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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?

perceptionInaPearTree Fri 14-Dec-12 11:18:42

This is pretty normal literature for people to be studying, OP - classics often do deal with quite controversial topics, otherwise what would there be to talk about and write a critique of?

I think you are worrying about nothing.

BellaOfTheBalls Fri 14-Dec-12 11:18:52

Lolita was on my list of books that we should have read prior to A Level. As I have a summer birthday I was JUST 16. Also on that list were Trainspotting (drug addiction!) & Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit (child abuse, sex AND written by a lesbian!)

He is reading. He is reading things that are often considered classics. Applaud this. If you are concerned sit down and discuss the key themes with him or the feelings they invoked with him or read them yourself.

I have read all the books you mention, plus lots of other controversial books and I'm a perfectly well rounded individual I think he would see worse on a 15 rated film or on TV after 9pm. Be proud, not concerned.

LittleBairn Fri 14-Dec-12 11:19:44

I read all those books at the same age I can assure you that I'm not a sexual deviant.

BertieBotts Fri 14-Dec-12 11:23:59

Sounds normal to me. I read loads of shocking stuff as a teenager that I wouldn't want to read now. It's about pushing your own boundaries as much as anything else.

QueenofNightmares Fri 14-Dec-12 11:24:29

I'm 27 <today grin > I have Naked Lunch and Lolita both on my Kindle to read I'd be proud of my children for reading them as I would for them reading anything. Books aren't dangerous but the banning of books is, We should never be prevented from reading no matter how disturbing the content. You could equally say it would be disgusting if you had found A Child Called It or various other misery memoirs many of which end up on the best sellers lists and aren't half as well written as Lolita/Naked Lunch but seem far more acceptable. Fiction is not reality.

megandraper Fri 14-Dec-12 11:25:33

I assumed this was a funny wind-up? It is, isn't it, OP?

HullyEastergully Fri 14-Dec-12 11:25:40

That is DISCUSTING no wonder our kids grow up to be perverts. Go and tell the headteacher you are DISCUSTED at this PERVERTED FILTH being forced on your son.

MadSleighLady Fri 14-Dec-12 11:25:49

What are these so-called intellectuals and the government thinking letting these books be available to the public and my son!



Ephiny Fri 14-Dec-12 11:29:33


TerraNotSoFirma Fri 14-Dec-12 11:30:55

Jings! At 15, I was reding 'The Howling', at least your DS is reading proper literature.

Dromedary Fri 14-Dec-12 11:33:55

Is there a view that a book is suitable reading for all ages because it is a "classic"? If so, then why? A "classic" just means that it has become recognised as being particularly well written? Doesn't reflect the content?

drjohnsonscat Fri 14-Dec-12 11:33:55

Lolita is vile. But it's part of the canon, dontcha know.

DameMargotFountain Fri 14-Dec-12 11:35:58

lawks, you don't want to be reading any irvine welsh then OP <boaks>

MurderOfGoths Fri 14-Dec-12 11:36:03

I was sneaking Shaun Hutson, Dean Koontz and Stephen King into the house way before I was 15. grin

Mum had tried hiding the Stephen King books from me when I was about 11, so me and my friends had a bit of an illicit trade in adult horror books "borrowed" from our parents.

bigkidsdidit Fri 14-Dec-12 11:38:00

I read all of those as a teenager. I would be utterly delighted if my son was reading books like that at that age - ime teenage boys almost never read for fun sad

I love 'so-called intellectuals' too grin

almapudden Fri 14-Dec-12 11:57:52

These are excellent books. It's good for teenagers to be exposed to challenging material, ime: it makes them think about moral issues and question their own opinions.

If I had a 15 year old, I'd be buying them these books for Christmas.

EugenesAxeChoppedDownANiceTree Fri 14-Dec-12 12:01:28

No... is this post for real. I agree with Bessie 123! I wouldn't bat an eyelid... just because you read it doesn't mean you will grow up with a penchant for it!

I read Dead Babies by Martin Amis at that age... it's pretty depraved but as far as I know it didn't change me to anything I wouldn't have been anyway.

bringbacksideburns Fri 14-Dec-12 12:02:04

I thought you were going to say a Crack Pipe or several pairs of worn knickers!!

Those are all Classics, usually on the cirriculam at some point. Naked Lunch is over rated Shit though.

He's 15 not 10.

aquavit Fri 14-Dec-12 12:06:33


You had better put a stop to this pronto. Next it will be something worse - maybe even Shakespeare (rape and murder and torture and cross-dressing). This is gateway literature.

brighterfuture Fri 14-Dec-12 12:17:06

Op it must be very worrying for you... can't you distract him from all this highbrow reading with some screen time killing playing black ops like his peers !

bemybebe Fri 14-Dec-12 12:22:11

Wow. Is this thread for real?? It is a wind up surely. grin
OP, your son's teacher clearly thinks that he has enough capacity for critical thinking to handle these texts.
You should also read. Fahrenheit 451 is a good start methinks.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Fri 14-Dec-12 12:30:51

OP please don't take this the wrong way but do you read books as a hobby?

CheeseandPickledOnion Fri 14-Dec-12 12:40:33

Eh? He's 15!! He already knows all of this shit.

And besides, they're all genuine works of literature, and classics? ]

Gosh how awful for your son to be reading such material. BAHAHAHAHA!

Mintberry Fri 14-Dec-12 12:50:31

OP sounds like the "Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion!" woman from Donnie Darko, if anyone gets the reference. grin

I would be proud of my 15 yo if his teachers thought he was smart and mature enough to read those books.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Fri 14-Dec-12 12:50:42

Personally, as they are extra curricular reading, I would find equally challenging but more diverse and interesting authors. Not because I don't think these books should be available confused or read at this age, but to give better exposure to a wider range of viewpoints not often brought up in schools or 'classics' lists that extra reading books are a perfect area to explore.

Why the Caged Bird Sings is an excellent, challenging book, for example.

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