by Thomas Mann - a book about a predator that goes after and stalks a fourteen year old boy in Venice

Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs - a very bad book filled with heavy drug use, prostitution, swearing (including the c-word) and what appears to be hardcore pornography. I won't go into anymore details - its too repulsive to even talk about.

He got the later book at a library, not from the school, but I still think it's worrying!

I understand also that some of these are 'classics'! What are these so-called intellectuals and the government thinking letting these books be available to the public and my son! angry I don't know what to do. As I said, these are only a couple of recommendations, but this is bad right?

OpheliasWeepingWillow Fri 14-Dec-12 01:57:13

Sorry these are all legitimate works of literature IMO...

OpheliasWeepingWillow Fri 14-Dec-12 01:57:38

How old is he?

Bulldogjan74 Fri 14-Dec-12 01:59:38

He is 15.

Bessie123 Fri 14-Dec-12 02:00:09

Eh? Is this for real?

Bulldogjan74 Fri 14-Dec-12 02:01:40

Yeah! I thought so too! Why is my son being given these books?

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 02:01:52

we dont go in for censorship in the UK so yes these books are available to the public.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 02:04:36

you need to speak to your son and find out how these books relate to his course. there will be a reason he has been recommended these books. he doesn't have to read them but if it is going to form part of his GCSE then he wont be the only one reading them <disclaimer: i have no clue what GCSE english lit consists of nowadays- i did of mice and men>

I personally don't see anything wrong with them at 15 years of age. You ought to have seen some of the stuff I read at that age, and they weren't literary in any shape or form.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Fri 14-Dec-12 02:06:36

Totally normal books to read that are part of the literary cannon. They make shock and disturb you but you sound very sheltered OP.

These books will provoke thought but not turn him into a pedo-sadist-porn addict.

He sounds lovely and mature for his age. His teacher obviously respects his ability and wants to challenge him intellectually.

All sounds normal to me.

Am confused as to whether this is a wind up TBH

Bulldogjan74 Fri 14-Dec-12 02:07:08

No they're not for GCSE. These are sort of like extra-curricular reading things.

I think this must be a wind up as these books are all very well-known.

The subjects may not be the most savoury but I'd rather find them than a wank sock!

Bessie123 Fri 14-Dec-12 02:10:08

It's hardly 'big breasted sluts' they've given him, is it? Why don't you read the books as well, then you and your ds can discuss them together

TanteRose Fri 14-Dec-12 02:10:22

when I was 15, my "extra-curricular reading things" were absolute dross like Flowers in the Attic (kidnap, incest...), and My Sweet Audrina (child abuse, gang rape)

your DS's reading list sounds very high brow grin

maybe we should just burn all the books, just to be on the safe side hmm

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 14-Dec-12 02:11:56

Quite relieved to find it wasn't a dead animal.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 02:15:00

<realises she was very sheltered as a teen>

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Fri 14-Dec-12 02:27:34

Have you seen the content of 15 rated DVD's that your DS can buy in the shops without your knowledge? The Inbetweeners film for one. Rude, Crude, and very visual, far more so than a trio of classic books.

I'm not saying that the subject matter is something you want to think about your DS reading, but tbh I thought you were talking about a 10yo reading them.

These are all books that he will have been able to take out of the library as soon as he got a Young Adult ticket.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Fri 14-Dec-12 02:29:48

And yes, I remember reading Flowers in the Attic and My Sweet Audrina - but I was younger than 15, more like 12/13!

Nicked off my mother's bookshelf along with all her Stephen King books and books on serial killers...

nooka Fri 14-Dec-12 02:31:38

I think it is really quite odd that the OP thinks such books, which are all recognised works of literature should be banned on the grounds that she finds them disturbing. There wodul have to be a great book burning I suspect which I think is far more worrying.

As a parent I might be a bit concerned if my son was consistently reading disturbing books, and I would want to explore what he found interesting and appealing about them, but 15 seems to me an age when controversy is very attractive, and that alone might be the appeal. I certainly read lots of dodgy trash at that age (and some dodgy literature too). Some of the appeal to me was simply the shock value, especially flashing 'interesting' philosophy at my mother who I thought was terribly up tight. I'm not sure I even read all the books I tried. However I'd be more concerned about whether he was exploring similar stuff on line as there is some pretty foul stuff there with none of the food for thought that should be in the books.

LadyKinbote Fri 14-Dec-12 02:54:50

I think these books are fine OP - I read filth widely as a teenager too. Just make sure he knows he can talk to you if he finds anything confusing or upsetting, but I don't think you need to worry about it.

cafecito Fri 14-Dec-12 03:11:12

there's nothing wrong with those books at all, quite the opposite- you should be proud he is well read and in a top set for English.

sashh Fri 14-Dec-12 03:50:25

OP throw out that filth and get him 'Game of Thrones' - 13 year old being married off, incest and violence.

And that's OK to put on TV.

WankbadgersBauble Fri 14-Dec-12 04:05:19

I'm impressed. I can't imagine any male I know reading any of those books, no matter how much sex and stuff is in them.

I commend you on raising a young man so literate, and encourage you to support him fully in reading the classics.

In all seriousness, I've read worse. de Sade, for example. Now that's disturbing.

CheerfulYank Fri 14-Dec-12 04:10:04

<waves to Tante> I liked a bit of V.C. Andrews myself back in the day! grin

OP at 15 I think these are fine.

TapirAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 14-Dec-12 04:14:25

Books? This is about books - and really good ones too?

OP - when people post that sort of thread title on here, it generally means hard-core porn, drugs or weapons...not literature!

I reckon this is just a wind up. 'so-called intellectuals' OP try harder next time.

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