April 28, 2011
Girls do not like to hear the word “micropenis”. Guys are not in love with it either, but I’m sure guys get a laugh out of it unless they’re talking about their own micropenis. But girls do not like the word micropenis. Is it the word “penis”? No. Girls don’t mind the word penis. I imagine when there are no penises around, girls probably say that word or a euphemism for that word quite a bit. Is it the word “micro”? Nah. If you told a girl you were a “microbiologist”, I’m sure you’ll keep that lass’ attention for at least a couple more minutes until you actually explain what a microbiologist does and then she’s all “borriiiiinnnggg”. Or at least that is the impression I get from every sitcom I’ve ever watched.
Anyway, micropenis is the first word on the lips of Marlow Stern, who writes for The Daily Beast, in article he wrote about Natalie Portman’s Dad’s novel. Yes, that Marlow… oh wait, who is he? Well, he provided this little non-bragging bio at the bottom of the article:
Marlow Stern works for The Daily Beast and has a master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has served in the editorial department of Blender magazine, as an editor at Amplifier magazine, and, since 2007, editor of Manhattan Movie Magazine.
I guess they teach “snark” in the school of journalism at Columbia because this article is full of it.
Actually, I learned a lot from the bio because I thought “Marlow Stern” was a woman, but he’s a dude. Doesn’t change much. Just mentioning. I digress…
The gorgeous Natalie Portman has a father. His fatherly name is Dr. Avner Hershlag. That father is “One of the country’s most renowned reproductive specialists, the Yale-educated Hershlag is Director of the Donor Egg and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, Director of Fertility Laboratories, and Medical Director of the In Vitro Fertilization Program at the Center for Human Reproduction in North Shore, Long Island” as the article notes.
The doctor also fancies himself a writer. He has finished his first novel entitled Misconception, which is of the creepy sounding genre “fertility-thriller”. No surprise it is a “fertility-thriller” considering the bolded sentence above. Either way, the book sounds a tad bit insane. Marlow Stern seemingly read the book and then gave a spoiler filled breakdown of the wilder moments of the book. Those will be in bold and my comments in the reg underneath them.
Let’s just say, Dr. Avner is one to tell a tale, a tall tale, a tall absurd and ridiculous tale. Here is the synopsis:
Dr. Hershlag’s debut novel is set in Washington D.C. and centers on Dr. Anya Krim, the fertility specialist for the President and his wife. She delivers a deformed baby with “ambiguous genitalia” who later goes missing and its mother is found dead. Krim then discovers Megan Tanner, a senator’s daughter who has been in a coma for two years, is also pregnant. Senator Tanner is the Majority Whip, and chairman of a senate committee overhearing a controversial Embryonic Stem Cell Bill in Congress. If Dr. Krim—a rape victim herself—didn’t have enough on her petri dish, the First Lady’s last-ditch effort to conceive goes haywire when her embryos are kidnapped from the lab.
And that’s only the beginning.
HOLY BATSHIT GHOST OF A DAN BROWN NOVEL!!!!! Where is Robert Langdon and his well toned body for a man of his age when you need him?! Damn it. He’s probably on a G5 flying at mach 8 over the Spanish mountains as the sun sets on another murder of an old acquaintance in a hidden library under the Barcelona soccer stadium. If that paragraph of a synopsis didn’t clue you in yet that this book is dealing with an out of control writer making everything more grandiose than a John Grisham/Michael Bay micropenis baby then you need to hold dearly tight to your computer chair because this is going to get ridiculous.
1. THE “ODDBALL” MICROPENIS CASE
Misconception’s prologue opens with a doctor inspecting the pubic region of a 12-year-old male patient. He first notes that the boy has no pubic hair. Then, the doctor takes “oddballs” (i.e. plastic balls) and measures them against the young boy’s testicles, noting that the boy’s balls are “size one.” (Pg. xiii) The doctor proceeds to measure the boy’s penis with a yardstick, noting that it is 1.5-inches long. He informs the boy and his doting mother that the child has “Fragile Y Syndrome,” meaning that his X chromosome is fine, but his Y chromosome is weak. In other words: “His penis and testicles will always be small” and he’ll grow up tall and skinny with “a micropenis and two microtesticles.” (Pg. xiii) The story then flashes forward 28 years—the boy has grown up to become Hugh Nicholson, the head of a cloning facility where he and his partner, Dr. Jeremy “Cody” Coddington, duplicate dogs for up to $100,000 apiece.
AM. I. RIGHT?! Fuck yeah, this book is amazing. What more could you want? A female character. Sure. But we’ll get to them and they’ve all been raped or something as the synopsis mentioned. Regardless, we have a micropenis paired with microtesticles, which may sound bad, but think of the alternative. Imagine having a penis so small that doctors for sheer professional conduct purposes have to refer to as scientifically “micro”. Then you have a pair of big old balls flapping around behind it? That doesn’t make sense. There needs to be some symmetry here. The Divine Creator doesn’t give you a tiny dick and big balls. He gives you tiny everything. Makes sense.
Oddballs. Love it. Didn’t know such a thing existed, but I’m into it. If you have a device called oddballs then you use it. I get that. But why use a yardstick on a boy with a micropenis? Is that just to insult him even further? Let’s get this out of the way, there is maybe a .001% of men who stack up well against a yardstick. I’m not even sure if that is true. A yard?! A yard is three fucking feet! THREE FEET OF PENIS?! Who the hell has three feet of penis? I have watched way more than a good deal of porn in my day and I have never stumbled across a man with a three foot penis in these videos. Yeah, there have been some dudes who have over a foot of penis, which is absolute insanity. It is insane. They are certainly a minority of a minority of a minority out there in the world. But even then you’re two feet shy of a yardstick. How about we just ditch the yardstick and get a classic foot long ruler?
So, the boy has a tiny penis and some tiny nuts, but does that stop him in life? FUCK NO! That mofo is cloning dogs! The boy with the smallest penis and ball set in the world has discovered perfect cloning like he is a damn alien from the future! Unreal. Un-fucking-real. I bet “Cody” his “partner” is just the looks with his normal penis and balls, but Hugh is the brains. Already, this book is too crazy for its own good and we’re just through the PROLOGUE! We’re in the xxxiiixixixi pages. Here come the actual numbered ones…
2. MYSTERIOIUSLY PREGNANT, COMATOSE “ANTONIO” LOVER
Megan Tanner is the coma-stricken teenage daughter of Wyoming Senator Nelson Tanner III—a scar-faced, Armani-clad Vietnam vet with a prosthetic leg. She lapsed into the coma after her pot-smoking prom date crashed his car into a tree and the Senator apparently disposed of the teenage driver. Megan has been in a coma for two years, yet she’s mysteriously 20 weeks pregnant. Dr. Krim assumes that her comatose patient has been raped in her sleep by a necrophiliac, which triggers memories of Krim’s own rape eight years prior. As the FBI investigates the case, Megan’s rests in her hospital quarters—a recreation of her own room at home, with “posters of Antonio Banderas, Antonio Sabato Jr., Sarah Chang, Tara Lipinski, and Maroon 5.” (Pg. 13) [Huh?]
First off, I support anyone who references America’s sweetheart Tara Lipinski. That girl won a gold medal for us! FOR US! Secondly, what? I’m glad the doctor “assumed” she was raped because I’m no doctor, but unless we’re saying coma patients can have consensual sex then she was raped or that “pot-smoking” prom date had time-release sperm. One or the other. The only other options are “miracle” aka “Jesus baby” or someone stuck her with a needle of sperm and got her preggers. I would imagine in vitro fertilization is more complicated then just quietly sticking someone with a syringe of splooge, but who knows? If it is more complicated than that then I would imagine someone would have noticed someone doing that to the coma patient of the well dressed, but one-legged Senator who also ditched a weed smelling body in the woods of Wyoming.
3. THE BLACK SWAN CONNECTION
At one point, Dr. Krim gets in a heated argument with her Lincoln University Hospital co-worker Dr. Feinberg, the chairman of the Center for Human Reproduction. Feinberg—Krim’s supposed nemesis—sports a glass eye because it’s rumored that “an angry resident who couldn’t tolerate his mockery had stabbed his left eye with a scalpel.” He wants to abort Megan’s unborn child via C-section, despite it being 20 weeks along. Krim fights Feinberg and refuses to give in, saying [out of nowhere], “I can see this little girl grow up, take ballet lessons, maybe even get really good, a prodigy of sorts.” Feinberg doesn’t want to hear about her possible principal dancer future, saying, “Terminate—or be terminated.” (Pgs. 78-79)
YES! The drama! Dr. Feinberg could very well be the biggest asshole of all time. I’ve had some asshole co-workers in my time, but never to the point that I or a different co-worker STABBED THEM IN THE EYE WITH A SCALPEL. That’s how big of an asshole Dr. Feinberg is. That isn’t necessarily a “death blow”. That is a “I want to cause you so much pain and I want to maim your entire existence on this planet if you survive this” blow. That’s a whole level of anger most will never achieve expect Dr. Feinberg did make them achieve it and it happened to them. That’s absolutely insane and he’s still risen to the role of “Chairman”. As for Dr. Krim’s flash forward? If I was standing there and having an objective opinion, I would have thought Krim just lost the argument with that nonsense. “maybe even get really good”? We’re going to keep the rape baby because there’s an off chance she’ll get “really good” at ballet. Ballet?! And who is forcing this child into ballet? Is that part of her social contract for existence. Hey kid, you want to live? Yes. You have to do ballet? But I hate ballet. I repeat, do you want to live? Yes, but doesn’t this seem weird and arbitrary. And Dr. Feinberg may have been in a Rambo movie with that “terminate – or be terminated” line. Wow. This book is GOLD!
4. FORGET VIAGRA: TRY AN ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION INJECTION!
The deformed baby Dr. Krim delivers has been cloned by Fragile Y Syndrome sufferer Hugh Nicholson, who intended the child to be the heir to an unnamed royal for $10 million. Nicholson has his partner Cody inject “three different medicines, which together erased muscle relaxation and increased blood flow to create an erection” into the shaft of his penis. (Pg. 40) This is just another day at the office for Cody and it is Nicholson’s effort to have sex with one of the five surrogates working for him. She apparently finds their sexual exploits pleasurable despite the fact that Nicholson has micro genitalia and major issues—we find out he is a bizarre megalomaniac. (Pg. 44)
A typical day at the office is jamming needles filled with mystery drugs into the minuscule penis of Hugh Nicholson? Do you get a 401k plan and health coverage because I think my resume is more than enough qualified for me to handle that responsibility. The second half of this story is really a condemnation of women as an entire gender. There’s some chick who is into this? Of course, there is! Why wouldn’t there be some micropenis hungry surrogate slut just waiting for one of those many injections to take hold in his infant dick so she can get to humping it. Makes all the sense in the fucking world! Oh and the first couple sentences made absolutely no impression on me because I have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Next!
5. IF D.C. LOBBYIST LOOKS COULD KILL…
A sexy “lobbyist” named Destiny, who Nicholson uses to seduce politicians on Capitol Hill, attempts to bed Senator Tanner. The one-legged Vietnam vet is serving as chairman of the Senate committee overseeing the Embryonic Stem Cell Bill. “She undressed. Her fingers released the knot in his tie like a trained Girl Scout…Tanner sat on the bed, unhooked the below-knee prosthesis, placed it against the wall, and got under the covers.” Destiny says, “You’ve got to untense, Nelson. There are no Democrats in this room.” She then attempts to serve him a glass of Merlot, at which point, Nelson throws the drink on the floor, and, suspecting she’s a spy, screams, “Get dressed and evaporate.” (Pg. 54) Destiny later attempts to seduce a 70-something conservative senator in a hotel suite—also in an effort to get him to favor the Embryonic Stem Cell Bill. But after she undresses, the senator has a heart attack and drops dead. (Pg. 99)
DESTINY?!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAH this paragraph is amazing! I want to read a book about Destiny next! The misadventures of being a political prostitute. Soooo good. I’m not saying our political system is a well oiled machine, but I’m pretty sure it would come out that there is a lobbyist named “Destiny” and she is in fact a hot piece of ass sleeping with old right wing Senators. That would come out. There really isn’t much to cover up there, so I’m pretty sure people would hear about that. I love the Girl Scout knot untying bit because not only would a Girl Scout know how to untie a knot, but it also makes it laced with an air of pedophilia. Subtle. So subtle Dr. Avner. Lastly, she might be the worst whore in the existence of paid whores. We have two examples of her not only not securing any vote, but she also doesn’t sleep with either man. Also, who the hell drinks Merlot in bed when with a prostitute? That seems counterproductive.
I really think there could be a great sexy political slap stick comedy about Destiny.
6. THE FIRST BABY A.K.A. “OPERATION EASTER”
The President and the First Lady are trying to have a baby, which the Secret Service codenamed “Operation Easter.” Despite several attempts at in vitro fertilization, the First Lady—a 42-year-old breast cancer survivor—has been unable to conceive. Dr. Krim has a brief moment of panic before the in vitro procedure: “In a moment, I’ll be sticking a needle in the vagina of the First Lady of the United States. Nothing is routine about this case. And everything is at stake!” (Pg. 91) The first couple’s embryos are later kidnapped from Dr. Krim’s lab.
*clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap*
Well done, Dr. Avner. Well fucking done. “Sticking a needle in the vagina of the First Lady of the United States”, who here hasn’t uttered or wanted to utter that phrase in their life? I know it is on my bucket list. And you think that’s something BOOM! the embryos are kidnapped from the lab. Boom fucking boom. You raised $250? I raise a MILLION DOLLARS!! That’s what Dr. Avner is saying in this book. What topic won’t he cover? Also, I would bet that supposed million dollars just mentioned that this fictional President completely ran on his wife being a breast cancer survivor. Sympathy vote!
7. BEWARE THE HUNKY BOYFRIEND’S “SNAKE”
After Dr. Krim is nearly killed by two chiseled thugs, one of which sports “an elaborate tattoo of a dragon” across his biceps, (Pg. 146) she goes home to her “hunky” boyfriend, Dr. Dario D’Acosta (who just happens to be Senator Tanner’s therapist). Battered and bruised, D’Acosta runs her bath and lights some fragrant candles. He then gives her an erotic massage, before kissing “her nipples democratically, one kiss for each,” and then taking her to the bedroom, where they embrace—sans clothing—in bed. “When she felt his hardness,” however, “the feelings evaporated.” Dr. Krim is painfully reminded of her rape eight years prior. “The python’s going to bite me!” she thinks and pleads for D’Acosta to stop. Her longtime partner, becomes a paragon of patience, saying, “I understand.” (Pg. 151)
Nothing is funny about rape unless the victim says “the python’s going to bite me”. That is just sheer absurd lunacy. Who the hell talks like that?! Also, this has two more connections for the Dan Brown fans – dragon tattoos and noting the chiseled physique and wonderful penis of a character in the book. Plus, I’m not sure Dr. D’Acosta is the best therapist if he thinks the best way to calm down a woman who was almost killed by two men and was also raped at one point in the past decade is to try and bang her. Just my non-doctoral guess.
8. SECRET IDENTITIES REVEALED
In a pair of twists reminiscent of an M. Night Shyamalan film, a DNA test on Megan’s baby reveals that Senator Tanner is the father of the his comatose daughter’s child. The President of the United States—a longtime friend of Tanner’s—orders Dr. Krim to abort the baby. Meanwhile, it’s revealed that the seductive lobbyist “Destiny” is actually Caroline, Dr. Krim’s trusted embryologist. (Pg. 177) Caroline betrays Dr. Krim, taking pictures of the presidential embryos and sending a ransom email with photos to the First Lady that reads: “Greetings from your embryos… for the time being, your children-to-be are safe and sound with me… In upcoming messages, I will inform you of the kind of actions you must take to bring your embryos home unharmed… Make enough stupid moves, and you can kiss motherhood good-bye.” (Pg. 181)
I honestly couldn’t have seen any of that coming. I haven’t known Senator Tanner for too long, but I’m hoping he didn’t rape his comatose daughter. I’m imagining someone in some sick fantasy stuck a needle in her vagina like they’re doing with everyone else in this book. As for “Destiny” being Caroline, well that was a shock because Caroline has yet to be mentioned thus far. There are three bullet points left and I have absolutely no clue what will happen nor why half of these characters are interacting with each other. Why was someone trying to kill Dr. Krim? Did I miss that? Why does Hugh have a micropenis and why is he even in this book at all?
9. THE DESTINY OF THE NOT-SO-SWEET CAROLINE
Dr. Krim is framed and arrested by the FBI for kidnapping the embryos. However, she’s bailed out of prison after an anonymous person pays her $1 million bond. Fresh out of jail, Dr. Krim receives an anonymous email to check the liquid nitrogen tanks back at her lab. In the third tank, she finds “a woman’s head floating in a pool of liquid nitrogen. It was detached from the body. It had no neck.” The woman is Destiny/Caroline! (Pg. 220)
WHAT?! HOLY SHIT!!! So much nonsense just happened! I have absolutely no fucking clue what is going on. Who would kill Destiny/Caroline? Are they the same people who tried to kill Dr. Krim before? And if they are why did they kill Caroline? And why did they want to kill either of them? And why was there even a bond set for a woman who was kidnapping embryos from the Presidential couple? I’m like 99% positive if you tried to kidnap and then ransom the embryos of the President of the United States of America then you wouldn’t get a chance to get out of prison or even live.
10. MOMMY DEAREST STRIKES
Gladys Tanner, the wife of Senator Tanner, turns out to be the one who had a clone of Megan placed in her uterus, in order to save her marriage to Senator Tanner, who loved his daughter dearly. Nicholson’s sympathetic associate, Cody—an old friend of Dr. Krim’s—clones the First Lady’s embryos before Nicholson forces him to get rid of the real ones. But the presidential SWAT team recovers the cloned embryos with barely enough time for Dr. Krim to inject them into the First Lady, who eventually finds herself pregnant.
What? Are they all in the same fucking room? Was Cody, Hugh, Dr. Krim, and the First Lady with her legs spread eagle all in one room with a “cloning machine” and a big needle about to get shit done? Then SWAT (why SWAT?) breaks in and gets all this stuff. But the First Lady is preggers anyway. How stupid? Back to the first sentence, so Gladys Tanner is the most well intentioned dumbest woman on the planet. Your daughter is in coma? Oh wait, I have an idea let’s stuff a clone of her inside her vagina and wait for it to pop out without anyone noticing and then you can raise this demon child daughter like nothing happened. Hey, Senator. You’re old and have one leg. Have you ever thought to yourself I want to raise another baby? No, you haven’t. Well here is one anyway. It’s a girl! Oh where did I get this baby? *whisper* It’s a clone of your daughter that I secretly have been cooking in the belly of your brain dead daughter, which isn’t weird at all. *whisper* Umm, it’s a friend’s who said they want you to raise it, which is random, but whatever. JUST RAISE IT AND BE HAPPY!
And for the FINALE!!!!
11. CONQUERING A FEAR OF SNAKES
With all the loose ends tied, Dr. Krim can finally make love to her remarkably patient boyfriend, Dr. D’Acosta, who has been by her side every step of the way. He “waited for her at his bedroom door, holding two glasses of wine. The only lights in the room came from scented candles he’d lit around the bed. A Chopin nocturne played in the background…” and then, the loving couple finally has sex, with Dr. Krim getting over her fear of erections once and for all. (Pgs. 270-271)
First off, none of the loose ends are tied up because I don’t understand what any of this has to do with anything else. Who were the people who killed Caroline or tried to kill Dr. Krim? Why did we need to know any of the back story of Hugh Nicholson? The only thing we needed to know about him is that he knows how to clone things and then the rest of his story is completely unrelated to the plot. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why Dr. Krim would get over a fear of erections nor is there any reason why she isn’t in jail. Wasn’t she just in a room cloning embryos and sticking them in the First Lady that SWAT had to barge into? Generally, people who are stopped by SWAT end up in jail. I feel like Marlow has left out quite a bit about this insane book that probably doesn’t explain itself any better than this article has attempted.
Best of all… the book is under 300 pages I’m guessing because this finale happens on 270-271. That’s a ton of nonsense happening in a short period of time.
Well done, Dr. Avner. Well done.
You took that idea of less is more and told it to go fuck itself with its micropenis and wrote a rambling mess of insanity that is about a third coherent as any Dan Brown book I’ve read. Good for you.
As for you Natalie…
I appreciate your beauty, sophistication and your sanity more than I ever have before.
Sidenote: if my Dad wrote a book, it would be about a Jewish New York Detective in the 70′s who is solving the city’s biggest murders that may also involve national security and in the mean time he would be a James Bond-esque Lothario and the Mets, Giants, and Knicks would all win their respective championships. Think John Shaft, but he’s Kosher.