So, you know I have been intending for some time to update my gay and vampire review website. Here is the first full length review I will be listing. It is also what happened to my day--zip--gone. Oh well.
“Filthy” is subtitled “Outrageous Gay Erotica”, it could also be called “the book that stole my Saturday”. It arrived in the mail and I intended to slot it into my reading queue after several other books that have been waiting patiently for my attention. I flicked over the somewhat dry preface to the first story and it was all over.
In 'The Greener Grasses' M. Christian shows us immediately that this is not a collection to be trifled with, picked up and put down. I was thrust immediately us into the point of view of a real flawed, sexual, vulnerable protagonist. The sexuality is always frank but blended with charming love stories like 'Heart in Your Hand' or '2+1' or folksy fables like 'Moby'. The writer’s skills are perhaps best shown in the apt blending of sexuality with darker threads such as in 'Bitch' where one man’s bitterness and hate escapes his control or 'Friday Night at the Calvary Hotel' with its queasy look at the blend of sadism and sexuality in religious symbolism. I found the homage stories 'Hollywood Blvd' and 'Suddenly, Last Thursday' just a little heavy handed but still engaging reading.
The stand-outs for me were simple stories, but perfect in their parts. 'Oroborous' uses a botched tattoo to contrast the pain and trouble of “fixing” what is “wrong” about us (not what we would choose) with the joys of embracing it what we are. After reading it I had one of those moments staring at the wall and letting it sink in. And there were actually tears in my eyes at the end of the tragic love story of 'Flyboy'. The speculative stories are also strong: 'Utter West' gives a new meaning to the youthful desire to get out of a dead-end town and 'The Hope of Cinnamon' shows a far future gay community that rescues persecuted gay men from the past and is shown, through their eyes, what may be missing from their apparent utopia.
All of the stories have a strong concept as well as explicit sexual content. I would quibble at calling it “erotica”. Erotic, yes, but not quite in the step-by-step manner intended for one handed reading. It’s one of those oft-quoted phrases that our biggest sex organ in our brain; I’m willing to bet that author M. Christian would agree. Almost every story in this collection is perfectly constructed for the intellect: set up, satisfaction and pay off within a few short pages. Some stories are unapologetically erotic and others nostalgically sensual, only obliquely erotic at all or proudly a little perverse—but the erotic is there to serve the story in the manner and amount the narrative requires.
If you are looking for sexually-charged fiction that also has heart and intelligence “Filthy” is the collection for you—just don’t pick it up until you have the free time to read it from cover to cover.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Emily Veinglory just sent me this wonderful review of Filthy.