The Auteur is a mixed bag of a novel. One part coming-of-age story, one part romance, and one part travel adventure, this is a novel that packs a lot of punch. Our protagonist is a high school senior named Scott. After moving to a new school, Scott quickly meets Cody, a charismatic teen who lures him into skipping school and into the world of adult videos. Soon, the two are in love and in lust with each other, and as quickly as they meet, Cody leaves.
Journeys form the backbone of this novel. Not only do the characters experience personal journeys, such as when Scott realizes he has a talent for life behind the lens, but the story follows the characters as they travel from Florida to Wyoming. Readers can’t be quite sure where they’ll end up next. The fast-moving plot lends a fun energy to the novel. Given the age of the characters and the initial high school setting of the novel, it makes sense that these characters would tumble from experience to experience. After all, what are the teenage years if not full of eye-opening adventures?
There’s a lot going on in this novel, and there are times when the events seem to progress too quickly. Readers barely meet Scott before he and Cody are sleeping together. The two are barely a couple before Scott is introduced to the adult video world. Like a tornado, the plot moves from point to point and scene to scene.
Though porn, sex, and adult videos are a major piece of the plot, the sex scenes here occasionally cross the line into being gratuitous. For example, the first sex scene begins rather suddenly and lasts for perhaps a page too long. Though description is integral to such visceral scenes, Wood could have branched out a bit from the typical adult video world and used different similes and metaphors. These portions of the novel often sound alike. The sex scenes would have been more meaningful if they were used to depict more about the relationships and emotions of the participants.
This novel is an On the Road for the sexually experienced modern world, with something for fans of all genres: there’s comedy, romance, and, of course, eroticism. It is Scott that ties the story together. As the leading man and director of this novel’s adventures, he is, quite simply, an auteur.