Pros: Some strong stories that pack a lot into a little space
Cons: Quality varies wildly; could have used another round of editing
Rating: 3 out of 5
Review book courtesy of Sensorotika.
Erotika: Bedtime Stories is a collection of very short pieces of erotic fiction from a variety of authors. It contains graphic sexual material and is definitely for adventuresome adults only.
To be honest, many of the stories in Erotika made me shrug. Maybe it’s just me, but I need to feel a spark of genuine passion and character chemistry in a story in order to enjoy the heat of it. Unfortunately too many of these tidbits felt clinically constructed to fulfill one niche or another. I felt as though I was checking stories off of a list as I went: this is the foot fetish story; this is the exhibitionism story; this is the dom/sub story with kink #18… What can I say. I’m sure there are readers who will enjoy such an approach to an erotica anthology, but it doesn’t really appeal to me.
Luckily the anthology was rescued by a handful of stories that did contain that passionate spark. In particular some of the later stories in the book jumped out at me, such as Gwen Masters’s ‘Ghosts of Virginia’ and ‘Dry Tinder’ (both as much about emotion as they are about sex), Ralph Greco, Jr.’s ‘The Fruits of Mark’s Confession’ (involving an unusual emotional and sexual triangle), and Cullen Dorn’s ‘The Professor’ (an unusual and vaguely mythical story).
Erotika is a slender book containing some very short stories. If you’re looking for technically well-written tidbits that set out to deliberately explore a wide variety of fetishes and interests in the erotica genre, you might well enjoy it. If you prefer a hefty dose of passion, spark, character and chemistry in your erotica, much of this book will fall unfortunately short. It might be worth a read, however, for some of those pieces I mentioned earlier.
As an aside for those readers who care about such things, the book could also have used another round of editing. If you don’t tend to notice minor misspellings, misplaced apostrophes, and the like, don’t worry about it. If you’re the kind of book perfectionist who’s driven nuts by that kind of stuff, some of the stories in here definitely fare better than others.
This is a new genre for me. I have just started reading – a couple so far – and surprised that I like it. I’m not sure if I’d like the short stories though, but I am not a short story person anyway. I like a little bit more meat on the bone and shorts don’t cut it for me.
J. Kaye: It’s funny; a lot of people assume shorts are easier to write well than novels, but often they’re harder. You have to fit so much more into such a short space. It can be a lot harder to create in-depth characters, etc., and for that reason, I often don’t like shorts either. Particularly in genres that demand passion.
I would think that shorts are easier to write than novels in the same way that sprints are easier to finish than marathons. Winning is another thing entirely. I am often in a hurry while adding more words to a missive in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of being misunderstood. This almost invariably makes me think of the phrase “I apologize for the length of this letter, but I didn’t have time to write a shorter one”. It is attributed to many authors, including one of my favorites, Mark Twain.
I may have to give this book a try. I am curious if the difference in perception depends on whether you want action or interaction. One of the things Cathy and I have talked about is the possibility of comparing stereotypical men to action movies and stereotypical women to soap operas. Neither is particularly attached to realism, but they each have their own defining characteristics. In action films there is a lot of movement and excitement and a conclusion. In a soap opera there is a lot of talk and emotion, but not much on the way of conclusions.
Cian: Aye, I agree with your take on it entirely. I’d definitely be interested in your take on the book; I’ll bring my copy along to the next fight practice or d&d run and you can give it a read and come back to let us know what you think.
I think this would be a good gift for my friend who is getting married. I will surely give a copy of this to him on his stag party.
Well, Im actually curios how are those erotic fiction stories would sound or how will they be made. Maybe I’ll get a copy of this book too, soon.