The Voyeur's Motel
Mixed; highly narrative
Sociological portrait of one man
Gay Talese is a sociologist who was studying human sexuality in 1980 when he was contacted by Gerald Foos. Foos told him that he had purchased and modified a motel outside Denver, Colorado expressly for the purpose of “satisfying his voyeuristic tendencies”. Foos told Talese that his meticulously recorded observations could illuminate human sexuality; they corresponded for thirty years before Talese wrote the book.
This books is a quickly-paced, intimate glimpse into the life and psyche of a voyeur. Much of the narrative recounts Foos’s life and marriages; his observations of his guests’ sexual habits are sometimes transcribed and sometimes paraphrased during the decades he ran his motel. Foos’s experience and observations provide a lot of insight into human sexuality in the 1960s-1980s. There are accompanying photos of Foos and his motel, but there are no charts, graphs, or overtly scholarly information.
Why Would a Reader Enjoy This Book
- Tone, nonjudgmental recounting of salacious events
- Characterization, introspective