by Ray Gordon, contemporary (1996)
Blue Moon Books, $7.95, ISBN 1-56201-380-7
I am a firm believer in the school of thought that says morality and sexual fantasies don't really go well together. As intelligent adults, we should have the right to indulge in fantasies of sexual acts deemed unconventional or even taboo without being judged or even scrutinized by some self-proclaimed moral majority. After all, it's fantasy, isn't it? It's not as if we can't tell the difference between fantasy and real life.
I'm bringing this up because The Splits, a story about a jilted wife taking revenge by turning into a serial home wrecker, could have been fun if the author hasn't taken the moral high road. By the end of the book, his disdain for Suzanne Millington is so palpable that my mood is ruined, to say the least. How does one enjoy a dirty story when the author tries so hard to convince me that what I am reading is morally wrong?
The plot is basically Suzanne, jilted by her husband Jim, deciding to wreck havoc on the marriages of her fairweather friends. She is also depicted as a woman that realizes she's bisexual - yes, this is another story where lesbians are portrayed as women disillusioned with men (that is, lesbianism is a "second choice" lifestyle, heterosexuality being the "in" thing apparently - Mr Gordon, predictably, mentions nothing about male-male action in his story). The Splits therefore is filled with repetitive straight scenes coupled with some much better written lesbian BDSM scenes. Mr Gordon obviously injects more passion in his lesbian love scenes. I don't blame him - there's a repetitive quality to his straight love scenes that gets old after the third scene and I can only imagine the cheerless boredom he must be experiencing if he has to write them, as compared to my brief foray into the world of rigor mortis when I am reading them. It is always the same thing: Suzanne calls the guy over, wears a revealing dress to reveal her shaved kitty cat, places her hand on the man's little budgie, and voila, sex scene. The phraseology is repetitive too - if I don't have to read "swollen cunt lips" one more time, it will be a blessing I will grateful for.
But most damning is Mr Gordon's very obvious disdain for Suzanne's actions. Everyone is practically ragging on Suzanne late in the story and I feel as if I'm reading a morality tale with explicit sex scenes. This disapproval by the author is bizarre because at the same time that he disapproves of Suzanne's actions, he also portrays her male lovers as weak and lying hypocritical adulterers. I end up feeling that the author doesn't like all the people in his story that much.
If this book is a fun and naughty story about an unrepentant home wrecking skank merrily getting her way with weak and useless men that deserve to be screwed in more ways than one, The Splits will be fun. Instead, it's just a condescending tale of "thou shalt not wreck marriages" thingie that at the same time expects me to be thrilled by the very thing it is disapproving of. In short, it is a hypocritical piece of work, and a not very well-written one at that. I feel as if I'm watching a Jerry Springer special episode featuring TV evangelists instead of reading an erotica.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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