Peep Show

All posts tagged Peep Show

Short Stories Challenge – Peep Show by Nathan Englander from the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

Published September 3, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s Peep Show all about?:

Peep Show tells the story of a man who has turned his back on his religion and is wrestling with sexual longing as he visits a peep show.

What did I think?:

I found Peep Show, the fourth story in this collection to be a strange little tale, of which I am still trying to collect my thoughts about. It follows a man now known as Allen Fein who changed his name from Ari Feinberg while he turned his back on his Jewish faith. He is married to Claire who is now pregnant with their child but on Allen’s homeward commute one day he decides to visit a peep show. The usual rules apply for the customer’s pleasure – they buy tokens which they can use to open a partition allowing them to view scantily dressed girls. There is a time limit on the token however and when this runs out the partition closes and the customer must insert another token to be able to view the girls again. Allen becomes slightly enamoured with the first girl he sees sitting before him and is permitted to touch her for a brief period of time before his token runs out. After the first token period has expired Allen realises he is more aroused than he has ever been in his life and feels a huge amount of guilt and shame as he remembers his pregnant wife Claire who is at home waiting for him to return to work.

Unable to help himself, Allen inserts the second token to re-open the partition but instead of the beautiful girl he was fondling, on the chairs sit a host of naked rabbi’s, all whom Allen has known through his life who berate him for turning his back on his religion. Allen tries to defend himself but is quite weak against their arguments until the partition closes again. Hardly able to bear it, Allen inserts his third token, trying to clear his mind of the naked rabbi’s and picture the girl again but instead two people who he would never expect to see at the show appear half-dressed in front of him, which we as the reader know is a figment of imagination from his guilty mind.

This is probably one of the most peculiar stories I have read during my Short Story Challenge but at the same time I was strangely fascinated by it. The writing is excellent, as always from Nathan Englander and I appreciated the humour aspect running through the story as I pictured poor Allen staring at his naked rabbi’s. As always, the Jewish faith and a sense of conflict for the character is a hot theme of which I was particularly intrigued by in this story. It’s probably not the best I’ve read from this author, but reading it was definitely an interesting experience!

Would I recommend it?:


Star rating (out of 5):

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NEXT SHORT STORY: Lights In Other Peoples Houses by Lucy Wood from the collection Diving Belles

Challenge: Short Stories July to September

Published July 7, 2014 by bibliobeth

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I’ve really been enjoying my Short Stories Challenge so far, if you want to see what I’ve been reading so far, search for Short Stories Challenge on my main page and you should get a few (ahem!) entries. And here’s my batch of short stories for the next three months!

 Week beginning 7th July

The Colour Out Of Space by H.P. Lovecraft from the collection The Definitive H.P. Lovecraft

Week beginning 14th July

The Blood Pearl by Barry Maitland from the collection The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 7

Week beginning 21st July

The Isabel Fish by Julie Orringer from the collection How To Breathe Underwater

Week beginning 28th July

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde from the collection Stories To Get You Through The Night

Week beginning 4th August

Cain Rose Up by Stephen King from the collection Skeleton Crew

Week beginning 11th August

Peep Show by Nathan Englander from the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

Week beginning 18th August

Lights In Other Peoples Houses by Lucy Wood from the collection Diving Belles

Week beginning 25th August

Child of Light by Randy Taguchi from the collection Fujisan

Week beginning 1st September

Proving Up by Karen Russell from the collection Vampires In The Lemon Grove

Week beginning 8th September

The Boscombe Valley Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle from the collection The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Week beginning 15th September

The Agency by Sarah Hall from the collection The Beautiful Indifference

Week beginning 22nd September

I Am An Executioner by Rajesh Parameswaran from the collection I Am An Executioner

Week beginning 29th September

A Day In The Life Of Half Of Rumpelstiltskin by Kevin Brockmeier from the collection Things That Fall From The Sky