Bibliophile | Daniel Handler explores All The Dirty Parts of high school

All the Dirty Parts: A Novel
by Daniel Handler
Bloomsbury

The main reason for picking up this book is that Daniel Handler also goes by the name Lemony Snicket and I have enjoyed his twisted children’s books, A Series of Unfortunate Events.  All the Dirty Parts is fairly perverse as well as being somewhat perverted, as it is the sexual explorations of high school student Cole. “There are love stories galore” Cole tells his online friend Alec “and we all know them. The story I am typing is all the dirty parts”.

School work fades into the distance as Cole explores the educational world of porn and the allure of all things sexual. He has sexual encounters with lots of girls and shares his experiences with his only friend Alec before adolescent passions spill over for him as well. “Let me put it this way’” he says. “Draw a number line, with zero is you never think of sex and ten is all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex.”

Cole has worked out that sex is great but there are complications such as getting ‘a reputation’ and falling in love even though, he reminds us this isn’t a love story. The book isn’t very long and the chapters are rather brief but there’s a lot of learning crammed into the exploration of one teenage boy’s desire … even though it is mainly all the dirty parts.

Lezly Herbert


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