Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Reviews of Consent by Ben Schrank

Consent

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

    Paperback:
    Mar 2003, 272 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Paints a poignant, surprising, and ultimately profound portrait of a young man facing the universal challenge of balancing passion with wisdom.

Mike Zabusky first sees Katherine Staresina at a party given by Mike's doctoral-thesis adviser, Matthew Weingarden. They are instantly drawn to each other--so instantly that they have a sexual collision against a bathroom wall less than two hours after they meet.

Mike immediately feels surer of his love for Katherine than of anything else in his life--his moribund thesis about the Golem (an artificial creature in Jewish folklore); Weingarden, who appears to simultaneously support and undermine Mike's studies; and his lonely, angry stock-trading father, soon to commit suicide and thus further entangle the emotional knot, first tied in childhood, that Mike must try to untie.

While Katherine begins a mystifying game of intimacy and rejection, Mike learns more about her troubled past and seems to lose ground with every effort to win her heart. Finally he comes face-to-face with his own Golem-like existence. Who is controlling him? What can he do to escape--and determine--his own fate? What is the truth behind his father's death?

Consent paints a poignant, surprising, and ultimately profound portrait of a young man facing the universal challenge of balancing passion with wisdom.

Chapter 1

In the room I keep at the Gouverneur Hotel, at the bottom of the Lower East Side, in Straus Square, I've got dozens of handkerchiefs. The cotton ones have raised needlework, often in more than one color. Some have leaves in the corners, diamonds, or Hebrew words. One has elaborate curls, which I'm quite sure are sewn with golden thread. The silk ones are more elaborate, with patterns of orange flame, waves, quarter moons, or women's faces. I dry my tears with these handkerchiefs. I masturbate into them. I wipe the sweat from my forehead. And when my eyes grow red from heat or smoke, I press them lightly with a handkerchief to cool them.

I launder each handkerchief by hand. I won't let them fall further apart. I got them from my father years ago, when I was home for a holiday break from the University of Chicago and he happened to be moving out of the apartment he shared with my mother on the corner of Rutherford Place and Seventeenth Street, where I...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Intelligently done a nice kaleidoscope of emotion, history, and regret.

Publishers Weekly
A spicy, turbulent Manhattan love story, Schrank's second novel (after Miracle Man) incorporates sexual passion, familial strife, crucial secrets and several kinds of obsession.... Though the narrative is sometimes an odd hybrid of fiction and folklore, any hint of incongruity is tempered by skillful plotting and equal amounts of tension, romance and fascinating, well-researched Jewish mysticism.

Library Journal - Nancy Pearl
The major flaw in this second novel is that Schrank never succeeds in bringing [the] various plot strands together....for comprehensive public library fiction collections only.

Author Blurb Jonathan Ames, author of I Pass Like Night and The Extra Man
Consent is a fierce examination of a young man's heart--how it loves, how it grieves, how it tries to figure everything out. And it's this last element--this desire to unravel, to understand--that makes this book almost like a mystery, an emotional whodunit, which is served well by Ben Schrank's clean, hard-boiled prose.

Author Blurb Leonard Michaels, author of A Girl with a Monkey
Ben Schrank's novel Consent makes you wonder how a man can write so well about a woman. The story, which deals with lovers and memory and money, also touches on the relation of myth and plain reality. It is a very serious story, and, in places, it is hilarious. As for the woman at the center, she is unforgettable.

Author Blurb Sam Lipsyte, author of The Subject Steve and Venus Drive
Consent is a novel of sly, taut power, full of the hauntings of love and sex and family and folklore. Ben Schrank's prose never flinches, and he's not afraid to let his heart break.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Consent, try these:

  • Envy jacket

    Envy

    by Kathryn Harrison

    Published 2006

    About this book

    More by this author

    Hypnotic, beautifully written, this mesmerizing novel explores the corrosive effect of evil – and how painful psychological truths long buried within a family can corrupt the present and, through courage and understanding, lead to healing and renewal.

  • Banishing Verona jacket

    Banishing Verona

    by Margot Livesey

    Published 2005

    About this book

    More by this author

    A couple begins an intense affair, only to be separated abruptly -- and perhaps irrevocably -- in this surprising, suspenseful love story.

Read-Alikes are one of the many benefits of membership. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
More books by Ben Schrank
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Light Eaters
    The Light Eaters
    by Zoë Schlanger
    The human race is completely dependent on plants. Many people, however, give little thought to ...
  • Book Jacket: Joy Is the Justice We Give Ourselves
    Joy Is the Justice We Give Ourselves
    by J Drew Lanham
    As a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Grant, and a Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master ...
  • Book Jacket: Glorious Exploits
    Glorious Exploits
    by Ferdia Lennon
    Lampo and Gelon are two unemployed potters in their thirties whose lives are spent between their ...
  • Book Jacket: Song of the Six Realms
    Song of the Six Realms
    by Judy I. Lin
    Xue'er has no place in the kingdom of Qi or any of the Six Realms. Her name means "Solitary Snow" ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Only the Beautiful
by Susan Meissner
A heartrending story about a young mother’s fight to keep her daughter, and the terrible injustice that tears them apart.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Stolen Child
    by Ann Hood

    An unlikely duo ventures through France and Italy to solve the mystery of a child’s fate.

  • Book Jacket

    Daughters of Shandong
    by Eve J. Chung

    Eve J. Chung's debut novel recounts a family's flight to Taiwan during China's Communist revolution.

Win This Book
Win Only the Brave

Only the Brave by Danielle Steel

A powerful, sweeping historical novel about a courageous woman in World War II Germany.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

F T a T

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.