Tuesday, April 20, 2010
A New Amazon Review of Tales from the Sexual Underground
Review of Tales from the Sexual Underground
Rick R. Reed does it again. I admit I'm biased toward his work, but still, for me, this collection was satisfying on a number of levels.
Reader be warned, this is not a collection entirely of fiction. It is a mix of short stories and essays, and some of the subject matter isn't for the faint of heart. It isn't for someone looking for a m/m "romance" story. It is, however, well-worth the time and money spent reading it, and I imagine I'll be revisiting it again in the future.
Some of the stories were laugh-out-loud, beverage-snorting funny. Some were so creepy and disturbing I still get the willies when I think about them. He bounces around the spectrum from horror to hysterical and back again, and the truth is some of the stories are all the more disturbing because they could be true, even if fiction. That fragment of reality that pulls you in and suspends your disbelief and tells you yes, this could happen.
What Reed does best in the fictional stories is lays out (sometimes literally, haha) characters you can absolutely visualize. No cardboard stereotypes, no fake dialog. You can picture these as friends and family and co-workers. People you think you know but truly don't, anymore than they really know you. The short stories are tight (like some of the body parts mentioned...) and sometimes drag you kicking and screaming to the ending you wish wasn't going to happen, but still enjoy all the same. I prefer writers who are selectively sparse with their prose, who know when to paint with delicate brush strokes with loving details, and when to break out the Sharpie Marker to sketch the way, and Reed invariably delivers that, to this reader, with perfection.
The essays are great, snapshots into a lifestyle some may think they know from "Will and Grace" but showing you gritty realities even as he has you snorting coffee through your nose...again. (I'll send you the bill for my keyboard, Rick. *LOL*)
No, this collection won't be everyone's cuppa. But if you enjoy m/m fiction, especially of the hot and squishy variety, you will want to give "Tales From the Sexual Underground" a chance. It's a delectable buffet of debauchery, and there is a little something for everyone.