Book Review: Alternatives To Sex by Stephen McCauley

I’ve found that I can always count on Stephen McCauley to write a novel that will allow me to spend a few hours in his fictitious Boston area,  which I have always liked rather better than the actual place.    In  Alternatives To Sex,  McCauley’s 2006 novel,  real estate agent William Collins is a single man who is addicted to sem-anonymous,  computer-arranged sex and the compulsive cleaning of his spotless house,  often using food products.  (“scrub the sink with Tang!”)

Alternatives To Sex actually seemed to have a bit less plot than is typical in a McCauley novel.    Collins also seems to me to be the first of McCauley’s protagonists who lives alone and neither gains nor loses a life partner in the course of the novel.   As always,  the dialog is crisp and vivid and McCauley’s rendering of the undeniably strange world of Bostonians and Cantabrigians who seek to buy amazingly expensive real estate is genuinely impressive.    If you are a McCauley fan,  Alternatives To Sex comes Highly Recommended.

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