by Kathryn Harrison

Hes about to lose his grip when he attends a college reunion and there discovers evidence of a past sexual betrayal, one serious enough that it threatens to overpower the present, even as it offers a key to Wills dangerous obsessions.Hypnotic, beautifully written, this mesmerizing novel by an extremely gifted writer (San Francisco Chronicle) explores the corrosive effect of eviland how painful psychological truths long buried within a family can corrupt the present and, through courage and understanding, lead to healing and renewal.

has written one of those rare books, in language of unparalleled beauty, that affirm the holiness of life, said Shirley Ann Grau, about Poison.

And the same can be said about Envy.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.08
  • Pages: 314
  • Publish Date: July 11th 2006 by Random House Trade Paperbacks
  • Isbn10: 0812973763
  • Isbn13: 9780812973761

What People Think about "Envy"

I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.) This is an author I first discovered believe it or not through a random airport buy a number of years ago, when I picked up her racily-covered 2006 Exposure during a boring layover and ended up really enjoying it, albeit in a "high-class Judith Krantz" kind of way.

Envy is an enigmatic and powerful story brilliantly told by the talented Kathryn Harrison. Kathryn Harrison blew me away with her memoir The Kiss, so I knew that Envy wasn't going to disappoint. The characters in this novel aren't plain evil or good, just like in real life. Instead, they are complex characters that are illuminated by Harrison's beautiful writing.

Will has a nearly identical twin brother, nearly identical because Mitch has a birthmark covering 60 percent of his face. The twins haven't spoken to one another in 15 years and Will isn't sure why that is. Envy is the fourth book Ive read by Kathryn Harrison.

Envy is exactly the sort of novel I enjoy--things happen but you are also treated to a fully-realized and intimate view of the main character's thought process and feelings.

Harrison's writing is "hot hot hot," says the San Francisco Chronicle, but some critics wondered what it all added up to__lessons in how to find truth and reality, or mere shock value?

this is ultimately a book about (view spoiler)a psychopathic rapist twin brother, (hide spoiler)

I really liked this book especially if you considered that Mitch is the id to Will's superego. Will, a psychoanalyst, attends his 25th college reunion where he gets asked a lot about his famous twin brother who is a swimming athlete (a la Phelps) and meets up with an old college flame, Elizabeth who maybe had their child named Jennifer. Will thinks about the wonder of being a father that he is sure is not shared by his wife, Carole since she is not given into introspection the same way that Will is. Women like to read fantasy about being man-handled while Carole loves f*cking her husband. Will in turn confesses to his father that he gets a sexual charge whenever he has a session with a female patient. He describes a growing distance b/w his wife and him after Luke died especially sexually as the only position they did it in was doggystyle while Carole refused Will in getting her off. Although he believes that his violent daydreams is a response to Carole's distancing the emotional aspects of sex for him, he fears he might suddenly act out his constant obsessive violent sexual thoughts. She tells him that unlike men her age, the older men she is with take their time and are grateful for scoring with her which she likes b/c it makes her feel appreciated. While Will feels guilty about his role in being forced to have sex b/c he is unconsciously turned on, she is in total control of the action as she knows what she wants and how to achieve orgasm for herself. Meanwhile, Will feels uncontrollable anger at Mitch for betraying him by f*cking his college girlfriend while they were in college and likewise his own betrayal of his wife by f*cking his maybe daughter. Will feels extremely guilty for being an adulterer with possibly his daughter that for the first time in his life he cannot get it up for his wife, Carole. He tells Elizabeth about Jennifer's collecting older men and for her it is less about seducing them than a transaction with sex as the main objective. Will now thinks that since Mitch slept with Elizabeth, he might have slept with more of Will's previous girlfriends. He feels his life is spiraling out of control now that there is a possibility that Mitch slept with his other girlfriends and that Jennifer possibly saved his semen to discredit him. That girls can be turned on by the aggressive sex that they have with the disfigured Mitch and can make love and talk with the hyperanalytical Will. Will decides to tell his father about Mitch's cuckolding behavior towards Will. His father told Will that Mitch slept with his fiancée, Carole before Will's wedding day. Carole feels responsible for Lukes death b/c of her f*cking Mitch, the cosmic gods are somehow punishing her.