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The Voyeur's Motel de Gay Talese
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The Voyeur's Motel (original: 2016; edição: 2016)

de Gay Talese (Autor)

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1557140,102 (3.2)1
On January 7, 1980, in the run-up to the publication of his landmark bestseller Thy Neighbor's Wife, Gay Talese received an anonymous letter from a man in Colorado. "Since learning of your long awaited study of coast-to-coast sex in America," the letter began, "I feel I have important information that I could contribute to its contents or to contents of a future book." The man went on to tell Talese an astonishing secret, that he had bought a motel to satisfy his voyeuristic desires. He had built an attic "observation platform," fitted with vents, through which he could peer down on his unwitting guests. Unsure what to make of this confession, Talese traveled to Colorado where he met the man -- Gerald Foos -- verified his story in person, and read some of his extensive journals, a secret record of America's changing social and sexual mores. But because Foos insisted on remaining anonymous, Talese filed his reporting away, assuming the story would remain untold. Now, after thirty-five years, he's ready to go public and Talese can finally tell his story. The Voyeur's Motel is an extraordinary work of narrative journalism, and one of the most talked about books of the year.… (mais)
Membro:Lovedogstoo
Título:The Voyeur's Motel
Autores:Gay Talese (Autor)
Informação:Grove Press (2016), Edition: First Edition, 240 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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The Voyeur's Motel de Gay Talese (2016)

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This is one of those odd books that I picked randomly, not entirely sure why, except the premise was interesting. Its a story of a man who spies on the visitors of his motel, noting down what happened including any sexual encounters that happened.

It was strangely compelling. The story itself isn't about the voyeurism of the proprietor, Gerald Foos, but about the proprietor himself, an unreliable source of information, fact-checking after the story shows things didn't happen, or happened differently. However, Mr. Foos, really wanted to tell his story. In Gerald's mind, his spying on couples (and threesomes) at the motel, in all sorts of combinations was a study on human relations.

Regardless of truthiness of the events told, its a story of an interesting person with objectionable morals, whose peccadilloes are rather mild, in the scheme of things. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Oct 22, 2021 |
Gerald Foos was not at all an interesting voyeur: banal at best, unreflective, sanctimonious, and ultimately rather dull. He hardly warranted a New Yorker article, much less a whole book, about his tawdry exploits. ( )
  mhartford | Aug 7, 2020 |
This is a bizarre little book. Talese is known for his vignettes of people from sports stars to gangsters. He's also been intrigued by the sexual habits of Americans (Thy Neighbors Wife raised more than a few eyebrows as he inserted himself into the story to write his book.) This book came out long after TNW but only because he was waiting for permission from the ostensible author to reveal himself.

Talese had received a hand-written letter from a man who claimed to have purchase a 21-room motel so he could watch what went on in those rooms. He cut holes in the ceiling which were covered with screening to appear to be part of the ventilation system. He carpeted the floor of the attic with thick carpet so he could move about silently. And then he kept detailed journals of the sexual habits of those who stayed in his rooms.

Put off at first, Talese rationalized his interest in pursuing the story, with his observation that journalists are really just voyeurs of the human condition, and he had kept detailed journals himself of people's activities while writing Thy Neighbors Wife among others.

Most of the time, Foos (the owner of the motel) realized how bored people were, and he developed a very negative view of people in general.

“People are basically dishonest and unclean; they cheat and lie and are motivated by self-interest,” he commented, continuing, “They are part of a fantasy world of exaggerators, game players, tricksters, intriguers, thieves, and people in private who are never what they portray themselves as being in public.” The more time he spent in the attic, he insisted, the more disillusioned and misanthropic he became. As a result of his observations, he claimed to have become extremely antisocial, and when he was not in the attic he tried to avoid seeing his guests in the parking area or anywhere around the motel, and in the office he kept his conversations with them to a minimum. . . 'Conclusion: My observations indicate that the majority of vacationers spend their time in misery. They fight about money; where to visit; where to eat; where to stay; all their aggressions somehow are immeasurably increased, and this is the time they discover they are not properly matched. Women especially have a difficult time adjusting to both the new surroundings and their husbands. Vacations produce all the anxieties within mankind to come forward during this time, and to perpetuate the worst of emotions.' "

After it was published, the Washington Post wrote a story attacking the premise, arguing that several details could not be corroborated or were incorrect. Talese had noted in the book of the unreliability of the Voyeur, but given the concurrence in personal interviews of Foos's two wives and photographs obtained by Talese, I have to conclude the majority of it holds up.

Perhaps ironically, we are now under almost constant surveillance from innumerable cameras that someone is watching. The government and big business have become the Everest of voyeurism. And who's to say how all that material is used?

It's a short book, guaranteed to appeal to the voyeur in all of us. ( )
  ecw0647 | Jun 8, 2020 |
This just fed my persistently nosy mentality. Part of me is horrified by this -- horrified that I slurped this book up in less than 3 hours of reading, horrified that this went on and he never got caught, horrified for all those people who never had any idea that someone was violating one of their fundamental human rights.

But it's like a bad car accident, or a crime scene -- you just can't look away. I have a hard time believing that Talese would publish this book if he didn't feel confident about 99% of what this guy was saying. His credibility and all previous works would be just like Lehrer's fall from grace. Too risky. He's been in the game too long to do something stupid. That said, I don't know if I believe everything Foos transcribed in his journal.

But yo -- what an egotistical, misogynistic asshole he is. And his wives are just as culpable for facilitating his hobby. ( )
  amandanan | Jun 6, 2020 |
Ummmm....I will not be able to stay at a family-run motel.....EVER!!! ( )
  BGraff69 | Oct 8, 2018 |
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I know a married man with two children who bought a twenty-one-room motel near Denver many years ago in order to become its resident voyeur.
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On January 7, 1980, in the run-up to the publication of his landmark bestseller Thy Neighbor's Wife, Gay Talese received an anonymous letter from a man in Colorado. "Since learning of your long awaited study of coast-to-coast sex in America," the letter began, "I feel I have important information that I could contribute to its contents or to contents of a future book." The man went on to tell Talese an astonishing secret, that he had bought a motel to satisfy his voyeuristic desires. He had built an attic "observation platform," fitted with vents, through which he could peer down on his unwitting guests. Unsure what to make of this confession, Talese traveled to Colorado where he met the man -- Gerald Foos -- verified his story in person, and read some of his extensive journals, a secret record of America's changing social and sexual mores. But because Foos insisted on remaining anonymous, Talese filed his reporting away, assuming the story would remain untold. Now, after thirty-five years, he's ready to go public and Talese can finally tell his story. The Voyeur's Motel is an extraordinary work of narrative journalism, and one of the most talked about books of the year.

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