Excerpt from Consent by Ben Schrank, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio


by Ben Schrank

Consent by Ben Schrank X
Consent by Ben Schrank
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2002, 304 pages
    Mar 2003, 272 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"Have we?" I ask. I don't recall a prior meeting. I look again at her eyes.

There is a problem with such eyes: they always seem willing to be intrigued. You try to entertain them, with the hope that maybe, for some moment in your life with her, you'll be able to get beyond a fleeting interest, and somehow find out--and it's doubtful that you'll get the opportunity--more about the wonderful and truthful things that happen inside of her. They are eyes filled with imperviousness, so that though they can show amazement and pleasure, they are equally sure of their ability to show no interest at all, and by doing so they can make you miserable. They are impossible because of this combination of opacity and excitement. Though I feel all of this, I choose to ignore it. I'm talking to a woman I've just met at a party. At thirty-one, with one marriage behind me, I am no longer truly stupid and young, but I can still behave as if I am. My eyes are dark green. They are shaped like almonds.

"You don't remember," she says.

"I do," I say. "It's just--I can't recall the circumstance." This isn't exactly true. I don't remember her at all, but complete honesty can be hollow and confining--and really, just because I don't remember her now doesn't mean that I won't remember her later.

"I believe you used to know my friend Miriam," she says.

She has to come up closer to see me, because someone has turned off more lights. Behind her, Weingarden has taken over the middle of his living room. He begins to dance with Elsie, an attractive woman who was the other TA for the medieval heretics class he ran in the fall. A few more of the uninhibited join in. Weingarden winks at me and I smile back at him. I've been one of his teaching assistants and he's been my adviser for years now. He motions for me to bring my new friend and join him, but I shake my head, and he gives me a mock frown. He's always after me--trying to get me to enjoy myself as much as he does. Again, I look around for my friend Bear. Perhaps he has met someone he likes. Bear may be acting uncharacteristically, by taking advantage of the fact that his wife, Jen, is out of town.

"That's right--of course," I say. "That's when I met you."

Excerpted from Consent by Ben Schrank. Copyright 2002 by Ben Schrank. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Anatomy of a Miracle
    by Jonathan Miles

    A stunning novel that offers an exploration of faith, science and the meaning of life.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.