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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?

TanteRose Fri 14-Dec-12 05:10:53

hiya CheerfulY grin

yep, V.Andrews, and then horror books like Rats...James Herbert? <shudder>

got passed round the whole class

Jacksmania Fri 14-Dec-12 05:11:08

I can't even be arsed to comment.

Oh wait, I just did.

OP, your son reads. Entire books.

I would be disturbed if he was wanking over "American Psycho".
But these... no. Ok, Naked Lunch is, well, interesting. A bit weird. Not everyone's cup of tea.
But so what.

And please, if you're going to stick around MN, don't hide behind "the C-word". We're adults. We're allowed to say cunt.

Jacksmania Fri 14-Dec-12 05:11:49

<waves at CY and Tante Rose>

claraschu Fri 14-Dec-12 05:21:06

I assumed the kind of person who thinks like this wouldn't have read these books, so this must be a wind-up.

Jacksmania Fri 14-Dec-12 05:29:52

Oh yeah blush
Good point.

<kicks self for having wasted time commenting.

MissCellania Fri 14-Dec-12 05:36:02


TanteRose Fri 14-Dec-12 05:40:04

hey Jacks smile

btw, fingers crossed for next week x

Jacksmania Fri 14-Dec-12 06:07:20

Thanks smile
I'll probably need a few hands again <eek>

notnowImreading Fri 14-Dec-12 06:24:42

They're really good books, especially Lolita, which is as beautifully and cleverly written as any I know. Be proud - his teacher must really respect him: I wouldn't recommend those novels to any but my brightest, most mature 15 year old students. They'll help him make the bridge to A-level, definitely.

Wish I hadn't replied now because I'm almost sure you must be having a bit of fun. Oh well. Read them yourself. For fun. It's better than winding up people on the Internet.

merlottits Fri 14-Dec-12 06:29:01

I'd be so bloody proud if I found those books in my pretty illiterate 15year old's bedroom.

They are classics with adult themes.

At 15 I was reading Jackie Collins filth, Lace, Flowers in the Attic (incest) and any other titillating material I could get my hands on!

He's sexually curious (normal) and clever (be proud).

Shagmundfreud Fri 14-Dec-12 10:35:52

Lord, filth I was reading at this age....

Flowers in the Attic (child abuse, incest), Purity's Passion (still remember the slave market scene where heroine gets pawed by Arab traders), Emmanuelle (yikes!).

If my child was reading Nabokov and Burroughs, I'd be wetting myself with pride.

ChestnutsRoastingonaWitchesTit Fri 14-Dec-12 10:38:54

I was reading Stephen King and Shaun Hutson at that age.

CalamityJones Fri 14-Dec-12 10:40:32

I think you should burn them.

pictish Fri 14-Dec-12 10:40:58

Calm down OP. Your son is reading interesting and mind expanding literature. You should be proud of him.

noddyholder Fri 14-Dec-12 10:42:38

I think you should be pleased he reads and these books are classic and a bit more unusual than most teens go for but no less informative and worthy

Micha54178 Fri 14-Dec-12 10:44:21

Jacks - you made me laugh out loud! Cunt!
I don't see the issue with the books, it's a great idea for you to read then too. That way you can discuss with him, put your mind at rest. He could be reading /looking at far far worse! If he's a mature 15, I wouldn't worry.

MulledPinot Fri 14-Dec-12 10:48:26


Try again.

noblegiraffe Fri 14-Dec-12 10:55:06

I had to study Death in Venice in German when I was 16. And watch the film with Dirk Bogarde. If he can make it through the whole thing reading for pleasure then kudos to him, it's so very, very dull.

titchy Fri 14-Dec-12 10:59:37

I think this is a stealth boast - quite a clever one actually grin

Dromedary Fri 14-Dec-12 11:03:33

I'm sure this post is a wind-up. But on the other hand a book isn't necessarily something you'd want a 15 year old to be reading just because it's a classic. I read Lolita as an adult and it is pretty disturbing. Still a book I think about sometimes. A middle aged man who marries a single mother just to get at her 12 year old daughter. The mother finds out, dashes out into the road and is killed, and the middle aged man then essentially kidnaps the 12 year old, travels around the country to escape attention and regularly rapes her. It's grim stuff.
Just out of interest, is there an age below which you'd prefer your children not to read this kind of story?
What about other classics, such as American Psycho, in which there are graphic descriptions of torture and killing? Would you try to stop your child reading that kind of book?

Llareggub Fri 14-Dec-12 11:07:04

Death in Venice was on the IB syllabus back in the day when I studied it in lower sixth. Naked Lunch was something we all read as teens and pretended to understand. I've not read Lolita.

You'd better hope you find cannabis next time.

MousyMouse Fri 14-Dec-12 11:09:18

these are 'classics' (I had to chew through them for my a-levels).
yes the topics are disturbing, but so are most criminal novels tbh.

noddyholder Fri 14-Dec-12 11:10:32

Ah is the teenage version of my toddler eats olives?

YouCanBe Fri 14-Dec-12 11:11:07

I thought Death in Venice was boring too.

Someone bought me Naked Lunch as part of a leaving present from my last job and I couldn't get into it.

Never got round to trying Lolita.

Gosh, I feel all inferior now. To an imaginary 15 year old boy. sad

CabbageLooking Fri 14-Dec-12 11:15:25

Clearly a wind-up but for what it's worth I decided that I should do my GCSE coursework on Iain Banks' "The Wasp Factory". Disturbing and not even with the justification of being great literature (although it's quite good fun).

I would be very proud if my son was willingly reading such classics (mind you he is 5 months old).

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