he & She

Adult
Rated 3.50/5 based on 4 reviews
5-star Silver Medal winner in the 2014 Readers' Favorite Annual International Award Contest. A Web photo of a dominatrix sends a man mired in midlife crisis on a last-ditch attempt to feel truly alive one more time, even if it kills him. More

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About Wayne Clark

Wayne Clark is a Montreal writer and author of the historical novel That Woman: Beating the odds in colonial New York (2017) and the international award-winning literary fiction novel he & She (2013). In addition to writing fiction he has worked as a journalist, copywriter and translator. 

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Reviews

Review by: Angie Lenkevich on Dec. 12, 2015 :
I thought that I would like this book based on the blurb. Well it turns out that my expectations fell flat on their ass. I don't know if it's me or what but the writing style and story went from having to dimension to being lifeless and boring. I'm seriously wondering how I made myself finish this book other than the fact that I've got need to finish the book syndrome instead of DNF the book. I wish the author luck with his writing in the future.
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)
Review by: Clover Mancusi on Feb. 27, 2014 :
When introduced to our hero, he’s been so damaged by a stroke that he feels nothing but irritation and does nothing but masturbate. So, you know right from the start that the story will end badly, but still, you’ll be surprised at just how depressing things get. And I don’t think that the book is being presented for consumption properly. Anybody reading the summary would think that He & She is going to be uncomplicated smut – which is supposed to be fun. Fun, this ain’t.
Kit, or K., has no living family. He has a job as a translator, but he works from home and thus is not obliged to interact with other humans on a daily basis. He’s in a stagnant relationship with a woman who has never loved him. He’s an alcoholic, and he feels bored and old and numb.
A one night stand with an aggressive woman makes him confront his desire to be dominated. He’s convinced that exploring this desire will transform his humdrum life. He seeks out a dominatrix, and finds The Egyptian Princess.
The reader never really gets to know what makes her tick. She is, by turns, cruel & sadistic and warm & affectionate. She seems to have a genuine fondness for K., but she rebuffs him whenever he tries to get to personal. They begin a relationship separate from paid “sessions” and they hang out as friends. But then she cuts off all contact with him after she loses control and is intimate with him.
The story is a field day for an amateur psychologist. You wonder what happened to The Egyptian Princess to make her so afraid of (or is it revolted by?) physical affection. You wonder why K., an otherwise normal guy, craves violence. Or at least, I wondered. Maybe I’m not the correct audience for this novel. I didn’t understand K. Yet, I sympathized with him.
The writing is way better than you’ve got a right to expect from a self-published novel. K. is compelling, complex and his downfall is heart-wrenching. So, I’d recommend this if you’re looking for an emotionally draining novel, not so much if you’re just looking for something to wank to.
(reviewed 32 days after purchase)
Review by: stacey s on Jan. 28, 2014 :
This book is about a middle aged man in a midlife sexual crisis. He discovers BDSM but loses himself along the way. He dies a lonely broken man. Although this book was not my cup of tea, it is well written. Dark at times, it gives some insight into the mind of men.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
Review by: Red City Review on Dec. 29, 2013 :
This novel, written by Wayne Clark, is about a man on the edge. His advancing age, his insecurities about himself ,and his sexual desires all compound together to cause him to act on an urge that he previously wouldn’t have imagined himself capable of going through with. Past the age of fifty, the main character is a translator who no longer takes joy in adapting written works into different languages, just as he no longer finds any happiness in his hobby as an amateur musician. As his world around him darkens, he explores remote websites on the Internet, eventually finding an image of a startlingly beautiful woman who may be the solution to his woes, even if that means she will have to dominate him in order to give his life a new meaning. Coming to terms with this new world of sex and desire, he has to contemplate if he has wanted to be in this kind of situation all along, as the dominatrix begins taking control of him, as ‘He & She’ embark on a dangerous ride.

This novel succeeds in getting the reader to sympathize with the main character, even though his name is barely ever mentioned on the page. Clark uses the narrative to explore how diverse and intricate sexuality can be. The BDSM scenes are raw and realistic without being too much for newcomers who haven’t read erotic books like this before. The story builds upon itself aggressively, never veering away from the gritty conclusion that barrels ahead as the final pages come to an end. All in all, this is a delectable novel about a man exploring his unknown sexual fantasies at the price of possibly losing his true self along the way.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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