My good friend Anthony put out this fantastic erotic novel The Escapists. Even if I didn’t know Anthony I’d need to talk about this book.
First let’s talk about Mr. Beal.
One thing I love about knowing and reading him for a long time is that I’ve watched his writing evolve and change over the years. I will say that Anthony is a writers writer. His writing is literary and sexy in the kind of way that gets to me as a reader and writer.
Let’s get to the good stuff.
Anthony’s writing is gorgeous. It’s luscious, his prose style itself has an eroticism to it that undulates on the page. That is something I’ve loved and admired about his work for years. Where I go with more stark hard language, he goes beautifully expansive.
It’s a fine thing to read.
I have very particular tastes in what turns me on when I read. Beyond specific acts or images, I need beautiful language. If the writing doesn’t hold up the smut the smut doesn’t do anything for me. This novel is what happens when the author has literary skills and a dirty mind in hand.
This book is filthy. Make no mistake. This is not a situation where a lot of gorgeous words don’t deliver the dirty. It’s fantastically filthy.
We know I love filthy, I love raw and rough and along with the beauty of the language, the sex is nasty and gorgeous. That’s how erotica is supposed to be for me. I am greedy I want everything. I want my literary sensibilities caressed, I want it to be coddled and made love to. I also want my erotica to make me need to take a time out and jam my hand in my pants.
My bar for erotica is that if at some point I’m not reading it with my mouth open and my crotch tingling it is not worth my time.
This book is worth my time. Matter of fact I read it first for pure pleasure because nothing makes me happier than my friends turning me on. My second read was more for this review.
Let’s talk about things that have haunted me.
I am a sucker for a beautiful line. My memory isn’t always great but individual lines will stick in my head. This one in particular flicks all my buttons.
“Fuck me,” she gasped, “Oh, god, fuck me to ashes.”
This isn’t one of the fancier lines. It’s simple and beautiful. The image of this woman, so ready to be fucked to nothing appeals to me. This is one of the moments in this very fantastical story that was concrete and anchored me crotch first. I know that woman in that moment, I have been that woman in that moment.
The timing of this line in this fantastical story makes it for me. I like even the fantastical to get me like that, hook me to a real cunt centric feeling. I lingered on that line for quite a while.
If what you want is beautiful quality literary erotica go buy this book.
Another thing I love is that the male characters in this book are not just dick swinging stand ins. They are complex. They feel and that is important to me as a reader. Too often, erotica tends to focus on how the women feel and the men are cardboard dashing dudes and don’t have enough meat as characters.
Also there is more than the gorgeous fucking.
I like that there is heft to the plot. It doesn’t fall apart around the sex.
For as long as I’ve known Anthony I feel like he let his words reel out beautifully in this novel. There is a longevity here, he has built a world that is vital and arousing. It’s upsetting at a few moments and holds you in it as a reader and that is a fine thing.
I would like more.
Yes we know I’m greedy. This is the kind of world I want more stories from. I want more. I always want more but I want more of this.
Now I urge you to go check out his facebook page here. Also read his other work. If you’re in the mood for something darker buy his first collection, Funereal Diseases of the Mind: fifteen tales of dark erotica. I am a big lover of well done erotic horror and he does very well.
Matter of fact I am not ashamed to admit that Anthony had a big influence on my own erotic horror. He’s a lovely person and a damn fine author. I am thankful to call him a friend and influence.
If you go pick up his work come back and let me know how you like it. He’s very prolific and puts out delicious smut.
My next two reviews will be for Ayti by Roxane Gay and The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac by Kris D’Agostino. Then later some Tristan Taormino.
I’ll also review Love Without by Jerry Stahl and some other short fiction I’ve been reading lately.
A note about these reviews. I’m not doing super reviews of books I don’t care for at all unless I feel like I have something more to say beyond I didn’t like it. Authors if you would like me to review your work drop me a line and we’ll chat about it.
Now my homies go forth and read. I have serious work to do.