The Abstinence Teacher

The Abstinence Teacher Perrotta is that rare combination a satirist with heart Those who haven t curled up on the couch with this writer s books are missing a very great pleasure Seattle TimesStonewood Heights is the perfec

  • Title: The Abstinence Teacher
  • Author: Tom Perrotta
  • ISBN: 9780312363543
  • Page: 282
  • Format: Paperback
  • Perrotta is that rare combination a satirist with heart.Those who haven t curled up on the couch with this writer s books are missing a very great pleasure Seattle TimesStonewood Heights is the perfect place to raise children it s got good schools, solid values and a healthy real estate market Parents in the town are involved in their children s lives, and often Perrotta is that rare combination a satirist with heart.Those who haven t curled up on the couch with this writer s books are missing a very great pleasure Seattle TimesStonewood Heights is the perfect place to raise children it s got good schools, solid values and a healthy real estate market Parents in the town are involved in their children s lives, and often in other children s lives, too coaching sports, driving carpool, focusing on enriching experiences Ruth Ramsey is the high school human sexuality teacher whose openness is not appreciated by all her students or their parents Her daughter s soccer coach is Tim Mason, a former stoner and rocker whose response to hitting rock bottom was to reach out and be saved Tim s introduction of Christianity on the playing field horrifies Ruth, while his evangelical church sees a useful target in the loose lipped sex ed teacher But when these two adversaries in a small town culture war actually talk to each other, a surprising friendship begins to develop Nobody renders the world of soccer moms and sprinklers and SUVs like Perrotta He s the Steinbeck of suburbia Time Tom Perrotta is a truth telling, unshowy chronicler of modern day America The New York Times Book Review in a front page review The Abstinence Teacher illuminates the powerful emotions that run beneath the placid surface of modern American family life, and explores the complicated spiritual and sexual lives of ordinary people It is elegantly and simply written, characterized by the distinctive mix of satire and compassion that has become Perrotta s trademark.

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    About “Tom Perrotta

    • Tom Perrotta

      Tom Perrotta is the bestselling author of nine works of fiction, including Election and Little Children, both of which were made into Oscar nominated films, and The Leftovers, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed, Peabody Award winning HBO series His other books include Bad Haircut, The Wishbones, Joe College, The Abstinence Teacher, Nine Inches, and his newest, Mrs Fletcher His work has been translated into a multitude of languages Perrotta grew up in New Jersey and lives outside of Boston.

    408 thoughts on “The Abstinence Teacher

    • JESUS WANTS YOU TO GROW A PAIR. Tommy, Tommy, Tommy! How did such a promising young literary stud like yourself turn out to be such an emasculated whore? When did things start to go so horribly, horribly wrong?Let me be clear. When I picked you up at the airport in San Francisco, it was with entirely clear-eyed, realistic expectations. Let's face it. I wasn't looking for the literary love of my life. Just a two-plane romance - enough to while away the time it takes to get from SFO to Madrid. Ma [...]


    • Tom Perrotta creates self-fulfilling demimondes in intricate detail. But it's all sound and fury. This one's about what occurs when the Religious Right clashes with more modern and shall we say promiscuous tastes. His best is the hilarious "Joe College." His worst: "The Leftovers." & this one fits somewhere snuggly in between.


    • My dad sent me this book, and also the DVD of "Little Children", which is based on his novel of the same name. Here's what I wrote him after reading it:I went to the theater but it was packed, so I opted out, went to a coffee shop and read Perrotta's book, which I finished this morning. Really bad. If you haven't read it yet, I wouldn't bother. There was something that bothered me about Little Children that I couldn't put my finger on until now. Perrotta is trying to be the moralist of suburbia, [...]


    • (My entire review of this book is much longer than GoodReads' word-count limitations. Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter].)As I've mentioned here a couple of times before, I've recently become a fairly big fan of movie-friendly author Tom Perrotta; for example, I found his breakthrough 2006 novel Little Children to be a surprisingly complex and subtle look at just what a horrific place the suburbs can be to some people, a stifling environment [...]


    • 2.5 StarsThe Abstinence Teacher is a pretty solid near-three-star read from Tom Perrotta, though I thought he really could've gone a lot farther with his observations on the rift between the religious right and the secular left. It does, though, serve as an ideal warm-up to his (in my opinion) much more fully realized The Leftovers. Though this 2007 release seems slightly dated, Perrotta's core societal perceptions are just as salient today as they were ten years ago. His protagonist Ruth Ramsey [...]


    • The abstinence movement and the Christian right are two of my favourite topics in relation to American politics, one of my strange hobbies. They both fascinate and horrify me in equal measure and I’m always on the lookout for books, fiction and non-fiction, related to them to fuel my interest. I’ve only read one Tom Perrotta novel before, “Little Children”, which I enjoyed immensely and found to be a well orchestrated satire on suburban life and its less than picture perfect truth, so I [...]


    • I really enjoy Tom Perrotta's writing style, and this book is no exception. His prose is smooth and easy, the kind of writing that pulls you into the story and makes you forget you're reading a book. I would compare reading Perrotta to watching an engaging movie. He's just an excellent storyteller.That said, I have some issues with his latest, The Abstinence Teacher. The book is about a woman named Ruth, a sex ed teacher in Suburbville, USA, who sparks a controversy by responding to a question b [...]


    • When it comes to my sex life, there’s a lot my parents don’t need to know. They don’t need to know that I was deathly afraid of sex until I was almost 18 – not because of those “abstinence only” education documentaries that made sex seem like a death warrant – but because it was me giving something of myself to someone, letting them have a power over me that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with. They don’t need to know who I lost my virginity to, or what my current boyfriend and [...]


    • Well.I'm rather Tom Perrotta-obsessed. I've been known to babble on about himover and over and over again.I was really excited for this book to come out. I loved the concept of Ruth, a Human Sexuality teacher, being called into question for something innocent, a casual remark, and how the hyper-Christian population attacked her like she had horns and had the middle name Lucifer. And the connection between Tim, her daughter's born-again soccer coach, and Ruth are great. The scene where Ruth reali [...]


    • This book was a recommendation for our book club and I have to say it is one of the only books for that group that I think is poorly written. What I was told I would be reading is a funny book about a clash between the health teacher at a school and the local fundamentalist Christian group. I was expecting a collision of ideas, morality, education, parents v. teachers, community standards. What I got was something else completely. It started off with the health teacher and it seemed to be progre [...]


    • This week I read the "New York Times Bestseller," The Abstinence Teacher, by Tom Perrotta. While not liking the book is one thing, hating it is another. I hated this book! I'm actually angry about it and it has been nearly a week since I pushed myself through it in two days. Two days is plenty of time since it would appear it took that long to write (although Perrotta claims two years). What surprises me is my anger. I think, through no fault of his own, it's because this IS a New York Times bes [...]


    • Perrotta's latest installment uses public school health teachers and suburban soccer moms and dads to examine the war between liberals and evangelicals. For over ten years Ruth Ramsay let her motto of "Pleasure is good, shame is bad, and knowledge is power" guide her teaching of human sexuality; in her classroom no subject was forbidden, but the envelope is eventually pushed too far when, in response to a student's vocal disgust over oral sex, she replies, "some people enjoy it." A student compl [...]


    • The Abstinence Teacher Gets an A in My Grade BookTom Perrotta and I have two things in common: New Jersey roots and novels about sex education; his latest work, The Abstinence Teacher is the only other novel, besides my own, The Sex Ed Chronicles, that I have read which covers a subject that is still considered taboo in some social circles.The Abstinence Teacher has two main characters: Ruth Ramsey, a divorcee’ and high school sex educator who makes one inappropriate comment too many, drawing [...]


    • Perrotta's characters are so interesting. I liked the story and this book was full of surprising little observations and witticisms. My favorite was probably, "She majored in psychology and minored in Doritos." There was also a funny exchange between one of the characters and his teenage daughter, who had chosen Donald Trump for a paper about a man she admired. When he asked why, she said, He's successful," and he answers that that didn't mean he wasn't a bad person. That's funny in today's cont [...]



    • I remembered Jessa from Bookslut going off about this book for a long time, so I was excited to read it, but , I can't lie to you: it reminds me of the capital letter Literary Fiction I used to write when I was nineteen, and I am NOT proud of that stuff. "I'm going to tell the story from The Enemy's point of view," I'd think, "to show that they are people too." But, I mean, duh. One, there is no enemy, and two, duh! Obviously evangelical Christians are real people. So I hated the Grateful Dead l [...]


    • I love Tom Perrotta, and this book was no exception. He writes in such a way that he makes it look easy, when it is anything but. And I love how much depth he finds in characters that other writers might see as simply stereotypes.


    • This book was very difficult for me to read. It was a very mature book and I'm glad that I finished it. It was hard for me to find the main parts of the story because there was three parts of the story. It is about these two people. One is named Ruth and the other one is named Tim. they are both adults and Ruth has been through a terrible divorce and her kids are breaking apart from her. Tim is a recovering drug and alcohol addict and he is recovering with God's help. He is a soccer coach and is [...]


    • I'm about halfway through this, and am not loving it. Maybe the ending will pull thigns together (and pull this off). Where I am now: characters are stock characters, so am assuming the point is not character or character development, but some larger point about our culture and its issues about the roles of sexuality and religion.A parent is shocked/distressed that their child's health ed (sex ed) teacher says that some people like oral sex (and, presumably, not so happy that the teachers flips [...]


    • After LITTLE CHILDREN, this book seems totally light-weight. Definitely not a bad book, but the characters were painted a little too broadly for my tastes (Ruth's gay best friends, for example, or the stereotypical "ms. perfect" abstinence pusher).Perrotta tries his best to present both sides of the religious debate as equally valid, but his heart really isn't in it (not that I blame him). While none of the religious characters come off as complete left-wing stereotypes, none of them come off lo [...]


    • The story unfoldsIt sounds like such a cliche but that truly is the best way to describe this absorbing read. Perrota does an excellent job of reeling the reader in, slowly disclosing background information and details about the main characters, all the while allowing the story to be told. Perrota never hints at his own personal position on the controversial issues raised by this novel (i.e. educating high school students about abstinence, public prayer, Christianity.) Both of the main character [...]


    • The only good thing this book had going for it was that it was well written enough that I finished it. But that's about it. Frustrating content and a story that waffled at best and was a yarn ball of loose ends and unfinished sentences and NO climax at worst. Coming to the end, I wish I hadn't bothered.Ugh, no the more I think about it the more annoyed I am at having this clunky, unsatisfying story in my brain.


    • ZERO stars, abandoned halfway. As a sex-positive feminist and musician in a Christian rock band, I thought the abstinence argument would be an interesting minor conflict in the middle of a fun, silly rom-com. Instead, this book was disgustingly problematic: filled with fat shaming, Islamophobia, women as objects, and sexualization of prepubescent girls by adult men. 200 pages in, my flight finally landed, and this book was no longer my only alternative to mile-high boredom. Book, meet dumpster.



    • Ruth Ramsey is the Sex Ed teacher at a local high school. She firmly believes that providing kids with a strong knowledge of safe sex practices will result in them coming to mature decisions. Knowledge is power, after all. When the local evangelical church The Tabernacle begins to intervene in the school curriculum, Ruth decides to take a stand. The church is pushing abstinence only education that has been proven not to work. Ruth finds herself facing the decision to follow her values or tow the [...]


    • A friend suggested I read this book and tell her what I thought, because "it's different" and it was. It warrants discussion, because I don't think I can fully appreciate all of it on my own (yet I didn't like it enough to want to reread it). 3 stars because I'm torn between liking it and not liking it.I thought the book would be more focussed on the abstinence teacher's struggles with her sex ed curriculum, but that wasn't really the focus of the book at all. It starts the book off, and produce [...]


    • I only finished this book because I had already listened to 4.5 of the 9 discs when its potential finally crashed and burned. This novel should be called The Convert or The Convert Awaiting His Chance to Backslide rather than The Abstinence Teacher since the title The Abstinence Teacher misleadingly suggests that the implementation of an "abstinence only" sex education program, its effect on the students, and the battle about the programs in community would be the subject. In interviews the auth [...]


    • Sorry this post took so long! I was driving cross country with the hubs!!I finished The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta a couple of weeks ago, so this review is far from fresh. The basic premise involves a high school sex ed teacher, Ruth, who innocently explains to a student that oral sex can be pleasurable and safe. The Christian conservatives in the town set out on a witch hunt to silence Ruth and implement abstinence only education in the school system. A few weeks later Ruth meets Tim, o [...]


    • This book was well-reviewed by the NY TIMES. Well-reviewed enough that I was convinced that I wanted to read the book, even after finding the film version of LITTLE CHILDREN to be rather uninteresting. I am well aware that films of novels leave a lot to be desired, but the story in LITTLE CHILDREN didn't even make me curious enough about the book to want to read it. I figured that "better than the movie" would still be kinda bad.But, I said, "Yes," to THE ABSTINENCE TEACHER. Perhaps I should not [...]


    • The obvious confrontation in this story is between the Christian's perception of the "godlessness" and the non-Christians who perceive the Christians as zealots who push their beliefs down other's throats. However, religion aside, the bigger point seems to be an overall lack of tolerance for diversity. Aren't we all tempted to justify our own convictions and values? And in doing so, aren't we somewhat blinded to the fact that our adversaries are just doing the same?Each main character can be acc [...]


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