The Deviant Memoirs by Ruthie Toombs (GR Cleanup)

The Deviant Memoirs - Ruthie Toombs

GR Cleanup Read in 2011


Deviant Memoirs is a fast-paced story about four people who, by fate, nature and/or circumstance, are all inter-connected by their deviant tendencies.

Sevin starts off the book telling his story of woe and describing the soul sucking boredom that is corporate purgatory. He sleepwalks through his days, counting beans for arrogant jerks while attempting to keep his darkest desires to himself. In the past, he’s had a few sexual mishaps and knows his needs may scare off a normal woman. So, he sticks with his hand and the occasional tryst with a blow up doll. But his desire to live out his fantasies of being bossed around by a woman who has no regard for his feelings can’t be kept at bay when he stumbles across an advertisement for Mistress Elizabeth.

As Sevin is awaiting his appointment, I’m left holding my breath waiting to see what happens next as he recounts the story of his first love Sarah. Before I knew it, I was completely engaged in Sevin’s memories which are laced with dark humor, sarcasm and a lifetimes worth of bad luck.

Here he is describing himself, “It’s not like I am some unattractive douche with hair plugs and a messed up grille or anything. I am considered by most attractive and fit. . . Oh, and every guy has fucked a blow up doll, just so you know.”

Ok, so maybe he is a bit douchy and a little dense but it was so much fun to read about his mishaps and desires and the world from his off-kilter point of view. After Sevin finds his bliss with Mistress Elizabeth (Lizzy) the book then switches gears and changes over to Lizzy’s point of view and I was kept guessing about a whole hell of a lot of things. I feared I was going to be kept hanging and have to admit I was thrown a bit by the change in narration but Lizzy’s story was just as fascinating as Sevin’s. Her character, a stripper with an abusive background and an entrepreneurial spirit, is very down to earth and sympathetic. She’s longing for love and stability and believes she’s found it in her lover Cole. But beneath Cole's beautiful facade lies a narcissistic villain.

As the rest of the story unfolds, we learn exactly how these four flawed people become tied together and it’s bleak and horrible and thoroughly captivating reading.

I’m easily bored and most books do bore me at one point or another (sometimes all the way through) but this is one that kept my attention until the very end. The construction of the story was different from the same old, same old and the author did a good job at keeping her characters real while exposing all of their ugly little bits to the light of day. However, like its characters, it has some flaws and relies too much on coincidence and falls back on a few clichés (the rich madam taking in the young homeless girl made me groan and not in a good way). It makes up for it though with its broken characters, well written intense (often dangerous) sex, endless secrets and the unexpected wit, humor and wisdom that is strewn about by its various narrators.