J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, arrived in bookstores yesterday. According to advance reports, the new book contains lots of sex (in the form of "a miraculously unguarded vagina" and a used condom that is "like the gossamer cocoon of some huge grub"), domestic abuse and an endless stream of misery unrelieved by Cheering Charms or Patronuses (Patroni?). Instead, New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani wrote, "this novel for adults is filled with a variety of people like Harry's aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley."
Is this what Harry Potter would have been like without magic, dismal and Muggley with young Harry carted off to an asylum, his spirit broken after the years of abuse he had to endure at the hands of his relatives?
Which made us wonder: What if other beloved children's books had been written for an adult audience instead?
Are You There G-Spot? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
When it comes to sex, there are really only two fundamental questions: 1. Am I normal? 2. Am I doing it right? And these really come back to one central worry: Everyone is having more fun than I am.
Margaret Simon, as a 12-year-old, fretted over training bras, getting her period and her lack of religion. Thirty years later, still living in New Jersey but now given up on her spiritual seeking and stuck in an unsatisfying marriage, she joins a group of neighbors who dub themselves the "Pre-Menopausal Sensations" and spend their time drinking lots of wine, speculating over the sex lives of the leaders of the neighborhood association and making lists of local gardeners, handymen and plumbers they'd like to fuck.
Margaret's deepest secret, which she can barely admit to the other PMS's, is that she fears she has never experienced a real orgasm. And so she embarks on an independent research project to find sexual fulfillment and enlightenment.
(A sidenote: Judy Blume actually did sort of write this book, except it was called Wifey and the main character was named Sandy Pressman. It was funny and raunchy and awesome. And, unfortunately, it was forgotten, and so the world got stuck with Fifty Shades of Grey.)
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