Review of the Sexually Charged "The Lie" by Chad Kultgen
Okay class, raise your hand if you like to read about sex, drugs, lies, revenge and did I mention sex. Put your hands down because I’ve got a book for you, The Lie by Chad Kultgen. Written in a style similar to Bret Easton Ellis, minus the graphic violence, The Lie involves three characters making their way through college and all three with different views of the future.
The Lie is told from the first person perspective of the three main characters in alternating chapters. Kyle is the typical nice guy who is serious about his studies, plans on becoming a doctor and is looking for the right woman to settle down with. His best friend, Brett, comes from one of the wealthiest families in Texas. The two are best friends mainly because Kyle is the only person Bret has known that hasn’t cared about his money. Bret is bored with the family estate and is more concerned with having sex with as many women as he can. But the goal is to make the sex as degrading as possible. In Brett’s mind women will do anything to get at his money and he proves it every chance he gets. Heather is a loose, materialistic sorority girl whose only ambition in life is to marry a great provider and never have to work a day in her life.
Kyle meets Heather at the beginning of their freshman year in college. He falls totally in love with her; she falls totally in love with his friendship with Brett. She starts dating Kyle in the hopes that after hanging around Brett, she can switch to him and eventually marry him. Along the way, she finds herself falling for Kyle – mainly because he is a good lay. Brett is totally against this for the above mentioned reasons and constantly tries to drop hints to Kyle that all women are whores who are after one thing, money. Brett then confirms his beliefs when he catches Heather having sex with a frat guy.
Kyle is obviously distraught with the news and breaks up with Heather. She moves on to date the frat guy she had sex with and Kyle eventually finds new love in a lab partner he’d been working with for a few semesters. But Heather realizes her new boyfriend is a douche and crawls back to Kyle. Kyle in turn dumps his near perfect girlfriend to get back together with Heather.
That’s when it all hell breaks loose. Kyle, who is feeling the pressure from Heather to get engaged before any of her sorority sisters is about ten grand short of the $10,000 needed for the ring of Heather’s materialistic dreams. In a moment of panic he buys her an exact duplicate for $90 which is made of cubic zirconium. What Kyle naively didn’t count on was Heather having it appraised. Along with her sorority sisters, Heather discovers the fake, goes nuts, and her true materialism is exposed.
Throughout the entire book each character makes reference to the ending and how they would’ve done things differently. This, along with the sex, kept me reading. And the ending didn’t disappoint, although at first read it seemed far-fetched. But I really thought about it and had to agree that there are whackos out there devious enough to pull it off.
The Lie is entertaining in a reality TV kind of way and reads quickly. The story moves along which helps gloss over the fact that the Brett character is a little hard to believe. Most girls in college wouldn’t succumb to or agree to devious sex acts just because of someone’s family money. But it makes for graphic scenes and possibly reader inspiration if one is into that. Heather’s constant use of the word “like” in valley slang seemed a bit much considering it takes place in Texas. Kyle was the most believable and identifiable for any reader that has been to college.
This is Kultgen’s follow up to his first novel, the cult hit, “The Average American Male.”