The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica

Vol. 13. Running Pr. Jan. 2015. 596p. ed. by . ISBN 9780762454716. pap. $14.95. EROTICA
This collection lives up to its name, with 45 erotic stories packed into one volume to keep even the most avid erotica fans occupied. Mammoth opens with Raziel Moore's "Invisible Lines," the sensual tale of Sima, a young woman who gets off on the sting of tattoo guns. She finds a kindred spirit in Paul, the quiet, dedicated tattoo artist who happens to have a kink for giving just the type of pain Sima loves to receive. There's a heady intensity to many of the contributions, especially "Moving" by M. Christian, in which a nameless protagonist undergoes self-bondage for his partner and has a shattering emotional epiphany in the process. It is a powerful standout, as it manages to convey electric eroticism without the characters touching one another at all. Other entries are more lighthearted but no less entertaining, including Lucy Felthouse's romp, "A Problem with Authority," in which Pvt. Jesse Bagnall finds out why Cpl. Roxanne Grey seems to treat him the worst and gives her some sexy payback for her severity. "Becoming Alice" is Jean Roberta's archly funny twist on Lewis Carroll's classic and emulates the eccentric disjointed style of the original. But this time, Alice follows the White Rabbit into a very different type of wonderland, one in which she becomes a woman and learns more than a few facts of life. Though occasionally succumbing to style over content (some of the stories strive for sophistication, to the detriment of story flow), this collection of truly well-written stories reflects delightfully diverse talents and interpretations of the term erotica.
VERDICT Recommended for those seeking something a bit more highbrow than mainstream erotica fare.

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