Down and Dirty – “Under the Roofs of Paris” by Henry Miller
When I mentioned my “trashy romance novel” project to my friends, all sorts of books were suggested to me. From Danielle Steele to vintage erotica, books were flying at me as fast as I could write them down. This is why I dig my circle of friends. Among these lovely people, one who’s literary opinion I trust the most – Betsy over at rhinestoneworld – suggested I pick up Henry Miller’s “Under the Roofs of Paris” because, in her words, “It Dirty.”
Dang. The girl wasn’t lying.
Henry Miller is a respected and treasured novelist. Readers love him, and exclaim over he power of his prose. However, it seems that he was “commissioned to write an erotic novel for a dollar a page,” per the back cover of my copy of “Under the Roofs of Paris.” Perhaps this arrangement explains why this acclaimed novelists felt so free to write some of the crazy-dirtiest things I’ve ever read in a book.
Having read the collected works of the Marquis De Sade, I’d say this book rivals the worst the Marquis could spin. Nothing’s off-limits and no one is innocent. While I’m trying to be PG-rated and not enter any terms that might attract naughty google searchers to my blog, any sexual act you can think of is probably included on these pages. Not a page goes by without either the infamous f-word or c-word getting tossed around, and young and old alike get caught up in the action.
It’s porn on paper. It’s profane, it’s obscene, it’s a banned book – and it’s bold and rather awesome.
By “awesome” I’m not saying the nonexistent plot and unimportant characters have anything to do with it. They don’t. It’s like they’re not even there. Having finished it, I’m not honestly sure if I could tell you anything about the characters other than their names. However, as I’m one who believes in freedom of speech/writing, the fact that I walked into Borders and picked up this 1941 piece of pure scandal right off the shelf is something worth applauding.
Wanna check it our for yourself? Read it here.
(Also, because I care about stuff like this – “Under the Roofs of Paris” was originally published as “Opus Pistorum.” The book was renamed in 1985 due to lacking sales. In case you’re not fluent in Latin, “Opus Pistorum” means “Miller’s Work.)
SuchaBookNerd Smut Index: 10+. So what if there’s no plot. The smut is off the chain.