Sex is Forbidden, By Tim Parks
Friday 19 April 2013
Unlike its sexed-up title (it was originally The Server) Parks's playful book is largely concerned with the energising power of self-denial.
Beth Marriot, a young woman with a past, has buried herself at the Dasgupta Institute, a hard-core Buddhist retreat where men and women are kept segregated and eye contact is banned.
Distracting Beth from a Life of Equanimity is the charismatic presence of Mi Nu Wai – a pale priestess with whom Beth longs to eat, sleep and meditate.
When the novel finishes, it's a relief finally to escape the Institute's half-baked mantras and pulse-based stews.
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