K. M. Szpara's Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.
There is no consent under capitalism.
To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents' debts and buy your children's future.
Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him.
Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it.
Content warning: Docile contains forthright depictions and discussions of rape and sexual abuse.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Szpara's disquieting and riveting debut raises pressing questions about power and consent amid plentiful kinky gay sex scenes. Set in a near-future America where pharmaceuticals are used to induce sexual submission, 21-year-old Elisha Wilder sells himself into sexual slavery as a Docile to erase his parents' crushing debt. Alexander Bishop, 30-year-old heir to the fortune behind the memory-erasing, compliance-ensuring drug Dociline, buys Elisha for a life-term to prove to his family that he shares their values and is ruthless enough to head the company. But angry, defiant Elisha refuses to take Dociline, having witnessed the drug's effects on his mother, and Alex resorts to harsh conditioning, sexual punishment, and force to make Elisha his submissive. As Elisha begins to cave under Alex's training, their relationship evolves into something resembling a romance, baffling both Elisha's family and Alex's elite social circle. But when a former lover's jealousy pushes Alex to take extreme action, the novel veers into a layered courtroom drama with plenty of surprises. Elisha's rapid conversion to docile and Alex's limited self-awareness, however, cloud this sharply written examination of consent. This queer dystopia is an arresting, disturbing, and ultimately satisfying challenge.
My eyes have been opened
I could not put this book down! I was addicted to it from the moment I started reading. It’s weird how the Docile program can be closely related to life as we know it now. I highly recommend this book!
Not my cup of tea...at all.
Moving and Raw
This book pulls you apart from the inside out! Think “Mean Girls” meets “Stephen King” versus “X-Files”... money, power, status, mixed with science fiction against the world of relationships. A captivating page-turning must read for those who yearn for more than just your “happily ever after”....
Patiently -but impatiently awaiting- a sequel? As an author, when I sit down to read debut novelists,this is one author you’ll be sorry you’ve missed!