Monday, May 18, 2009

Something for the ladies

Yesterday I went shopping and decided to buy myself a few books. I like nothing better than shopping for books and Waterstones had their never-ending three for one offer on. Having chosen two books easily, I was stumped for a second choice. I absolutely refuse to read anything called 'The Something or Other Club' or 'The Wotsit's Daughter', as most books seem to be called these days, so the choice was limited.

Then I saw something interesting; a book of erotic stories written under deliberately daft pseudonyms by well-known women authors such as Joanne Harris and Fay Weldon. Having delved very little into erotica, I thought this might be of interest and took it home with my more homely books in a brown paper bag, well a Waterstone's bag really.

In time-honoured tradition, once home, I flicked through the book looking for the naughty bits (the grown up equivalent of looking up 'bum' when you first buy a dictionary. Actually I still do that!). And naughty it most certainly is and, interestingly and probably not entirely surprisingly, naughty in different ways depending on the author.

The difference between authors is illustrated by their chosen nomenclature for areas anatomical. Some just opt for your straight Latin names while others go round the houses trying to find a euphemism that fits the bill. I can't work out which I prefer. The scientific names are helpful when you are trying to work out what is going on but leave one rather cold, while the euphemisms are rather silly and sound vaguely like something out of Penthouse.

The best stories for me are the ones where the author has accepted joyfully that she is writing a book of erotic stories and just goes for it. Less successful are the subtler, more artful efforts. C'mon girls, you agreed to be in the book, do the job properly and give us a thoroughly rude story. Stop beating about the bush - literally!

Not sure I've been 'turned on' to making erotica a regular on my book case, and I suspect this is a book of tasteful, literary erotica, but it's a good three for one (ooh-er).

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