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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Innocents by Cathy Coote. Innocents by Cathy Coote. Written when Cathy Coote was nineteen, Innocents is a taut, wickedly clever descent into the anatomy of an obsession, the debut of a precociously assured and provocative young literary voice.
Forcing someone vulnerable and naive into a sexual relationship to satisfy a twisted desire is perverted, even evil. But when the perpetrator is a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl, is she Written when Cathy Coote was nineteen, Innocents is a taut, wickedly clever descent into the anatomy of an obsession, the debut of a precociously assured and provocative young literary voice.
But when the perpetrator is a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl, is she culpable? And if the victim is her thirty-four-year-old teacher, shouldn't he have known better? When the nameless young narrator of Innocents decides to seduce her teacher, she immediately realizes that the power of her sexuality is greater than she ever imagined. She leaves the aunt and uncle who are her guardians and moves in with her teacher; together, they quickly embark on a journey into their darkest desires.
Unforgettable, disturbing, and morally complex, Innocents permanently unsettles our notions of innocence, experience, and power, and suggests that we all are culpable.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published August 14th by Grove Press first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 8. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Innocents , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Innocents. Dec 24, Praiz Sophyronja rated it it was amazing Shelves: memorable , psychoanalysis , cool-plot-twist , funny-snarky-sassy , fucked-up , annoying-hero-heroine. Unless you want to feel more sane by comparing yourself to this protagonist, but seriously, this is one of those highly tabooed, epitome-of-fucked-up kinda books Innocents, what misleadingly simple title I seriously can't remember when is the last time I've thought What-the-fuck in one book.
Obviously, I braced myself for some pretty dark taboos because of the description and the quick skims of reviews but damn if Coote didn't take dark to a whole new level! Okay, first of all, I'm still astounded by the fact that I grew to know the protagonist so intimately, learned how she thinks, learned that she's a raging freaking psychopath who has to fake all her emotions and gets off on manipulating and seducing her unfortunate teacher-lover who ends up being almost as fucked up as she is.
I've never read a book from a psychopath's perspective before. That was kinda interesting I suppose, but then I started getting really freaked out when I could sympathise with her. And, you can't even distinguish who the victim is here. The ending was kind of expected though, I don't know if it was just me but I'm glad it didn't end up being all redemption and let's-forgive-and-fuck kinda stories. There are some relationships that just shouldn't work.
I'm really glad I picked it up though, I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed it considering it's context and everything, but hey, I can appreciate good writing View all 4 comments. Oct 23, Scarlet rated it really liked it Shelves: realistic-fiction , dark , mental-illness , wtf-is-this , teen , taboo , aussie , disturbing , rape , new-adult. I know you think your to blame for what happened. This Lolita , seed of evil, who's also the protagonist isn't even likable. She lives with her aunt and uncle who "don't understand her", and spends time drawing pornographic and sadistic sketches where she is the one in Review from Way Too Hot Books "My darling, all of this is my fault.
She lives with her aunt and uncle who "don't understand her", and spends time drawing pornographic and sadistic sketches where she is the one in control and inflicting pain and humiliation on her female school friends.
This book is written in the form of a letter that this girl is writing to her ex-lover, teacher, to explain her side of things My instincts were vicious, predatory, from the start. My very reflexes were sadistic. The ascent of my reason from the animal ways of infanthood served only to give a form to my state, as a painter gives shape to a colour. It seemed I learned to think in order to fantasise.
He puts her on her a pedestal and becomes obsessed with her, but from afar. She initiates everything, she manipulates him and seduces and controls. She is really topping him from below. I knew that I am a kind of Holy Innocent, after all.
Blundering around inside my own instincts, handicapped. Whole the time I was wondering where were aunt and uncle all this time and why they never done anything to stop her from running away from home.
I thought that this was some plot hole. But, later I found out that in Australia, where this story takes place, the age of consent is Sexual scenes are too graphic and obscene. They were detailed, but I didn't think they were horrific.
I can't recommend this as a general read, but for those interested in the subject matter of Lolita Complex or student-teacher relationship. Jul 30, Rachel rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-from-libary-book , ljtransfer. While perusing one of the book communities I was apart of, I came across this book. The promise of intensive sex scenes certainly sparked my interest, but the initial premise of the characters also caught my eye. This book focuses on an age-gap relationship, and coming from such a thing, I was inspired to take on literature regarding this subject matter.
The plot is simple: A year old girl falls for her year old teacher, a la Lolita. But the complexities within the story really help to shap While perusing one of the book communities I was apart of, I came across this book. But the complexities within the story really help to shape it.
Once the book gets into their relationship, it starts to taper off into less fathomable circumstances. But, isn't fiction supposed to be slightly unrealistic? Coote was only 19 when she wrote this book, but her use of the metaphorical language is amazing.
What really grabbed me about this book was how easily it was to identify with the nameless narrator. Not just because she was dating an older man much like I had , but the way she spoke of her relationship as more a game than an actual event struck an all-too-familiar chord. The book plays out as a confessional letter to her ex-lover, explaining bit by bit the details of their relationship. It reminds me of an unsent letter I wrote to an old flame years ago, chronicling our relationship and the unspoken words surrounding it.
On Amazon since it's my prime source for any book review , this book received mixed reviews. It was criticized, though, for the sexual scenes being too "graphic" and "obscene". It's certainly no Harlequin Romance cheese, but it doesn't use unfruitful language like some four-letter c words I know every five seconds, either.
Or maybe my generation is just numb to those sorts of perverse things. I think the sex scenes really make the meat of the book, since the most character development happens within them. This book was an enjoyable read mainly because it encouraged me to write a letter of my own. As I began writing the letter, I noticed my style mimicked hers: my paragraphs were short and splotchy, the original topic was dodged with a few irrelevant ones, and my writing took on a second-person narrative.
I've always believed the best books are those that inspire you. I also must commend this book for actually having an ending. Far too often I read books that merely end without much of a conclusion. This story is not for everyone, and I believe many people will have difficulty identifying with the characters, given their eccentricities. I enjoyed it immensely though, and could easily read it again.
View all 8 comments. This book is, ultimately, an impressive accomplishment -- a serious look at a taboo relationship from the standpoint of examining it on its own terms; with the understanding of how desire and power can work from both ends of the innocence and experience spectrum.
Was Lolita utterly cunning and Humbert Humbert the innocent seduced? In Australian writer Coote's provocative variation on a theme tackled many times before, the answer is a disturbing and nearly unequivocal yes. Coote's debut written when she was 19 details a twisted love affair between a teenage student and teacher from the nymphet's point of view. The story is written as a letter from the nameless, orphaned year-old Catholic schoolgirl to her year-old lover reviewing their affair and its consequences. The narrator, raised competently, albeit coldly, by her aunt and uncle, maintains a wholesome facade, behind which lies a devious imagination and utterly jaded view of human relations. With newly awakened sexual powers, she casts a spell over her defenseless unnamed teacher.
Innocents by Cathy Coote
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