Tuesday, April 6, 2010

TALES FROM THE SEXUAL UNDERGROUND Gets Very Mixed Review

Well, my gay erotic collection, Tales from the Sexual Underground, has its first review. The review was on "Well Read" which reviews mostly romance books, so I'm not surprised at some of the less than positive comments. One the one hand, the reviewer said:

"the quality of the writing was superb..." and "One poignant story, It Still Happens, told of the last hours of a man dying of AIDS and...had me in tears by the end."

But then the reviewer, well, I can't say "took me to task" but pointed out that the collection as a whole, was too dark and too realistic (in part because I think I deal frankly in it with the realities of things like HIV and drug abuse in the gay community) for her.

All in all, I was quite pleased with the review, but, like the reviewer, I had a mixed reaction to it. Even though she was not pleased with some of the content, she made it clear that it was not so much that the content was bad, but just not for her. And that's okay.

Read the whole review here.

And, if you dare, pick up TALES here.


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3 comments:

  1. I think the problem is that the women's side of gay lit is still stuck in Romance mode, and anything which is not a romance has a good chance of crashing the program. It's that expectations thing again -- if you want oranges and someone sells you carrots, you're going to be disappointed even if they're excellent carrots, and even if you generally do like carrots but didn't want them right now. Tales isn't a romance, so the reviewer stumbled on it, and gave it a less than great review. She probably shouldn't have reviewed it at all, since she reviews romance and that doesn't qualify; it'd be like a romance site reviewing Riders of the Purple Sage and then trashing it because it's not a very good romance. :/

    It's funny, I was thinking about this issue earlier tonight. I read a book I got on ARe, and enjoyed it very much. I went on to rate it, then looked at other people's ratings. One person gave it a "1" because it wasn't her thing -- it was man-on-man. Which is very obvious if you read the blurb, so why the heck did she download it in the first place? And having mistakenly downloaded it, why did she jab the author with a poor rating when the mistake was hers, not the author's? [sigh] It was even a freebie, so she wasn't out any money, and IMO had absolutely nothing to complain about.

    It's that expectations thing, though; she prefers m/f, apparently assumes everything on ARe is m/f (or whatever reason she had for downloading it) and she's taking that disappointed expectation out on the author. Classless of her, but there you go.

    Angie

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  2. "Too realistic"?? Well, to echo Angie, I suppose for a romance writer used to dealing with the struggles of Jasmine Destiny as she fights to save her ancestral home from the nefarious and yet sexually alluring Antoine LaCroix, I suppose the modifier "too" might be apropos. I try not to read reviews (sadly, reviewers seem to be doing the same with me... :-)

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  3. I think the bottom line is that when we send our books and stories out into the world, they become the same as sending children out into the world. We can do our best to prepare them, but what happens once their out of our hands is out of our control. They no longer belong to us, but the world.

    Overall, I was very pleased with the review of TALES. It was thoughtful (and she did give it an overall rating of "very good"), yet I think she was disappointed that it wasn't a traditional romance (although that was clear from the blurb) and even the short stories in it were not necessarily romantic.

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