Margot Mifflin
July 23, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Book of the Penis

Current Status
In Season

We gave it a B-

More a miscellany of phallic fun facts than a book with a thesis (or for that matter, a purpose), The Book of the Penis spans size, celebrity, circumcision, and even something called “kangaroo bifid penis envy.” But don’t take it too literally: Some of Maggie Paley’s assertions are questionable at best (calling someone the D-word implies he is “friendly but pushy”?) and simplistic at worst (“Rich men with wives and mistresses are merely following a biological imperative to reproduce”). Although she delivers entertaining anecdotes, Paley’s scattered, somewhat coy approach to her subject forestalls any critical handling of it, which makes for less than penetrating reading. B-

You May Like