REVIEW: Sixty Positions With Pleasure by Sahlan Diver
Do you like sex? The future? Political shenanigans? Murder? Mayhem? Then you will enjoy Sixty Positions With Pleasure, by Sahlan Diver.
It’s an entertaining book set in 2050, and takes place in the Irish town of Kilgarney (think Killarney). It’s also the site of political wrangling and posturing on an epic scale. And it’s where the main character, Charlie Gibbs, works.
Charlie is hired to fix the computer system at Cunningham’s, a local engineering company which has recently been sold to a Dutch conglomerate. Happenstance has it that Charlie speaks fluent Dutch. It’s his multilingual abilities that draws him into the intrigue surrounding the sudden death of his new boss, Lucas Meyers. Lucas’s replacement is Ilse Teuling, whose poor English means she needs Charlie as her Dutch translator. But that’s not all, she needs Charlie for. She’s compiling a book about the sixty best sexual positions for the mature woman, and she persuades Charlie to be her partner for her book — you know, for research purposes (wink, wink).
Meanwhile, the mystery surrounding Lucas’s death expands, and more people appear, disappear, reappear, and die — drawing Charlie deeper into the puzzle. But, if murder is not enough, Kilgarney is also undergoing a sea-change in their government including a referendum vote that may change their position within the EU. And pandemonium breaks out at the town’s religious shrine after a vision of The Virgin Mary appears. There is a lot going on in this book.
I enjoyed the title’s sixty positions storyline — the way that Ilse and Charlie approach the task of exploring and recording the positions — it’s almost military with its regimentation of positioning, timing, and frequency. Ilse is in charge, and Charlie accommodates her whims; he takes one for the team, happily.
The political subplot is also very interesting in that it is a combination of cautionary tale — think fascism and religious fundamentalism, but led by incompetents — and satire, reflecting the political climate in many areas of the world today. Also, watch for some fun plays on names. As well, look for Congo, and see if it reminds you of any other company.
Because the book is set in the future, I had hoped to see more futuristic nuggets. Sure there were robots, but I had hoped that tech would play a more important role in the day-to-day lives of the characters.
All-in-all a fun book. There are a lot of sub-plots and story arcs, with characters popping in and out of the narrative. So, if you like an entertaining book that keeps you busy trying to figure out what happened and why, Sixty Positions With Pleasure is a book you should enjoy.