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Sex is Forbidden Kindle Edition

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Länge: 290 Seiten Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert Sprache: Englisch



"It's a cracker - clever, funny and insightful, with complicated, conflicted and totally convincing Beth at heart" (Harry Ritchie Daily Mail)

"Parks writes with detachment, wit and intelligence, and the troubled voice in Beth is entirely convincing" (Kate Saunders The Times)

"A wry and subtle story about what happens when the western self tries to lose itself." (Kathryn Hughes Prospect)

"An eminently readable and thought-provoking novel that teases you to the last page, and possibly beyond" (Marcus Berkmann Spectator)

"Quirky, witty and deep" (Todd McEwen Sunday Herald)


A gripping and perceptive novel about the trials of self-discovery by one of our most highly acclaimed writers.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1669 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 290 Seiten
  • Verlag: Vintage Digital (2. Mai 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.0 von 5 Sternen 2 Kundenrezensionen
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #291.252 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This is so boring and slow that I couldn't get myself to read it in its entirety. I hope to be able to pick it sometime later up again, but my motivation is close to null.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Parks ist vielleicht der meistunterschätzte zeitgenössische Schriftsteller Englands. Und sein Buch erfüllt alle Anforderungen, die sich mit dieser Feststellung verbinden.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) HASH(0x926c9a38) von 5 Sternen 7 Rezensionen
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HASH(0x91d7fe34) von 5 Sternen A Book that Evokes Many Emotions 14. September 2013
Von Dan Thompson, Author - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I was first introduced to Tim Parks by my best friend, who for my birthday, got me a copy of Tim Parks' non-fiction book, Teach Us to Sit Still, which follows Parks' struggle to cope with an illness that doctors can't seem to pinpoint, diagnose definitively, and so want to operate. After exhausting all other avenues, Parks decides he'll try a Buddhist retreat, where apparently, pain management can be found in meditation. The Server is a contemporary fiction novel set inside the boundaries of a Buddhist retreat, obviously inspired by his own time in one.

Bethany Marriot is a 'server' in the Dasgupta Institute, meaning she sets an example to the retreat's guests, and also takes part in the day-to-day running of the institute itself. It is obvious that Bethany is hiding a secret from everyone, using the retreat as a place to ignore the outside world, refusing to face up to her problems. And since sex, talking, male-female congregation is forbidden at the Dasgupta, Bethany knows she's safe. But Bethany stumbles upon a diary, written by a man in the retreat, and she soon becomes engrossed with this man and his problems; inevitably releasing all of her fears and worries from the outside world.

The novel is wholeheartedly a character driven novel. Not much actually happens, so it's absolutely important that you feel or connect with Beth; being written in the first-person. The problem with character driven novels is that they can be exceptionally slow, often literary and The Server sadly does suffer from this slightly. Especially in the beginning, where Beth hasn't come across the dreaded diary, and where all of her secrets aren't exactly known. But once you get past the routine of the Dasgupta, as well as all of the coinage associated with Buddhist retreats, this book holds within it as true mesmerising story.

Beth is annoying, there's no denying it. But warming, easily relatable (if that's a word) and clever (in a street-smart sense of way). You know she has secrets lurking in the background, and you can definitely understand why she's staying at the retreat. She wants rules; rules to live by, rules to set her life a path to follow, rules so she can forget the past. And some of the book is about the ins and outs of the Buddhist way, showing the religion and its mantra in a calming and respectable way. Some of the points do make sense, and it gets us (the reader) to question the way in which we conduct our own lives - and to do that, must mean that Parks is a gifted writer.

But behind the rules, Beth is a rule-breaker. She likes rules, just so she can break them, and when she discovers the diary (which in itself is breaking the rules) it forces her to become more skeptical of the rules set by the Dasgupta, and the 'old Beth' starts to return to the fore. And it's not a pretty thing. She's in multiple relationships, often playing a game with them to get what she wants. She sleeps around with both men and women and she's such an attention seeker. It may be annoying, but it makes for a fabulous read, and at times we can easily see some of ourselves in her character.

This is very much an adult book. Beth has a way with words, some of them expletives and sexual, but her blunt thoughts don't match the persona of 'Beth inside the Dasgupta' and she knows it very well. She's funny too on occasions, and its wonderful how The Server can flick between funny and serious so smoothly. There were quite a few times I found myself laughing out loud, but equally as many times where I found myself squirming, or shouting. It's a book that evokes many emotions.

The Server is a clever novel. If you can get past the slow start, inside you'll find a book that touches on religion, personality, grief and raw emotion. It was the Sunday Telegraph that said: 'Parks is an excellent writer, capable of writing wittily and with great beauty about the near indefinable' and I couldn't agree more. Tim Parks has a way at getting deep within a character, letting us see both the character everyone else sees, as well as the true person inside. If you've read Teach Us to Sit Still, then it's easy to see the connections between the two, but in my opinion, The Server is a much more successful book. If you're someone who loves explosive scenes of action, then I'm afraid this book isn't for you. If you're someone who loves to delve deep into the gritty multiple layer of the human self, then you'll find something very special indeed. The Server sums up exactly why Tim Park is a nominated Man Booker Prize author.
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HASH(0x913b8258) von 5 Sternen Intelligent, thoughtful and amusing 10. Juni 2013
Von Ripple - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
Tim Parks's "Sex is Forbidden" is narrated by twenty-something, Beth. She's working as a volunteer server at a Buddhist retreat called the Dasgupta Institute where she has been for the last nine months although the book covers one ten day cycle of retreat. The Dasgupta Institute imposes bans on attendees, although the conditions are slightly less onerous on the servers who, nevertheless are expected to join in the meditations. There's no talking, no writing, no mingling of the sexes and no physical or even eye contact. One day Beth, still a rebel at heart, wanders into the men's side where she discoverers an attendee is keeping a diary where he is contemplating his moment of crisis and she is hooked. The revealing of the past that has driven both Beth and the mysterious diary keeper to such an austere retreat is part of the intrigue of the book, but while there is an inevitable focus on introspection and new age thinking, Beth's tone is delightfully sceptical and feels very authentic. It's almost impossible not to feel for her plight and to admire her approach.

The hardback version of this book in the UK was published with the title "The Server" and I must confess that I rather regret the, presumably commercially driven, decision to move to a more titivating title. Similarly too, this is one of those books that proves the adage not to judge a book by its cover as both the paperback and indeed the hardback have gone for different but imaged but pretty girl in alluring poses. Both are lovely photographs but are hardly representative of the tone of the book. That said, at least one element of Beth's past involved multiple sexual partners of both genders but her issues are far deeper than lust driven urges.

It's certainly not a book with a driving plot line, but as often with books that are set in a clearly defined environment over a set period, it is entirely engrossing and the character of Beth is absolutely perfectly portrayed. The issues of her resolving her past are an element of the book, but it's also a broader look at Buddhist thinking. While in general Parks seems to suggest that it has much to offer, neither Beth nor the diarist are uncritical of the thinking and often gently send up aspects of the set up. There is a wonderful irony in that while the message of the course is about constant change and things never staying the same, the content of the courses are always identical and the attendees watch the pre-recorded DVD of the Dasgupta giving an unchanging message time and again to everyone.

Novels where the narrator is involved in introspection can become somewhat self-indulgent, but Parks cleverly avoids this. Partly this is helped by Beth's character but also her role as a server - which is why I still think that's a better title for the book. Beth's own battle with her past is touching and believable. Some of this is achieved with the benefit of the Buddhist teachings but much also despite them. The result is a book that is both often funny but also deep at the same time. Parks slowly reveals Beth's past and while she is clearly suffering, she never resorts to self-pity unlike the man with the diary.

It may not be a book for everyone, but if you have even a slight interest in meditation and Buddhist teachings, and don't require your reading to be plot driven, then this is an excellent, thoughtful and intelligent book.

4.5 stars
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x913b82d0) von 5 Sternen Tim Parks serves up something very special with The Server 22. Juni 2012
Von Kathy Gates author - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Eighteen months ago after reading Tim Park's non-fiction work, Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skeptic's Search for Health and Healing, partly about his time at a Vispassana retreat, I was inspired to undertake a retreat. His account, from the perspective of a sceptic learning to meditate was compelling so I was eager to read his fictional account The Server, also set in a Vispassana retreat.

In The Server we meet Beth, who has been 'serving' for nearly 11 months. Servers are people who have undertaken 10 day retreats and who make sure that things run smoothly so that meditators can focus on the technique (Vipassana is a technique, not a religion). We come to understand that Beth is in hiding - she can't face the emotional turmoil of a disaster that she may have caused through her erratic behaviour, which in turn was born of a failed relationship. She's at the point where she must face her past; one way or another, it's time to come out of hiding.

I enjoyed accompanying Beth on her journey. Tim Parks is an accomplished writer, his descriptions of the characters made me laugh, his insights into the retreat made me smile; the description of one the other server's accents as a 'smell' had me giggling (even though he was describing my accent!).

This was the first pre-order on my Kindle; had I been planning to buy a hard copy I'd still be waiting - it hasn't yet made it to Hobart yet.
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HASH(0x913b8078) von 5 Sternen The journey of a lost soul 7. September 2012
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I figure that the nearest I will get to vipassana is to read about it, and I enjoyed reading about the technique and the practice. However this story is really about the main character dealing her own emotional self-destruction. Beth is such a troubled soul its hard to believe that she can sit for hours focusing on her breath. Her story becomes intertwined with another troubled soul which adds to the drama.
Beth lacks any real insight into her own flaws, and while she is quite unlikeable, her struggle to obtain peace of mind sustains the narrative.
HASH(0x913b8360) von 5 Sternen disappointing 4. April 2014
Von James Farley - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I didn't buy this book because of the title, but I found the book dull and narrow ; we are inside the head of a not-very-interesting girl and the book could have been cut by one-third, in my view.
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