Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Trashy Book Review: "The Erotic Adventures of Arabella"

"Is it not more delicious than the finest of liqueurs? Come, leap with me into a divine course of wickedness. Say that you will!"

This story appears to have taken its main character's name from Charlotte Lenox's The Female Quixote, and its style from John Cleland and the Marquis de Sade. It is from an anonymous author and there is no indication of when the book was written, save that the events take place in the 1880s. The only version I have found is on the Amazon Kindle, here.

In the realm of sexual politics and philosophy, the book is very much like the Marquis de Sade. Arabella and her cousin Elaine are thus far like Juliette and her accomplices, except for the lack of bloodshed. There is a stress on refusal of what common-folk call morality, and a sense that women should have sex for their own pleasure.

Unlike Sade, this book is actually hot. The sexual diversions are intermingled with lesser philosophical debates; so far it is not heavy on atheism or refusal of all social norms. Sade's libertines are sociopaths, where Arabella and her circle are interested in carnality.

If you are looking for an erotic read that is not pure pablum, or cliché, you do far worse.

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