EROTICA

The Sexy Librarian's Big Book of Erotica

Cleis. Sept. 2014. 256p. ed. by . ISBN 9781627780650. pap. $15.95. EROTICA
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OrangeReviewStarCleis remains a prolific publisher of diverse, enjoyable erotic anthologies, and this collection of literary lust is not to be missed. The structure alone is worth a perusal, with each submission sporting a catalog card display that serves as both a cheeky homage to librarians and a handy summary (i.e., Lynn Townsend's "Full Frontal Neighbor" falls under category: Romantic Hero, subject: 1. Exhibition 2. Trauma 3. Curvaceous). Big Book kicks off with seasoned erotica author Rachel Kramer Bussel's "Book Swap," in which an older woman meets her kinky match in a curious younger seatmate on her flight. Many contributions draw on bibliophiles' favorites—mythology and fairy tales—such as Janine Ashbless's tale of Oedipus sharing the "whole" story, and much more, with a beautiful stranger ("Three Legs in the Evening"), or Emily Bingham's "A Perverted Fairy Tale," which puts a fantastically wicked twist on Little Red Riding Hood and her big, bad wolf. The tone ranges from fun and frothy (Tamsin Flowers's "Pow! It's Shibari Girl" simultaneously plays on the superhero genre and provides a healthy dose of erotic rope play), while others take a darker turn. "The Whole of Me," by Katya Harris, depicts an alternate world where memories can be digitized and downloaded, a mechanism the grieving Shaun uses to keep his dead wife alive in his own mind, to his detriment. Three women share a mysterious love from the beyond (or possibly from above) in Angela Caperton's delightfully spooky "Mikhael."
VERDICT With a wide array of bombastic, bookish stories, this anthology would do well in any erotica collection.

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