Cock and Bull

I read Cock and Bull by Will Self.

The novel is strong, dark, and without any remorse. Split in two parts, similar but quite opposite, the two small novels present the hermaphrodite theme, in both ways, first, a woman who experiences the male side, and the second, the man who experiences the female side.

The first novel is more realistic, a little bit more deep into feelings and character development. Carol is a fresh young wife, not very experienced, who gets into a marriage that is not very satisfying, with a man who is not into her happiness, but turns into drinking.

The novel circles around the idea of Carol growing over time a small penis, which represents a complete new plethora of feelings, sensations, which Carol experiments, and discovers a whole new sexuality.

This however turns Carol into a somewhat monster, as her fantasies with her new penis driver her into a sexual predator, her desires transforming her completely, into a rapist, and a murderer.

The novel presents also a present time story, where a first person character presents the facts from his own perspective, hearing Carol’s story, and being abused himself in the same fashion.

The second novel, Bull, is much more difficult to believe, as the hermaphrodite is taken to absurd, Bull, a typical alpha male protagonist, wakes up one day with a vagina beneath his knee. This is again a full pack of new sensations and feelings, the author presenting the womanhood for a man, including pre-menstrual syndrome and all the other stages which a woman has to live through, but never understandable by a man.

Bull is seduced by his physicist, who is a little bit sexual obsessive, and somehow manages to get pregnant, which takes the story to the ultimate level of ridiculous.

The two novels present the harsh reality of today, gender separation, missing understanding between men and women, and two perspective where the genres blend, and what can come out of it.

Will Self is very cynical, not having any remorse in showing the dark side of sexuality, with how this can change or affect us, or make us the man or the woman which we are.