‘Nerve’ Compilation Sexes Up Your Coffee Table

imageCoffee table books are a not-so-subtle way of informing your friends, “Hey you, look, I’m sophisticated, edgy, artsy and not afraid of sex!” And in its collection of raunchy photography, interviews, and prose by some of the classiest members of the contemporary literati, Nerve: The First Ten Years is not only a perfect social accessory, it’s even worth a few prolific page-flips. Sure, while it purports to explore the wide range of absurd sexuality, most of the photography of its nearly 200 pages represent pretty people positioned in said absurd scenarios.

However, the narrowness of visual scope is offset by the breadth of writers, like Aimee Bender, Mary Gaitskill, and Chuck Palahniuk. The experience, though remarkable in its own right, sometimes makes you feel like you’re standing on the sidelines of a Bedford Avenue beauty pageant with the queen condescendingly waving down at you. But in this case, between lungs blackened by chain-smoking there beats the heart of an earnestly curious intellectual. The book also comes dolled up in a translucent pink vinyl slipcase, making it the perfect holiday gift for Mom.

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