The Inner Circle

by T.C. Boyle | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0670033448 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingperryfranwing of Elk Grove, California USA on 8/7/2008
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
12 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Thursday, August 07, 2008
I read this book a few years ago when it first came out. Saw this copy at a library sale so thought I would get it and start a bookray.
Fascinating reading about Kinsey and his sex research. Although I don't think this is Boyle's best work, I still enjoyed the interactions between Kinsey and his assistant, John Milk. Would recommend.
Released in the late 1940s and early '50s, the Kinsey Reports, the compilations of a scientific study that attempted to quantify male and female sexual behavior, shocked Americans with revelations about their sexuality. Indiana University professor Alfred Kinsey's obsessive belief that the human need for sex is little different from animal instinct, and his iconoclastic research methods (including voyeurism and personal interactions), make Kinsey (called "Prok" by students and intimates) a fitting subject for Boyle's (Drop City) irrepressible imagination. In this provocative fictional reconstruction of Kinsey's influence on sexual and societal mores, Boyle's narrator is John Milk, a naïve undergraduate at IU when he becomes Prok' s assistant, the first of the eventual "inner circle" of dedicated disciples....

Journal Entry 2 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Friday, August 08, 2008
Starting a bookray for this book. Please PM me if interested. Bookray will remain open until last person has the book.

Participants so far:

. kizmiaz from Portugal (Europe preferred - International by surface mail)
. Kundri from France (International)
. DitteL from Denmark (International)
. okyrhoe from Greece (International)
. Aramena from Oklahoma, USA (US only)
. JenKazoo from Louisiana, USA (US only)
. tempestsans from Georgia, USA (US preferred, international if needed)
. Bibliocrates from Alabama, USA (US preferred, international if needed)
. judygreeneyes from California, USA (international)
. katrinat from The UK (EU preferred - international if needed)
. fairy-whispers from Australia (Australia only)

Note: Order is subject to change based on shipping preferences and others joining the bookray.

How the bookray works:
* Someone will PM you for your address, PM them back and provide your address
* When you receive the book, please make a journal entry letting everyone know that you received it
* Put the book at the top of your TBR pile (under other rings/rays that arrived first)
* Read the book (take your time and enjoy the book, don't feel rushed to finish it but try to pass it on within a couple of months - others are waiting!)
* When the end is in sight, check the book's journal and PM the next person to get their address
* Finish the book, make another journal entry and let everyone know what you thought of the book
* Send the book to the next person on the list (please use the cheapest shipping method available), make release notes (Controlled Release) or journal entry to let everyone know that it's in the mail
* END OF THE RAY, The last person on the ray could try and continue the ray or just give/mail the book to someone else who might like to read it, perhaps a RABCK - look at wish list web site, or release it into the wild.

Please feel free to PM me at any time with questions

Bookray is now completed. Thanks everyone for participating!

Journal Entry 3 by wingperryfranwing at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Monday, August 11, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (8/11/2008 UTC) at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases



On its way to kizmiaz in Portugal to start this bookray. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 4 by kizmiaz from Belém , Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Monday, August 18, 2008
Just got it, thanks for inviting me to this one perryfran.
I still have a couple of books on the go but this shouldn't take long.

Journal Entry 5 by kizmiaz from Belém , Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Monday, September 15, 2008
Let me start by saying that I’m a fan of Boyle’s books and his writing, so this might be a biased JE, prok would no doubt object to it.
The research for this novel was certainly well done and the mental picture we get of prok is so lifelike and honest that it leaves its mark on the readers, what a hurricane of will.
A tight plot with various interesting characters and a lot of food for thought, but none of this is new for readers of Boyle’s works.
The human sexuality, its taboos and the ever present religious repression are a subject that can’t fail to grab any sort of reader from whichever gender and the way they are presented here really makes one think about it all the more.
Milk is a common enough person and his fears and jealousy are very close to a lot of us, even in this dawning of the 21st century. Would I feel ok about knowing my wife had sex with a colleague of mine, even knowing that sex is nothing but an animal function and bears little relation with love? I don’t know, I really don’t. How would you feel if you were in Milk’s shoes or in Iris’s for that matter? And how would you rate on the 0-6 Scale?
I loved reading it and would like to recommend it to anyone no matter what sort of books you like.
With perryfran's permission I'll pass this book on to my wife before sending it to the next participant, it won't take long.
Oct. 5th - My wife loved it. The next in line is on vacation until the 16th of Oct., when I get her address I'll put it in the mail.

Journal Entry 6 by wingKundriwing on Friday, October 31, 2008
Received today and put as No. 2 on Mt. TBR.
Thank you very much, Perryfran and Kizmiaz!

Journal Entry 7 by wingKundriwing on Thursday, November 20, 2008
Interestingly, for me the major plot of the book was not the sex research and its consequences. It was the story of a total domination of a person by another one. How a person with a weak personality can totally loose his own will when faced with an egoistic and self-centered person. And I loved the way this book depicted the absolute power Prok had on Milk.

Here, the research looks like some kind of a sect. Prok as a guru and Milk as a disciple. For me, Prok's inner circle has more than one common point with sects and religious integrist persons - how anticlerical the inner circle may be. For example, they had the same dilemna as catholicist priests faced to confession. And religion (or sex research in this case) appears to be above all other laws.

It also questions how far a researcher can go without breaking ethic. I agree with the overall message given by the Kinsey reports. At the time, there really was a need for such a study, and I respect Prok's research project. But what about some of the methods employed during the study? And what about Kinsey's intimate convictions? He claims he always remains objective, but in his private life, doesn't he praise free sex and condemn sex shy persons? That doesn't seem so very objective and scientific to me. But of course, nobody is.

Maybe I was especially sensitive to these aspects of the book since I have been myself a researcher during five years (but I worked with funghi - not with human animals!). As a matter of fact, I did encounter some self-centered professors desperately needing admiration and power, and not accepting that their co-workers were human beings that may have their own will and point of view. At a much lesser extend than Prok, though.

I must confess that after having read the two or three first chapters, I thought that I would'nt really like the book. But in fact, I loved it (but not as much as T.C. Boyle's wonderful "Water music").

Journal Entry 8 by wingKundriwing at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Friday, November 21, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (11/21/2008 UTC) at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Sent to DitteL today!

Journal Entry 9 by DitteL from Næstved, Storstrøms Amt Denmark on Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Picked up at postoffice today. I'm really looking forward to reading it, and I just have to finish my current read before I'll start on this one.

Thanks for sharing perryfran and thanks for sending it to me Kundri

Journal Entry 10 by DitteL from Næstved, Storstrøms Amt Denmark on Monday, December 15, 2008
This was my first Boyle book and I don't really know what to think. I thought the relationship between Prok and John Milk was quite interesting - in the way that Prok completely dominated Milk and Milk allowed it to happen, defending Prok when ever he was under attack from the outside or from one of the inner circlers. The only time he went against Prok was to defend Iris and yet he thought that he needed to apologize to Prok. Milk is what in Danish is called a 'vatnisse' - a male who doesn't defend himself but let himself be bullied.

Even though the description of Prok's domination over Milk is interesting, I think the story gets a bit boring at a certain point as it keeps repeating it self. They go on a trip, they come home, they go on another trip ect. I would have liked to see the story evolve more which of course is difficult as it has to stick to the facts but nonetheless some completly unexpected event would have made this book more interesting.

I already got the address of the next reader but as we are nearing Christmas and as there is civil unrest in Athens where the book is going, I won't post it until the beginning of the new year. - I hope that this is okay with you, perryfran.

Journal Entry 11 by DitteL at Frederiksberg, København Amt Denmark on Monday, December 29, 2008

Released 10 yrs ago (12/29/2008 UTC) at Frederiksberg, København Amt Denmark



On its way to its next reader

Happy reading

Journal Entry 12 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Friday, January 02, 2009
Happy & Healthy New Year everyone! And with lots of good books, of course.

The first BC book to arrive at my in 2009! Thanks perryfran for including me in the bookray, and DitteL for posting the book to me.

Journal Entry 13 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Friday, January 09, 2009
For a T.C. Boyle book, this is a very quick read! I'm done reading, and have also spent a couple of days taking notes (something I do for all my books), & The Inner Circle is already on its way to Aramena.

Compared to Boyle's other works, this is a straightforward and simplified narrative. That's because it's in the first person voice, and the 'voice' is that of John Milk, speaking into a recording device after having imbibed several Zombie cocktails before heading out to Professor Kinsey's funeral.
It doesn't take long to understand that Milk is a too-loyal disciple, eager to be accepted by the dominant father figure of Professor Kinsey, and unable to speak out when his "moral" instincts indicate that he should resist Prok's "scientific" agenda. Therefore the limitations regarding the scope of the story can be attributed to the protagonist's all-too-human shortcomings. Endearing to the reader Milk may be, but his point of view limits the depth of the narrative, and there are moments when it reads more like a domestic drama than anything else.
And yet, Boyle's verve and love of language manifests itself from time to time. There are certain moments when the choice of words is clearly the mark of the author's style rather than the character's: "the susurrus of bare feet in the grass", "horripilated flesh", "a great and vast soughing of bench, chair, muscle and sinew", "moths threw themselves at the screen in soft, anthropodal explosions", etc. Phrases like these are what makes T.C. Boyle exceptional as a writer, but in this novel, it's a stretch of the imagination to accept that they originated from Milk.
This criticism aside, The Inner Circle is an engaging novel. Yes John Milk displays weak judgement (following his urges/instincts rather than his mind a few times too many) but that's what makes his story interesting and worthwhile. He does appear submissive & easily manipulated, sexually, emotionally & professionally. Though I interpret his docility as a virtue, & given the connotations of his surname (earthy, pure, safe for children), I would place him along with Violet and Iris (the flowers-on-the-wall wives), and symbolically antithetical to Mac, Prok, Corcoran (these two names suggestive of the male appendage) & Rutledge (the first syllable referring to the male animal during mating season).
I considered for a moment that Boyle could have used Prok as the focus of the novel, made Prok the narrator, but as I read on I quickly disabused myself of this idea. It would have been a daunting enterprise for the writer, and no doubt I'm sure Boyle is one of the few who can (write the story from Prok's point of view), but as a reader I'm not sure I would want to know what "really" went on in Prok's mind and (non)emotional state!

Journal Entry 14 by Aramena from Moore, Oklahoma USA on Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Arrived today, thanks for sending this all the way from Greece okyrhoe!

I should be able to start this by the weekend.

Journal Entry 15 by Aramena from Moore, Oklahoma USA on Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I apologize for taking so long to read this wonderful book, we got swamped at work at the beginning of the year and I've not had near as much time to read as I did before Christmas.

This was my first Boyle book and I really enjoyed it. It's a very different and fascinating subject for a novel, with plenty of complex characters.

I'm mailing this to Jenkazoo today.

Journal Entry 16 by JenKazoo from Shreveport, Louisiana USA on Sunday, March 15, 2009
I am really excited to read my first TC Boyle book! I am going to try and plow through all the bookrays that just happened to come all at once, please forgive me if I keep this a teensy bit longer than usual! I am reading then in the order they arrived and since this one came first it should not take too long.

Journal Entry 17 by JenKazoo at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Monday, May 25, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (5/26/2009 UTC) at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases



I apologige for keeping this so long. I got a bot overloaded with boorays all at once.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. This was my first T. C. Boyle book and won't be my last. I think I may enjoys the others more since I felt a lot of pressure reading several books at once and I forced myself to skim the end rather than really enjoy it.

On its way to the next reader!

Journal Entry 18 by tempestsans from Canton, Georgia USA on Sunday, May 31, 2009
not my first TC Boyle and guaranteed not to be my last...this little jewel arrived sometime last week while i was on vacation and is now enjoying first spot on my TBR pile where i will begin it soon -hopefully tonight!

just read Boyle's "The Women" a few weeks ago and it inspired an additional side trip on last week's vacation - to see the 7-8 Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built structures at Florida Southern University in Lakeland FL. while the offices and buildings were mostly closed, the exterior of each was a joy to experience and most had windows that allowed you to view the interior spaces as well. we got a great joy out of the chapels which were open, and from the Waterdome which runs several times per day. this is a lovely collection of works and i was more than a little surprised to find that with such a treasure, this school does not offer studies or a degree of any type in architecture.

ok, enough of that bunny to finish my to do list so i can jump in and enjoy THIS TC Boyle goodie ASAP...more when it's been consumed.

Journal Entry 19 by tempestsans at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, June 14, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (6/15/2009 UTC) at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



off to Bibliocrates in the mail

Journal Entry 20 by Bibliocrates from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Friday, June 19, 2009
This book arrived safely here in Trinity, Alabama yesterday afternoon while we were at Point Mallard Water Park. All of us are oh-so-ouch- sun burnt!

Anyway... I remember seeing previews for the HBO movie about Kinsey a while back and although I didn't watch it, it did look interesting, had never heard of him before that, but am looking forward to reading this book. Please bear with me, have had a lot on my plate lately. Plus, I -finally- got a job after looking for months! Thank you so much for posting tempestsans!

Journal Entry 21 by Bibliocrates from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Thursday, October 15, 2009
I just finished The Women and will start this one after my current read... contacting the next in line for a mailing address now, so sorry for the delay!

Journal Entry 22 by Bibliocrates from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Sunday, November 08, 2009
Passing on to judygreeneyes tomorrow after an unintentionally long delay, so sorry!

Journal Entry 23 by Bibliocrates at -- BOOKRAY, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Sunday, November 08, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (11/9/2009 UTC) at -- BOOKRAY, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA



This book is on its way to another judygreeneyes...

Journal Entry 24 by wingjudygreeneyeswing from San Diego, California USA on Friday, February 05, 2010
The book is here in San Diego, thanks Bibiocrates! I should be able to start it in the next few days when I finish the book I'm reading now, "The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Walls.

Journal Entry 25 by wingjudygreeneyeswing from San Diego, California USA on Friday, March 05, 2010
I'm very close to the end of this book and have PM'd katrinat for a mailing address.

Update (March 7):

I just finished this book and it's ready to go travelling again.

This book was interesting from many perspectives. It was a fictionalized account of some very real people, Dr. Kinsey and his wife, but also created some fictional people who were Kinsey's inner circle, his research staff and their wives. These people must have existed, but I don't know if the fictional characters where meant in any way to represent the real ones.

It was also very interesting to learn more about this controversial research into human sexuality, which I remember hearing about as a child. Kinsey took a very professional and scientific approach to gathering all of this data about human sexual practices, but some of the stories about his personal life really rounded out the picture and were a little startling. He was not just a researcher, but also a truly free sexual being, without inhibitions, not "sex shy", as he would call it.

I was interested in the way they went about collecting data by interviewing tens of thousands of individuals. It's also quite telling how much more of a furor arose over the female volume than had over the male volume, as if women were not supposed to also be sexual beings. Quite a sign of the times.

For some reason it took me a while to get though this book. Not because it wasn't interesting, maybe because it was densely packed with information and maybe I was just too busy at work!! Anyway, I liked it quite a lot. I think T.C. Boyle, one of my favorites, was just the guy to write it.

Journal Entry 26 by wingjudygreeneyeswing at San Diego, California USA on Monday, March 08, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (3/8/2010 UTC) at San Diego, California USA



Released this morning by mail to katrinat in the UK. Happy reading!

Here's the USPS Customs Declaration #: LC496289809US (don't know if it is useful for anything)

Journal Entry 27 by katrinat from Southend-on-Sea, Essex United Kingdom on Monday, March 15, 2010
Arrived today, its a good job school holidays aren't too far around the corner, every bookring I ever signed up for seems to be arriving this last week.
Thanks for sending

Journal Entry 28 by katrinat from Southend-on-Sea, Essex United Kingdom on Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I'm a little behind, I'm starting this book today and hope to have it in the post next week - sorry for the delay.

Journal Entry 29 by katrinat from Southend-on-Sea, Essex United Kingdom on Monday, April 19, 2010
I really enjoyed this book despite the fact that it was very strange. I did want to scream at Milk as he was so ruled by Prok who clearly didn't care about any of them beyond what he could get out of them both in terms of research, sexuality and admiration.
I don't know how his wife stayed with him, all of their wives actually!
Thanks for sharing.
I have the next address but will be keeping hold of the book for a few days until the flight restrictions have lifted here, I don't want it getting lost on its way to the last reader!

Journal Entry 30 by katrinat at Chelmsford, Essex United Kingdom on Friday, June 04, 2010
hi. I.m having to do this this way because after not being able to access bc for ages now i can.t send pms! I sent the book out a good 3 or 4 weeks ago with a pile of other books, all the others seem to have arrived at their destinations. Can we give this a few more weeks to arrive in case its caught up somewhere between here and oz. If it hasn't arrived then please pm me and i.ll search out another copy to send.

Journal Entry 31 by seldombites at Rockhampton, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Hello Kitty Thanks


Just checking in to let you know I am safe and sound. I am having a nice visit with fairy-whispers before continuing on my travels. I hope you’re having as much fun as I am!

With Great Affection,

Your Book :-)

Journal Entry 32 by seldombites at Touchwood Theatre in Mount Morgan, Queensland Australia on Monday, March 12, 2012

Released 7 yrs ago (3/12/2012 UTC) at Touchwood Theatre in Mount Morgan, Queensland Australia


I am moving house shortly. Due to the distance I am moving, I have to be very strict with culling my books. Unfortunately, worthy as it is, this book has not made the final cut. I wish it well and hope it will have fun on its journey.


Welcome to BookCrossing! What you have in your hands is an honest-to-goodness gift, no strings attached. You may keep it forever and ever, pass it on to a friend, or release it in the wild like I did. I know it may seem a little odd to find this lying around--it's my way of touching the lives of others in a positive way and sharing my love of books.

This book started its journey in Gracemere, Qld, Australia and I would like to thank you for letting us know it is still safe and sound. All over the world people are following their book’s travels through BookCrossing & by graciously visiting this site and making an entry you are helping keep this book’s unique travelling history up-to-date.

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While you don’t have to register or join, I hope you will consider doing so. It’s free, it’s confidential (you are only known by your screen-name), and it’s highly addictive! If you do decide to join, please list myself (seldombites) or any previous reader of this book as your referring member.

For more information about BookCrossing, check out the FAQs on the homepage. For more information about me (seldombites) or any other reader of this book, just click on that person’s screen-name above.

Have a great day and may you always have a good book to read!

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