The Inner Circle

  • by T. Coraghessan Boyle
  • Narrated by Michael Kramer
  • 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Right on the heels of his New York Times best-selling and National Book Award-nominated novel, Drop City, T.C. Boyle has crafted an even more captivating tale with memorable characters and a rollicking plot that will delight both his longtime devotees and a legion of new fans. The Inner Circle is a love story narrated by John Milk, a virginal young man, who in 1940 accepts a job as an assistant to Dr. Alfred Kinsey, a charming professor of zoology at Indiana University who has just discovered his life's true calling: sex. As a member of Kinsey's "inner circle" of researchers, Milk (and his beautiful new wife) is called on to participate in sexual experiments that become increasingly uninhibited, and problematic for his marriage. For in his later years, Kinsey (a sexual enthusiast of the first order) pushed the boundaries both personally and professionally.

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What the Critics Say

"One of the funniest...most subtle novels we've had about the hippie era's slow fade to black." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A vastly entertaining tale." (Los Angeles Book Review)
"Provocative....[Boyle] maintains his mix of irony and emotional fidelity with buoyant wit. In the end, the novel can be read as a case study of the price paid by ordinary human beings when they become the apostles to men of genius." (Publishers Weekly)
"An intrepid and astute interpretation of the revolutionary work and fanatic personality of sex researcher Dr. Alfred Kinsey....Mesmerizing and chilling....Strong medicine from a phenomenally artistic, morally inquisitive, and unfailingly compassionate writer." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Boyle interrogates the interrogator

The detractors on this site miss the point entirely - both those who claim that 'nothing happens' as well as those for whom FAR TOO MUCH is going on. This book is not flat, or boring, but understated in a way that Boyle has not been before - all the better to take on these 'objective' scientists, using their own methods (the narrator is john Milk, an unrepentent acolyte of 'Prok' Kinsey's, and one has to be patient and attentive to allow the ironies emrge from Milk's all-too-human 'testimony') to eviscerate their pretensions.

As for those who complain of there being too much sex? Well, given the historical/biographical evidence, I'd say Boyle has actually restrained himself here - he could have gone into far more explicit detail. Instead, he included just enough of the lurid factual material to allow the Kinsey project to self-deconstruct. Context, people, context!!

Boyle successfully has the specimen-collector wriggling under his own pin. He demonstrates how pathology is inherent to taxonomy. He interrogates the arch-interrogator...QED
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- Bill Jr.

Not sex-shy or just freakish?

Granted, this book held my attention for its many hours, although sometimes the dishes I was washing were more interesting. It has some very slow parts, and is a bit predictable, but the subject matter is definitely interesting. This book made me think about the separation of sex and science, and it gave a whole new meaning to "taking one's work home". Yes, some parts were disturbing, especially the musicale scene in the final 90 minutes (which gave me real heebie-jeebies), but I never thought it was gratuitous. Instead, the book has left me wondering what the real Kinsey was like...
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- Laurie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-10-2004
  • Publisher: Books on Tape