The Abstinence Teacher MOBI Ì The Abstinence PDF \

The Abstinence Teacher ➫ The Abstinence Teacher Read ➳ Author Tom Perrotta – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Stonewood Heights is the perfect place to raise kids It s got the proverbial good schools, solid values and a healthy real estate market It s the kind of place where parents are involved in their chil Stonewood Heights is the perfect place to raise kids It s got the proverbial good schools, solid values and a healthy real estate market It s the kind of place where parents are involved in their children s lives, where no opportunity for enrichment goes unexplored Ruth Ramsey is the human sexuality teacher at the local high school She believes that pleasure is good, shame is bad, and knowledge is power Ruth s younger daughter s soccer coach is Tim Mason, a former stoner and rocker The Abstinence PDF \ whose response to hitting rock bottom was to reach out and be saved Tim belongs to The Tabernacle, an evangelical Christian church that doesn t approve of Ruth s style of teaching And Ruth in turn doesn t applaud The Tabernacle s mission to take its message outside its doors Adversaries in a small town culture war, Ruth and Tim instinctively mistrust each other But when a controversy on the soccer field pushes the two of them to actually talk to each other, they are forced to take each other at something other than face value The Abstinence Teacher exposes the powerful emotions that run beneath the surface of modern American family life and explores the complex spiritual and sexual lives of ordinary people Elegantly written, it is characterized by the distinctive mix of satire and compassion that have animated Perrotta s previous novels.


10 thoughts on “The Abstinence Teacher

  1. David David says:

    JESUS WANTS YOU TO GROW A PAIR Tommy, Tommy, Tommy How did such a promising young literary stud like yourself turn out to be such an emasculated whore When did things start to go so horribly, horribly wrong Let me be clear When I picked you up at the airport in San Francisco, it was with entirely clear eyed, realistic expectations Let s face it I wasn t looking for the literary love of my life Just a two plane romance enough to while away the time it takes to get from SFO to M JESUS WANTS YOU TO GROW A PAIR Tommy, Tommy, Tommy How did such a promising young literary stud like yourself turn out to be such an emasculated whore When did things start to go so horribly, horribly wrong Let me be clear When I picked you up at the airport in San Francisco, it was with entirely clear eyed, realistic expectations Let s face it I wasn t looking for the literary love of my life Just a two plane romance enough to while away the time it takes to get from SFO to Madrid Maybe a little bathroom nookie during my stopover in Dulles And believe me I m no snob about this shit I think there s everything to be said for the fleeting joy of airplane lit Done right, it can be one of life s great pleasures And the possibility can never be ruled out that it may lead to a deeper andpassionate commitment I mean, look at Nate and Brenda in Six Feet Under , and how well it worked out for them Even the briefest of airport bathroom encounters is pregnant with possibility.So I ll admit to a certain nervous excitement as I boarded the plane at SFO, your manly bulk in my pocket, pressing against my crotch in mute promise of pleasures yet to come And for the first 20 pages or so, you didn t disappoint There was wit, a sense of direction, a certain ability to nail characters with brisk efficiency within a couple of snappy paragraphs.But I should have heeded the warning signs that were obvious right there in the book store Even if the appalling cutesy biographical sketch could be excused as a horrendous contrivance foisted upon you by your publicist, there was that truly worrisome author portrait , which presumably you had to have approved at the very least You know the one I m talking about The one where your desperate need to be liked permeates every line of the simpering come hither rictus of a wistful little lost geisha boy pout that you project to your potential johns It might as well have been subtitled me make you happy long time Did they teach you that at geisha school, Tommy To try to be all things to all men Because, here s the thing, eunuchboy Let me let you in on a little secret Nowadays even the sweatiest of Japanese salarymen no longer finds the response Who would you like me to be even faintly arousing in answer to the question Who are you.So that, when your thin excuse for a bold courageous novel touching on polemic issues degenerated into an incoherent mess of not wanting to offend anybody under any circumstances, frankly my frustration increased in direct proportion to the flaccidity of your prose What was particularly weird was that you were hardly fooling anyone with your lethally boring 150 pages of padding trying to cover up the moral vaccum at the heart of your cardboard ex stoner Jesus freak And what about plot, Tommy Do castrati get a pass WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILER AHEAD BUT ONLY IF YOU ARE REALLY, REALLY STUPID AS STUPID AS THE AUTHOR WHICH SEEMS UNLIKELY Or is that what passes for resolution these days Fading to black as hormonal Barbie and stoner Ken get it on Despite the well documented lack of genitalia of said eponymous action figurines And apparently of the author of this excessively wordy piece of trash of a book, devoid of almost any smidgen of intellectual content Guaranteed to offend nobody Unless, of course, you have a brain


  2. Fabian Fabian says:

    Mr Perrotta creates self fulfilling demimondes in intricate, contemporary detail But it s all sound and fury This one s about what occurs when the Religious Right clashes withmodern and shall we say promiscuous tastes His best is the hilarious Joe College His worst, strangely enough The Leftovers And this one fits somewhere snuggly in between.


  3. David David says:

    My dad sent me this book, and also the DVD of Little Children , which is based on his novel of the same name Here s what I wrote him after reading it I went to the theater but it was packed, so I opted out, went to a coffee shop and read Perrotta s book, which I finished this morning Really bad If you haven t read it yet, I wouldn t bother There was something that bothered me about Little Children that I couldn t put my finger on until now Perrotta is trying to be the moralist of suburbia, My dad sent me this book, and also the DVD of Little Children , which is based on his novel of the same name Here s what I wrote him after reading it I went to the theater but it was packed, so I opted out, went to a coffee shop and read Perrotta s book, which I finished this morning Really bad If you haven t read it yet, I wouldn t bother There was something that bothered me about Little Children that I couldn t put my finger on until now Perrotta is trying to be the moralist of suburbia, but his values are shallow and his insights banal, and I think mostly wrong Not to mention, in the case of The Abstinence Teacher, a real snoozer 350 pages to describe a confrontation between a single soccer mom and born again recovering addict soccer coach who leads the kids in a prayer after one of their games Maybe I ve spoiled myself having just read McCarthy and Roth back to back, both masters of the austere In comparison, this book is just farty


  4. Jason Pettus Jason Pettus says:

    My entire review of this book is much longer than GoodReads word count limitations Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.com As I ve mentioned here a couple of times before, I ve recently become a fairly big fan of movie friendly author Tom Perrotta for example, I found his breakthrough 2006 novel Little Children to be a surprisingly complex and subtle look at just what a horrific place the suburbs can be to some people, a stifling environm My entire review of this book is much longer than GoodReads word count limitations Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.com As I ve mentioned here a couple of times before, I ve recently become a fairly big fan of movie friendly author Tom Perrotta for example, I found his breakthrough 2006 novel Little Children to be a surprisingly complex and subtle look at just what a horrific place the suburbs can be to some people, a stifling environment that squashes all yearning for something beyond the lowest common denominator as thoroughly as a Communist cultural crackdown Ah, but then I read his latest, 2007 s similarly themed The Abstinence Teacher, and realized something I think I knew all along but that I hadn t wanted to admit to myself that Perrotta in fact dances on that thin little line between being a good movie friendly author and a bad one, and that even a small amount of seemingly inconsequential bad decisions on his part concerning character and story will eventually amount to one giant stinker of a book by the end, even with such a book still being 92 percent exactly like the other book that s great and that everyone loves.Like Little Children, for example, The Abstinence Teacher is also set in a repressive McMansion happy middle class suburb in the American Northeast like Little Children, it s also supposed to be about a subversive sexual tension between people on opposite sides of an arbitrary issue that is arbitrarily important in this gossipy hothouse suburban environment But see, here s a perfect example of what I m talking about, because in Little Children Perrotta makes such a relationship work, by making the supposed opposites actually two sides of the same coin in that book, it makes sense that the former radical feminist academe and the former frat boy football hero would have a charged illicit affair, because it was the Kafkaesque environment they were in that brought an end to both their individual hopes and dreams In his newest book, though, Perrotta tries to use a Fundamentalist Christian church as the catalyst bringing two people from opposite sides of the fence suddenly and unusually together but in this case such a thing simply doesn t work, because of the church and its actions causing a legitimate rift between anyone who falls on either side of the fence, too big to be overcome in a cutesy romantic way like Perrotta tries to do.In fact, this is the question I kept coming back to, over and over and over again as I read this novel of why the main Christian character, former rock star and wicked addict Tim Mason, so thoroughly devotes his life to a cartoonishly evil Evangelical church to begin with Perrotta tries to explain that it was the church who helped him overcome his addiction, and so Tim feels an irrational fear of falling off the wagon if he were to ever stray from their mustache twirling neocon activities, but I m not buying it I myself am an atheist who s never been through a recovery program, and even I know that there are literally hundreds of politically moderate religious organizations out there designed specifically to help recovering addicts This is even a basic precept of


  5. Snotchocheez Snotchocheez says:

    2.5 Stars The Abstinence Teacher is a pretty solid near three star read from Tom Perrotta, though I thought he really could ve gone a lot farther with his observations on the rift between the religious right and the secular left It does, though, serve as an ideal warm up to his in my opinion muchfully realized The Leftovers Though this 2007 release seems slightly dated, Perrotta s core societal perceptions are just as salient today as they were ten years ago His protagonist Ruth Ramsey 2.5 Stars The Abstinence Teacher is a pretty solid near three star read from Tom Perrotta, though I thought he really could ve gone a lot farther with his observations on the rift between the religious right and the secular left It does, though, serve as an ideal warm up to his in my opinion muchfully realized The Leftovers Though this 2007 release seems slightly dated, Perrotta s core societal perceptions are just as salient today as they were ten years ago His protagonist Ruth Ramsey is a Sex Ed teacher at a public high school in Anywhereville USA, aka Stonewood Heights whose curriculum is being dictated by Christian fronted special interest groups that advocate sexual abstinence Ruth, a free spirited divorced mother of two daughters, routinely finds herself butting heads with school administrators when parents complaints arise over Ruth s teaching techniques nothingcontroversial really than discussions of contraception Representing the other side of the ideological rift is Tim Mason, a reformed Grateful Deadhead stoner, now the soccer coach of one of Ruth s daughters, and member of the Tabernacle one of the churches responsible for the Ruth s SexEd curriculum change Sparks fly when Ruth sees Tim leading her daughter s team in a post game prayer Things get kinda ugly from there.Although Perrotta is a gifted writer, there are times while reading this that I wished he could ve donewith his characters Instead of introducing seemingly dozens of minor players, he should ve concentrated his efforts on the two principal protagonists so I could feel something for them Instead I found myself shrugging as Perrotta led them toward a predictable yet strangely unresolved denouement His sense of humor and keen eye for the social climate made this a fun book to read, though I was left slightly empty by it perhaps as empty as the shoes on the cover of The Leftovers


  6. Ceilidh Ceilidh says:

    The abstinence movement and the Christian right are two of my favourite topics in relation to American politics, one of my strange hobbies They both fascinate and horrify me in equal measure and I m always on the lookout for books, fiction and non fiction, related to them to fuel my interest I ve only read one Tom Perrotta novel before, Little Children , which I enjoyed immensely and found to be a well orchestrated satire on suburban life and its less than picture perfect truth, so I entered The abstinence movement and the Christian right are two of my favourite topics in relation to American politics, one of my strange hobbies They both fascinate and horrify me in equal measure and I m always on the lookout for books, fiction and non fiction, related to them to fuel my interest I ve only read one Tom Perrotta novel before, Little Children , which I enjoyed immensely and found to be a well orchestrated satire on suburban life and its less than picture perfect truth, so I entered reading The Abstinence Teacher optimistically, only to find myself very disappointed very quickly.This book isn t populated by characters it s populated by mouthpieces for opinions Every character acts like a mouthpiece, everything they say seems to be taken from a newspaper article debating the pros and cons of religious and sexual issues, and their functions as mouthpieces don t give them any room to develop as fully rounded characters independent of the debate Perrotta wants to have They re not even well rounded opinions to spout off There is very little resolution to these points and they don t seem to develop beyond a few buzzwords or commentary rants better suited to a newspaper opinion page with a limited word count Things happen and there are some interesting set ups for what promise to be bigger andexplosive events but they seldom come to fruition It s such a disappointment because the potential is definitely there We only get one or two real scenes of Ruth teaching abstinence and the school politics of it all but Perrotta seems bored, as if he doesn t want to create any real conflict I wanted to seeof the newly instigated abstinence classes impact on the school and its students I wanted to see how big an impact the growing churches were having on the community it s hinted at and ranted about as yet another mouthpiece opinion but never given much development beyond that I wanted to seeof Ruth s daughters choosing to engage with the church and the tensions it created with Ruth and her anti church stance There was plenty of room for these things, why weren t they there There is no real story to speak of, events just ramble along and meander back and forth as the point of view switches from divorced mother and health teacher Ruth to born again Christian with a crisis Tim These two characters are supposed to be engaged in a battle of wits and morals, one being the atheist with a grudge against the radically increasing Christian presence in her school, the other the former drug addicted rock star who found solace in Christ and wants to be a good person through his teachings Once or twice, we re treated to an interesting conversation between the two, and it is interesting to hear their parental stories, but since they spend so little page time together, it makes the weak, abrupt conclusion all thebaffling and lazy I can t say I especially disliked Ruth or Tim As I said before, they were mainly mouthpieces but they did have a lot of things I really liked, such as Tim s struggle to be what he saw as a good Christian man and Ruth s relationship with her daughters Instead of any real development in these traits that actually would have had relevance to the plot, we re treated to page after page of tell don t show info dumps of Ruth s teenage sex escapades, her desperation for a man because a strong, independent and intelligent 40 something single woman must be in want of a man at every possible moment and other bites of information that could have been woven much less awkwardly into the story to a mucheffective result There were some moments crying to be re written, the biggest one that stands out in my mind being a moment where Tim muses about homosexuality and how he doesn t think it s a sin told with the subtlety of a sledgehammer with a talk radio show when we have an established character who is a gay man working in the high school with Ruth who could have been used mucheffectively to portray the topic of homosexuality and its place in the Christian right and schools Any potential for wit and truly successful satire is gone and the rest just falls flat I m also worried since Perrotta s prose bugged me quite a bit yet it reminds me so much of my own I ve got some rewrites to do Overall, The Abstinence Teacher was such a disappointment It was incredibly mediocre, but not without some merit, and failed to truly get a sense of the contradictions and difficulties of the abstinence movement and the growing presence of the Christian right in public services in America Perrotta seemsconcerned with painting a black and white picture with very broad strokes when what was really needed was a much finer brush and a wider palate of colours


  7. Michael Michael says:

    I really enjoy Tom Perrotta s writing style, and this book is no exception His prose is smooth and easy, the kind of writing that pulls you into the story and makes you forget you re reading a book I would compare reading Perrotta to watching an engaging movie He s just an excellent storyteller.That said, I have some issues with his latest, The Abstinence Teacher The book is about a woman named Ruth, a sex ed teacher in Suburbville, USA, who sparks a controversy by responding to a question b I really enjoy Tom Perrotta s writing style, and this book is no exception His prose is smooth and easy, the kind of writing that pulls you into the story and makes you forget you re reading a book I would compare reading Perrotta to watching an engaging movie He s just an excellent storyteller.That said, I have some issues with his latest, The Abstinence Teacher The book is about a woman named Ruth, a sex ed teacher in Suburbville, USA, who sparks a controversy by responding to a question by one of her students about oral sex Her student thinks that oral sex is like kissing a toilet seat Ruth replies that oral sex is safe and can be made safer with certain devices, and that some people even like it Well, this sets off the local Christian right and a movement starts that results in the school s adoption of an abstinence only sex ed program hence, the title Needless to say, Ruth doesn t believe in the program, but she s stuck in a tough position.On the other side, the story is also about Tim, a member of the ultra conservative Tabernacle church, led by religious zealot Pastor Dennis, a former Best Buy employee who found Jesus and then smashed up the store s most expensive merchandise Tim is a former minor rock musician, alcoholic, and drug addict, and he is recovering now that Pastor Dennis has introduced Jesus into his life Tim s obvious conflict is between his sinful urges and his desire to lead a Christian life Is Jesus just another outlet for an addictive personality You decide.Ruth and Tim come into conflict at a soccer game Tim coaches the local girls soccer team, on which both Ruth s daughter and Tim s daughter play Following one particularly emotional win, and with Ruth in the crowd, Tim sits his team down in a circle and leads them in a prayer of thanks As you can imagine, Ruth does not take kindly to the decision, and the real path of the story begins from there.Of course, there are a lot of other things going on, too Perrotta is a master of highlighting the little conflicts that plague everyday families in suburban America, as well as the small victories And this book was going just great up to the point that Ruth s and Tim s worlds collide.But here comes the major storyline of the novel that I just couldn t buy, and that really messed up a lot of moments for me Perrotta introduced sexual tension between Tim and Ruth Wait, what Ruth just saw this religious nut the same kind of nut that has cost her her curriculum leading her daughter in an unsanctioned prayer, and then loudly berated him for doing it, and rightly so And now you re telling me she wants to sleep with him Even date him I don t have kids yet, but I m only a couple of years away from that point of my life, and I can picture myself in the situation Here I am, a nice Jewish guy who s raising his kids to be nice Jewish kids They happen to play for a soccer team coached by a desparately hot woman who happens to be a religious fanatic as yet unknown to me At the end of the game, this beauty sits down my kid, MY KID, and leads him her in a prayer of thanks to Jesus I don t know about anyone else, but I m pissed just thinking about it, and I don t care how hot this coach is, I m certainly not getting over my righteous indignation about her interference with MY CHILD just because she has a great butt So naturally, when I read that Ruth is having feelings for Tim, and vice versa, well, I m just not buying what Perrotta s selling I can see Tim being interested, but reciprocation of that interest doesn t fit the Ruth character that Perrotta had already introduced me to, and that lingering attraction messed up a lot of the story s credibility It s hard to enjoy a book fully when there s such a major disconnect, and I couldn t help but close this book with a sense of dissatisfaction at how Perrotta chose to lead his main characters


  8. Morgue Anne Morgue Anne says:

    When it comes to my sex life, there s a lot my parents don t need to know They don t need to know that I was deathly afraid of sex until I was almost 18 not because of those abstinence only education documentaries that made sex seem like a death warrant but because it was me giving something of myself to someone, letting them have a power over me that I wasn t entirely comfortable with They don t need to know who I lost my virginity to, or what my current boyfriend and I do behind closed When it comes to my sex life, there s a lot my parents don t need to know They don t need to know that I was deathly afraid of sex until I was almost 18 not because of those abstinence only education documentaries that made sex seem like a death warrant but because it was me giving something of myself to someone, letting them have a power over me that I wasn t entirely comfortable with They don t need to know who I lost my virginity to, or what my current boyfriend and I do behind closed doors.There are, however, some things they deserve to know, even if I m never going to be the one to bring it up They deserve to know that I am happy with my partner, and, if and when we are sexually active, that I am on the pill, he s wearing a condom, and I get tested every three months They deserve to know these things because they are my parents They love me, and want me to be safe, happy, and not in a situation I will regret later.This is a book about sex It s one of the better books on the Abstinence only education I have read, because it doesn t display everything in black and white Each side isn t pointing to finger to the other and screaming They re trying to ruin our children Everyone s just scared The teachers are scared because they aren t allowed to give the students the information they need to be safe, and the parents are scared because they don t want their children to need this information in the first place The main characters of this story do a fantastic job of portraying this to the reader, but Perrotta also makes a point of showing the negative effects of the Virginity Consultant and her Safe Choices program for teenagers.Abstinence only education is, as my social psychologist boyfriend would put it, Empirically verified as ineffective The information is crap condoms failing 1 3 of the time, EVERYONE who has sex will get a disease, that hot girl with teh AF model boyfriend is content in her life without orgasams, etc , the teachers don t believe it and are teaching it to a group of students who, rather then listen, are eyeing that cute girl in the second row I try not to be forceful with my opinions, but this is something I feel strongly enough about to share I was fortunate enough to have parents and teachers who gave me the information I needed, and trusted me to be smart about making my own choices My mother made sure I was covered for birth control on our insurance plan, My teacher told me in confidence that Lover s Package had the cheapest condoms and the employees were the most knowledgable about which brand waseffective , and the testing once every three months, that was my idea Because, believe it or not, an 18 year old can make responsible choices about sex When given the correct information


  9. Abigail Hillinger Abigail Hillinger says:

    Well.I m rather Tom Perrotta obsessed I ve been known to babble on about himover and over and over again.I was really excited for this book to come out I loved the concept of Ruth, a Human Sexuality teacher, being called into question for something innocent, a casual remark, and how the hyper Christian population attacked her like she had horns and had the middle name Lucifer And the connection between Tim, her daughter s born again soccer coach, and Ruth are great The scene where Ruth re Well.I m rather Tom Perrotta obsessed I ve been known to babble on about himover and over and over again.I was really excited for this book to come out I loved the concept of Ruth, a Human Sexuality teacher, being called into question for something innocent, a casual remark, and how the hyper Christian population attacked her like she had horns and had the middle name Lucifer And the connection between Tim, her daughter s born again soccer coach, and Ruth are great The scene where Ruth realizes that Tim is praying on after a particularly invigorating game is so well done.But And there s a but It s well written, because, of course, it s Tom Perrotta and he s wonderful However, this book was so lackluster compared to his other great books Little Children The Wishbones Election that is was almost reminiscent of Joe College, the only book of his that I didn t devour in a single sitting And it was really disappointing.Maybe I should blame myself After reading Little Children two years ago, I was already impatient for his newest book to come out And with the startling way Christianity has dominated our politics, I think it s absolutely necessary for a satirical book to make light of it and show how RIDICULOUS it all can be through every day circumstances Every day circumstances and satires are, after all, what Tom Perrotta does best.But this book falls flat in several ways Character development, for example Ruth was two dimensional, at best Sure, she had her moments of fire and anger concerning her curriculum and maybe her daughters and of course, Tim s choice to pray after games , but then what There was no depth to her, so different from the female protagonist Sarah in Little Children And TimI understood why Tim had a bigger role in the book than Ruth it was crucial for the reader to understand how one gets to be a born again and the doubts uncertainties that he she has after the fact Which, of course, is Tim.The soccer scenes were long and drawn out I skimmed through them They reminded me of the ONLY thing I didn t like in Little Children, which were the football games Maybe it s because I just don t really care about sports and don t really care to READ about sports, but I just turned my brain off during those parts.There were so many things I wanted to see expanded, mostly that I wantedRuth I wantedRuth and her daughters More about her divorce, beyond the fact that she thought her marriage to Frank was always a mistake I really liked her it was sad to not seeof her And what about JoAnn GOD, would I have loved to see her got some form of comeuppance The ending suited me just fine I ve read reviews so far where people thought it was blah, not good, and I found the opposite I enjoyed it a lot.I still really liked the book, despite my observations It s still Tom Perrotta, and it s still good writing And I still laughed out loud several times And I will still probably re read this book a few times, because that s how I roll


  10. Sarah Sarah says:

    I love Tom Perrotta, and this book was no exception He writes in such a way that he makes it look easy, when it is anything but And I love how much depth he finds in characters that other writers might see as simply stereotypes.


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