Details from Audible:

Open All the Way: Confessions from My Open Marriage

Publisher’s Summary

Open All the Way marks Sadie Smythe’s foray into long-range storytelling. Most well known for her outspoken commentary on her blog, about relationship paradigms and the navigation through her own alternative arrangement with her husband Scott, Sadie is very excited to offer her loyal readers a larger-lensed view into her openly married life. Each chapter of Open All the Way is an individual story in itself. But the combined ensemble compellingly chronicles her journey. Sadie, in her straightforward style, discusses openly and honestly the numerous pitfalls she and her husband encountered along the way while intellectually and entertainingly supporting her choices. It’s sexy, smart, and provocative prose; a full, fascinating glimpse into an untraditional relationship.

©2011 Sadie Smythe (P)2013 Red Planet Audiobooks

Initial Thoughts:

If you’ve been following this blog you have probably that I am (like a lot of guys) just slightly obsessed with sex. In particular I enjoyed reading about (and watching) wilder and more unusual sex that I know I’ll never have. I think it’s a healthy way to indulge the fantasy where no one gets hurt. So as I’ll never have an open marriage (and even if it was an option I don’t think I’d bother, just too much work) this seemed like an interesting book to listen to.

Main Points:

As per my usual I went with Audible (with a membership I always have at least 1 credit to spare). So as for the book, well first off I have to say Sadie does have a nice sexy voice, I’m sure it helped her flirt with an seduce men (and women) BUT she has this super-annoying habit of pausing frequently throughout. It was weird as it reminded me of the way William Shatner did Star Trek back in the 60’s. It is also obvious at times that the book is stitched together and whole chapters were not recorded in one go (which is also a drawback). As other reviewers have pointed out Sadie also does this incredibly amateurish (and also annoying) of using the word “fuck” constantly. Curse words are supposed to add emphasis to a story and to be used sparingly, when you use them constantly they lose all affect and just bore the reader. That is another serious problem that an editor (if she had one) should have picked up on and fixed.

Enough though about technical issues. The story itself is interesting (at times) and also quite arousing (at times). It’s more than about her open marriage, she also discusses being sick for 2 years (don’t remember the name of the condition), having a child, moving, different jobs, alcoholism, treatment, sobriety and briefly her Mom. While the book focuses on her sexual exploits, the other material is thrown in (I would say tacked on) perhaps unnecessarily.

I found myself bored with a lot of the book. Several of the men she meets turn out different than she expected (with at least two he ran away from as it seemed a dangerous situation) and for a book about sex, most of the time she isn’t nearly descriptive enough. She does provide insight into why she chose an open marriage, how it affected her husband (most of the time quite well as he finds plenty of women) and ultimately why she became an alcoholic and ultimately how she makes her marriage successful.

Final Thoughts:

If Sadie reads this I do want to say I have nothing against you personally. She sounds like a very sexy person, intelligent, friendly, very outgoing and obviously quite open-minded. My issue is only with the way this book was written (and spoken, perhaps someone other than the author would have been a better choice). I think with the right editor she could become a good writer but has a ways to go yet. Also I have to say that the little music at the start of each chapter? Terrible, just annoying and the end it is even longer with some kind of rap crap thrown in!

Parts of the book did make me think about relationships and sexuality (and a few chapters did turn me on) but with all the detractors mentioned above it took away from the overall experience. So I give this a 5.5 out of 10. Please don’t let children read this, ages 18+. I would recommend this but only as a paper copy, that way you could only read the chapters that were of interest to you. Until next time (which is back to a movie review).