04/04/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Jenny Sanford, Andrew Young, Gayle Haggard Tell Everything You Always Want to Know About Sex--Other People's

Maybe the problem is not so much with sex but with books.

The great thing (I mean the really great thing) about books (good books and bad books, alike) used to be that they had sex in them. They were just about the dirtiest thing going. I wonder when the last time was that anybody read a book for the dirty parts.

Anyway, this is about a certain kind of author of books about sex. Jenny Sanford, Andrew Young, and Ted Haggard's wife, Gayle, have each written a book about someone else's sex life.

These are sex lives that, in the books of a bygone era, would have as likely been portrayed as ribald, rebellious, and titillating. They are, here, sorry and lame.

But let us not argue about the character of the subjects, but of the authors. These are strange authors, because they are not writers. Nevertheless, they have appropriated books for use as instruments of revenge, self-justification, and self-promotion. Not, mind you, to promote themselves as writers, but as some sort of evangelizers.

Jenny Sanford is, to me, the most blood-curdling of the three. With hardly a moment for self-reflection, or even self-pity, she's written (or had written for her) several hundred pages of very bad prose and very willful insistence that she was right-thinking in every way possible and wronged by a pitiful excuse for a husband and father.

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