A Smart, Dark Sexy Novel That’s Not For Everyone



Are you easily offended? Do you find descriptions of bodily fluids grotesque? Would it be wrong to include fondue in foreplay? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to consider if this book is right for you. If you’re still reading, I’m guessing you have a robust reading constitution, are intrigued by the fondue, or have read Jen Beagin’s previous two novels and know that her eccentric relatability and transgressive humour are entirely right for you.

One of the most unhinged and enjoyable (the two go hand in hand, no?) books I’ve read in a long time, Big Swiss introduces us to Greta, a 45-year-old who has moved to a decrepit farmhouse in upstate New York. There, in a small bohemian town, where inhabitants dress like ‘boutique farmers”, she is employed as the transcriber for a questionable sex therapist.

When Greta meets Flavia — a married 28-year-old gynaecologist — sparks fly. Of course, when I say ‘meet’, what I actually mean is that Greta diligently listens to the sessions between the aforementioned questionable therapist and Flavia, who is unable to orgasm. In this way, Greta really gets to know the tall repressed European woman who she affectionately refers to as ‘Big Swiss’.

For a book that is seemingly taking a poke at our therapy-obsessed culture and healing with a capital H, there is a surprising amount to be discovered in its pages about reclaiming joy and pleasure in the face of trauma.

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Read the full review of Big Swiss at PRIMER.


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A Smart, Dark Sexy Novel That’s Not For Everyone