Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mind Blowing Taboo Breakers

After I finished Kaden's Breeder by Emma Paul, (loved that book) I read a few good books but nothing was jumping out and grabbing me by the proverbial balls. I wanted my mind blown. I think I even said out loud “I wish I could find a book that just blows my mind”.

Enter Taboo Breakers

I had downloaded this one about two weeks ago and promptly put it on my TBR list. I love Lawrence Block. I've enjoy his fiction Hit Man series. I have a crush on his Hit Man character John Keller, a quirky assassin, and I have a feeling I'd feel the same about his Bernie Rhodenbar, star of his comic mystery novels.

You may know Lawrence Block from his Matthew Scudder novels about a recovering alcoholic PI. They are serious mysteries and his best known work. The 1986 movie Eight Million Ways to Die with Jeff Bridges, Rosanna Arquette and Andy Garcia is based on the fifth book in that series.

I also have a thing for Lawrence Block. His writing makes me hot. There is something about male writers and scientist that really turns me on. Not all of them, just the ones I'm impressed by and really enjoy reading their work. 

Example; Jeremy Edwards writes erotocomedy, he has a massive thesaurus and wildly enjoyable characters.  He's a scrappy guy with a big nose. He wouldn't normally be considered sexy but his writing makes him hot. Put him in a lab coat and glasses, holding a bunsen burner and beaker and I'll be positively drooling. 

I had only read Mr.Blocks fictions but I still feel the same way about him. He could be an ancient three hundred pound chain smoker that reeks of Bengay and I would still find him sexy as hell.(I don't actually know what he looks like.) His books aren't meant to be erotic, that I know of, but they still have sex appeal. I was delighted to find out that Lawrence Block wrote erotica in his salad days. 

Although he did write for the 'porn paper back industry' from the late 1950's to the early 1970's, these particular books are not erotica in the sense that they are not fiction. No my friends, this one in particular is a documentary. I haven't been so enthralled by a documentary read ever as I was by this book.

My girlfriend, that downloads and reads almost all the same books as I do, called and said, “Oh. My. God. Have you gotten to Taboo Breakers yet?” That statement alone bumped that book to the top of my reading list.

I'm a twenty first century woman. I'm in my thirties and I've been around the block. Like many I'm not really shocked by much. Media has extreme scenarios real and fake all over the place.

I've volunteered at my local women's shelter. I've heard the stories that brought those women and girls there. Some as young as twelve kicked out of their house for being promiscuous or getting picked up and sold as a prostitute. (Average age of a prostitute in America is 14 with over, shockingly, 200,000 girls being illegally sold for sex in the U.S. today.)

I watch documentaries about everything under the sun. I watch 20/20Dateline, Dexter, Spartacus and Game of Thrones, all shows featuring some beyond twisted stuff that you never saw or heard about forty five years ago. I'm assuming. I wasn't around.

I read some crazy stuff. All fiction. Maybe that's the difference. 

Before I began reading Taboo Breakers I was prepared for the antiquated notions of the individuals (mostly swingers) being interviewed in 1968. There is plenty of that. I was also prepared for the mentality of the swingers. I had friends growing up whose parents where swingers. I have friends who used to swing. It's not like these things aren't still prevailing... I wasn't prepared for this.

Taboo Breakers starts out setting up the premise and history of the different kinds of swingers circa 1968. John Warren Wells, (aka; Lawrence Block) goes over all the different code words and lingo used in setting up meetings and advertising. I found that interesting and wondered how many of those terms were still used today. 

Then the book quickly delves into a playful interview with a traditional swinging couple that tell of their maiden voyage and sexcapades with their stereotypical key-in-fishbowl wife swapping group.

The telling really draws you in and JWW cuts out any boring mundane details to keep it moving. As the interview and tales move onto other individuals I found myself more and more transfixed. Before I knew it I was halfway through the book and that's when the mind bomb is dropped. WTF?!

Mind. Blown.

Think of every wealthy sociopath villain from every Regency, Victorian, Gothic and contemporary novel you've ever read. Like the really good 'n twisted ones.

Then imagine reading a real interview with those people. Just raw, uncensored, uncut, them telling the most jaw dropping shit like they are discussing a tennis match at the club. 

I don't think sociopaths are that honest in interviews anymore. There are just too many repercussions these days. This is so unguarded.  Authors that need material and want to stir up the old think tank, go ahead and read this one.

Our twenty first century has been all about opening Pandora's box and revealing all the dirty little secrets every faucet of society has to offer. I can't help but believe this couple would be a Dateline, 20/20, 60 Minutes type exclusive with interviews by Diane Sawyer, and what I can only think of as their victims appearing on Oprah.

There isn't anything in this interview that I didn't know was prevalent in the world, even today, yet I can't get it out of my mind. I haven't had a book stay with me like this, in such haunting detail, since reading Inside the Outside by Martin Lastrapes, and that was 110% twisted fiction about a teenage cannibal who grows up in a cult and is seeing the outside world for the first time....

The rest of Taboo Breakers is still very interesting but not even close to as shocking as the middle. The orgiastic couple in the second half of the book is a breath of fresh air, the Sadie Mae couple (1968 term for BDSM) were sweet as could be and I found myself wanting to see a happy ending for the single male swinger towards end.

I really wish there was a follow up to this book. Just a page of what happened to these people, where they are, how their lives moved on and if and how they died.

I would also love to bring back the vernacular, 'balling', and 'pop', as in, This guy was so revved up he was ready to pop and we hadn't even gotten down to balling. 

While interviewing and in the narration of the book JWW remains nonpartisan but I would love to know what he was thinking while all these people were spilling their guts.

Although not exactly titillating, I found Taboo Breakers to be absolutely fascinating.

This book is 153 pages and is available for free with many of his other JWW titles if you have Amazon Prime.

Warning; This book contains some *&^# that readers may find objectionable. 

Lawrence Block has quite a few other non-fictions by John Warren Wells from the late 1960's and early 1970's that are now available in e-book at Amazon.

 I for one already have a TBR list going. My eyebrows were raising just reading the description of Beyond Group Sex and a few others. 

If you would like to know more about these books and Lawrence Block himself you can go to,, where he also has a page just for his JWW books. 

 THANK YOU  Lawrence Block!!!

If you've read a book that blew your mind let me know. I would love to read it. 


  1. Gotta get a copy! Sounds very good and different.

  2. The John Warren Wells collection is full of crazy interviews. They are good and very different. You'll have to let me if you read one.