The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty - erotic book by Audioworks - review by Jenny Swallows

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My First Erotic Adventure...

Adult fairy tales which neither try to shock or shake the reader - they simply are what they are, and if you loved the first three Kushiel fantasies, the Sleeping Beauty will transport you to a similar place.
Published:
Pros:
very readable, even in "polite" company
Cons:
less "erotic" than the modern erotica reader might expect
Rating by reviewer:
4
extremely useful review
Or, at least, that's how it seems.

Because it really wasn't that long ago that a trip to the "relationships" corner of the bookstore was going to turn up one of three things. A Nancy Friday collection; the latest prolusions from the Penthouse and Playboy world; and Anne Rice Writing As - and doesn't it defeat the whole purpose of using a pen name, when your known name is splashed twice as loud on the cover?

Of course, that wasn't the case when these adult adaptations of familiar fairy tales first hit the shelves, and no doubt all concerned had very good reason for hiding their not-inconsiderable light beneath a bushel. But that was then and this is now, and really there is something almost quaint, and certainly old-fashioned, about picking up any of Rice's pseudonymous stabs at erotica, three books under the Am Roquelaire, and two more disguised as Anne Rampling.

They are, first and foremost, sweet, and for no reason whatsoever, this one (the first in the trilogy) has always struck me as the sweetest of all. With their erotic content poised somewhere between an old-fashioned bodice ripper and gentle smut, and the main thrust of the narrative concerned more with Rice... sorry, Roquelaire's... reimagining of Grimm's "Sleeping Beauty", we enter a world where BDSM is conducted with a soft politeness that is itself as demanding as the grittier portrayals that more forthright authors paint; and dark kinks writhe amid satin sheets and goosedown pillows. Indeed, the portrayals here of pony play, I am convinced, remain the bedrock for that particular fancy's popularity even today, and I was only slightly surprised, exploring the Second Life virtual world, to discover a sim dedicated in its entirety to the world of the Sleeping Beauty.

Where these books stand proudest, of course, is in their success. Upon their original publication in the early-mid 1980s, they actually outsold "Interview With The Vampire," and that at a time when American society was riven by the anti-porn movement which gathered so much momentum in the early Reagan years. How long ago that, too, seems, and how fitting that it should be a fairy story that both sides of the divide grew up with that should strike such a telling blow the public's right to read what it wanted to, as opposed to what sundry Moral Guardians believed we ought to. And for that reason, may they never fall out of print.
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Comments
  • LaSchwartz
    LaSchwartz  
    thanks for the review it was very helpful.
  • SexyStuff
    SexyStuff  
    Thanks!
  • Aydios
    Aydios  
    great review
  • heather-mooney
    heather-mooney  
    thank you!
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