Permanent Obscurity: Or a Cautionary Tale of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography and Death

By Richard Pérez

165 ratings - 3.76* vote

PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale of Two Girlsand Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography and Death by Dolores Santana (as told to Richard Perez) * A youthful bohemian satire, * a story of alienated nonconformists, * a "girls on the lam" story, * a sexploitation and S/M romp, * a spoof of cult celebrity and "true-life" tabloid sensationalism:PERMANENT OBSCURITY PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale of Two Girlsand Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography

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Book details

Paperback, 464 pages
April 1st 2010 by Ludlow Press
0971341540 (ISBN13: 9780971341548)
Edition Language

Community Reviews


Oh man, I didn't mean to cause such a stink with this.

Here is the story: the author sent me his book & asked me to review it. I didn't like the book and gave it a bad review, but I also offered to take down said review if the author wished. I mean, shit, I didn't like the book, but I do like books in general, and I respect someone who is working to push his own book, and clearly I'm just not the right audience for this book, and surely there are lots of people who are the right audience, and I don't want to make it less likely that they will buy the book. Also most of the reasons I didn't like the book are that I am kind of a bitch and also a snob about books -- no one called me those things but me. They are true things, and I'm okay with that.

Anyway, I took down the review. Then I got testy so I put it back, way down somewhere in the comments (#34), so if you really want to see it, you can. But please don't let me being a snob keep you from buying this book. Richard's a nice guy, so far as I can tell, and I don't want to cause him any pain. For real.


Facesitting. That's what this book is about. No lie. Well, it's about more than that. Maybe friendship. And betrayal. And BDSM. And Drugs. The story of Permanent Obscurity is the recounting of a "relationship." That being between Dolores and Serena, two drug abusing women (who often behave like teenagers) and get into trouble over drug money. Perez, the author, writes well: something like a cross between Quentin Tarantino and Hunter S. Thompson. Like Tarantino, his narrative is dialogue heavy, much of it sarcastic and loaded with expletives, which might turn off many. It struck me in reading it -- how cinematic it is and how it would make a great film, with one scene wheeling madly into the next, underscoring the characters insane plummet toward disaster. Though the BDSM or "female domination" content may turn a lot of people off, I found it incredibly funny and in many ways original.


Maybe the best "outsider" book I've read in the last year. The two girls remind of friends of mine in the arts -- who couldn't hold down regular jobs, so did some stripping to make ends meet. Sounds like a desperate thing to do? Have you ever been in the arts? So, instead of dirty dancing, these characters try another scam: the femdom or "female domination" stuff, taking out ads on Craigslist, etc. Why does this book ring so true to life? It's really good. I mean, the characters are realistic so that means that at times, they're repugnant. And the story of the novel is something I enjoyed. In the end, it's less about kink, and more about trying to maintain your integrity in a world that doesn't allow it. I highly recommend it.


Wow, this book was really entertaining! I'm glad I purchased it -- after Amazon recommended it to me based on my shopping history. Essentially it’s a tabloid story of two mixed up East Village artists -- or wannabe artists -- who fall in way over their heads. What’s to blame? Drugs. It seems they’ve pissed off one to many people with unpaid tabs and now they find themselves in deeper and deeper hot water. They set out to make a female domination movie that will pay back their debt, but these two characters can’t seem to do a single thing right -- so just guess how that turns out! And just when you think things can’t get any worse -- guess what? They do!

The way the author builds the tension and layers the story is impressive. What makes the book so much fun to read is the vulgar protagonist, Dolores. She’s a mixed up, impulsive, foul-mouthed loose cannon; but her friend Serena may even be worse. Going to the author’s website mentioned in the back of the book -- I can see the references to Thelma & Louise and other “bad girl” movies, like Heavenly Creatures.

It’s a big novel -- around 450 pages -- but it reads super fast, and this is largely to do with the writing, which is very simple and reminiscent of the gritty writings of Charles Bukowski. The characters are really well drawn too. And the behavior of these characters is unexpected and pretty wild.

So this book is highly recommended. I just finished it and I already feel like reading parts of it again. A+

Other recent books I recommend? Post Office by Charles Bukowski and The Fuck-Up by Arthur Nersessian.

Andrea Quinn

Serena may owe me money, too! Haha! What a great story! I had a copy printed so it was difficult to read and at sometimes uncomfortable, but I didn't care! I couldn't stop reading! I wished I had a hard copy to give to my best friend because there were so many times where I said "wow that's me and her."
It felt like anyone could have known these girls (Dolores & Serena), maybe went to high-school with them. Their wild experiences made me hungry for more and I stayed up way too late a few nights reading. A few times in the story I got upset with Dolores, like when she had the check from Raymond. I mean she was so broke and all, making a porno for God sake and she couldn't have just took the check?! I couldn't help but squirm when she was doing all those drugs and junk while being pregnant. I know a lot of people who would have a heart-attack if they read this. I also want to somehow smack her when she was craving for meat and she had to shoplift for it. She kept going on and on about MEAT MEAT MEAT. Haha.
So everyone loved Serena, especially Dolores. I was surprised at the innocent love turned sexual obsession. I knew eventually Dolores would get hurt by Serena's games. Their "sexual friendship" kinda freaked me out. It was just wow.
I could see this as being a true story. I could see Serena and Dolores walking down my street right now arguing and playing. This really would make a cool movie. I loved it! <3


This is not a book that a good little Catholic girl should be reading but here I am and, my poor mother's heart, I loved it! It's absolute fun and written in that sense, not as a heavy- find -the- meaning- of- life novel. Admittedly it is full of sex, weed, alcohol and more sex but in a world as tough as this one, curling up and allowing the "bad girl" inside to come out and putting Ms. Prude away provides some much needed relaxation.
Again, not for those that want some vanilla erotica. This is the hard stuff but in a fun way. ( )


Permanent Obscurity is written in the "as told by" style, which was perfect for the dark, psychosexual themes of the book. The author's disclaimer of vulgarity is accurate, but fully in keeping with the the story as it unfolds. Set in the East Village of NYC, Dolores Santana and Serena Moon are two chemically-dependent, struggling artists whose lives are spiralling out of control. Dolores is a photographer with a lot of skill but little ambition and motivation beyond scoring her next high. Serena is a musician whose career just doesn't take off in the direction that she believes it should. With their careers and relationships a wreck and quickly running out of money, the two girls decide that making a "femdom" movie starring Serena is the answer to their financial and personal woes. But things go horribly wrong.

With complete honesty, I did not know what to expect with this book. It is absolutely different from anything I have ever read. Judging from the author's notes, I wondered if this would be more erotica than anything else. But it most definately was not erotica. It is a raw and gritty story, and instead of being gratuitous, the vulgarity is an integral part of the story. Although completely outside of my own life experiences, the stories of the two women, particularly Dolores, were gripping and surprisingly relatable in a lot of ways. The imagery used is graphic and real and you felt as if you were a part of the story as it unfolded. Yes, parts of the book were more than a little uncomfortable, but that is exactly how it should have been. This is not a feel good book, but it does explore some very real issues. I did not expect to enjoy it, but I really did.


What a weird novel! In a lot of ways -- mainly because of the "fetish" sexual content -- this is one of the strangest novels I ever read, and yet I only feel that now, after some distance from having enjoyed it.
While I was reading it, the material wasn't that weird at all, and maybe this is because we enter the perverted little world of Dolores and Serena, and while we're inside we feel and see things as they do.
This is a great book. Not "great" in the classic literature sense (obviously this is not Jane Austin); great because it's really fun. It's fun and raunchy and fast (despite its length); and I felt the male author did a great job in entering the heads of his highly unstable female protagonists. These are street girls, and they talk tough and rough and think like that. In the course of the book, Dolores and Serena take a no-prisoners approach to making a kind of porno flick that will save their necks. The tension is maintained by antagonists (aka drug dealers), who keep showing up demanding their money. And things get more and more desperate as the story goes on. It's Serena who has a major coke problem, while Dolores's addiction is weed. Together they create this dysfunctional team hellbent on getting this (extremely misguided) project done. This novel, in tone and execution, reminds me of the movie SID & NANCY or maybe KIDS (though the Perez book is actually funny). If you can stomach this kind of "cautionary tale" -- then I recommend it. (Purchased my off Amazon-with the new John Waters book-and got free shipping.)

Sabrina Rutter

This book was a wild inner city adventure! I normally don't read these type of books, but then I thought why not I might actually enjoy it. Enjoy it I did! It reminded me of the movie Freeway due to the weirdness of it. When I say weird I mean a fun kind of weird that you don't easily find in books.
Dolores Santana and her best friend Serena Moon are as close as close can be. So when Serena ends up owing money to a lot of different people for her favorite street product Dolores is right by her side ready to help her out no matter what the consequences might be.
Together they come up with the perfect idea to bring in the money and pay off all of Serena's debt. A lot of problems arise and I did actually giggle a couple of times. Steak and slapping need I say more! But the story wasn't all fun and silliness it also had a dark side to it. How could it be weird otherwise! If your looking for something different and not sure what to read, I would recommend this book!


Two friends living in the East Side Village of NY, struggling to survive in America, the country often called 'the land of opportunity.' This book opened my eyes on so many levels. A gut-wrenching story at times and a bit wild, it drew me in from the very first page and I just could not seem to put it down. Even though some of the main characters' experiences were a bit different from mine, in an odd way, there were some ties I could relate to, or understand where they were coming from. And the ending was unexpected, and left me in shock. I recommend this book only to those 18+ probably, mainly because of the sexually explicit content of this book. All in all, a very good read.