Neurotica: Jewish Writers on Sex

Neurotica: Jewish Writers on Sex is a first-rate collection of writings about "the people of the book, in bed," as editor Melvin Jules Bukiet observes in the book's terrifically funny introduction. ("Not only is sex unshunned by the Jewish tradition; it's often considered a positive mitzvah to have sex on Sabbath. Besides, if work is prohibited and you can't go to the movies, how else can you spend your holy time?") Neurotica includes short stories and excerpts from novels by big names such as Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, Jerzy Kosinski, and Woody Allen, and by promising newcomers such as Nathan Englander and Michael Lowenthal. Some familiar selections (such as an excerpt from Erica Jong's once-scandalous Fear of Flying) now appear remarkably tame. But the sexual proclivities depicted in many of these selections are quite intense and sometimes disturbing--not fit for summary on a family Web site. So keep this one away from the kids, but curl up with it under the covers. It will give you veddy interesting dreams. --Michael Joseph Gross