From the author’s agency’s website:
“Jonathan Margolis writes for the Guardian, the Financial Times magazine and Time.
He was the co-author, with Jane Walmsley, of Hothouse People: Can We Create Super Human Beings? (Pan 1987) and A Brief History of Tomorrow (Bloomsbury 2000), which analysed the successes and failures of futurologists. He has also written a number of showbiz biographies including Uri Geller: Magician or Mystic? (Orion 1998).
Jonathan’s most recent books are O: The Intimate History of the Orgasm (Century 2004) and Mob Log: Scenes from my Mobile (Artnik 2005), a follow up to his Sunday Times column, Random.
He lives in London with the author Sue Margolis and their family.”
REVIEW: As I walked into the library (ready to prowl the shelves for my next book) one thing was clear: I wanted to read about sex. I had gorged on American History and Evolution, and needed to refresh my palette with something a bit more fun, a bit more salacious. Lucky for me, Jonathan Margolis book “O: The Intimate History of the Orgasm” was ready and willing to service my needs.
This is a fun book, in a lot of ways. Although it contains a lot of history (wasn’t that was I was trying to avoid?) at least it’s serious history about a subject that is pretty damn entertaining to read about. And the author has a dry and earthy with that makes him a great tour guide through our often confused relationship with the human orgasm.
Like all good history books about humans, it begins with what we infer about pre-history from the evidence we have, and then takes on the various theories that have held sway through different periods and cultures in recorded history. But Margolis is not satisfied with the seemingly universal attitudes toward human sexuality that have been put forward by historians (based upon medical texts, sermons and writing of specific periods. such as the notorious “Victorian” age): he digs a little deeper and acknowledges the reality that whatever the pronouncements from pulpit or physician’s office, people have been figuring out their own orgasms for a long, long time.
In the end, Margolis takes an interesting turn as he tries to predict which of our own current ideas about the orgasm will be looked upon as narrow and foolish by future students of human sexuality (as he points out the mythologies that have held sway even in our lifetime, such as the exhaled expectation of the “mutual” orgasm).
The reality is that we live in a time of some pretty good information about sex, all things considered, even as old ideas and myths persist in our consciousness (for instance, this book came out after the famous “G” spot was shown, at last, to also belong in the category of “myth”).
This is the kind of book that is highly informative, terribly entertaining, and also edifying, as it is always good to find out what everybody else is really doing…or not doing.
I’ll take a moment to ask (rhetorically) why no one at the publishing house seems to have taken a moment to read through this book for typographical errors, as they are legion. But never mind that, let’s talk about sex!