Frenzy. 60 Stories of Sudden Sex - erotic fiction by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme)

Frenzy. 60 Stories of Sudden Sex

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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Frenzy of fiction...

As anthologies go, this is a fairly serviceable one with some fine erotica on offer. It's let down by the inconsistent quality of the stories - but the good ones far outshine the bad.
Packed full of stories, encompasses most sexualities and kinks.
Some of the stories are amateurish.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
Frenzy is a collection of eclectic erotica from a wide variety of authors, edited by renowned erotic-authoress Alison Tyler.

A sleek, glossy paperback book, Frenzy contains 60 stories in all - ranging from 8-10 page 'epics' to the ultimate in flash-fiction - stories that are just a single paragraph long. The 'theme' of Frenzy is the quickie - that rushed, desperate, needful coupling that can occur almost anywhere (and, according to the stories, frequently does.)

Frenzy is published by Cleis, a small press concentrating on erotic, lesbian and gay books. The contributors vary - from established writers like Rachel Kramer Bussel and Allison Tyler herself, to brand new authors. The nature of the stories is equally eclectic, with feverish couplings to almost asexual erotic musings. There's certainly plenty to dip into when you want a quick frisson of erotica - but there are also stories that stimulate the cerebellum.

Frenzy isn't really designed to be read from beginning to end like a regular book. It's more of a tidbit for the table by the bed - to be dipped into when and how you feel like it. Because of the variety of styles, settings and sex featured in the stories, there's always something new to discover.

It's also all-inclusive. Although the book is clearly focused on heterosexual relationships, you'll find a few chapters featuring lesbian lust, gay coupling and a few scenes that defy such easy definition. Given the rigid categorization of most modern erotica, it's quite refreshing to find a collection that concentrates more on what's genuinely erotic than what fits into the correct 'category.'

The book itself looks and feels fairly attractive. The cover illustration - of a girl in her underwear, arching her back in a half-seen bathroom - offers a promising taste of the erotica within. Those familiar with publishing, though, will find the printing quality to be a bit lackluster compared to books from bigger publishers. The cover is just a bit too shiny and the pages themselves look like they might not withstand particularly rough treatment (so don't bend the spine back or fold the corners of the pages.)
I found Frenzy to be a bit of a roller-coaster ride. There were some terrific stories in here, with 'Pirate Treasure' by Janine Ashbless standing out as the clear winner. Elspeth Potter also deserved praise for her micro-story 'Unlimited Minutes' which was just ripe with erotic potential.

Other stories seemed to fall foul of classic cliches - for example 'Madrid', by Nikki Magennis, was interminably pretentious and seemed amateurishly out of place when compared to the polish prose of other, more experienced contributors.

In all, though, the quality of the writing is good and certainly scintillating enough to get the pulse racing. My only real objection to the book came half-way through, in a story called 'In a Station of a Metro,' by Jayne Pupek. It featured (as a comic aside, not eroticised in any way) a scene involving a woman walking in to find her boyfriend, his dachshund and a jar of peanut butter all involved in something I can only classify as 'squickworthy.'

I put down the book at that point, totally disgusted. It took a week before I picked it up again (skipping straight through the rest of Pupek's story) and while the rest of the stories were more in keeping with what had gone before, I couldn't help feeling like I'd been turned off the whole thing.

That's totally subjective. I imagine most other readers would find the incident with the weiner dog (who, understandably, has a nervous tic) hilarious. It just happened to push my button and really turned me off the entire package. That's a pity, as fans of easy-to-enjoy erotic shorts would find plenty to please them in this anthology.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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  • Machina
    Nice review! I absolutely love the cover of this book. It's too bad the dog story turned you off, it sounds like it's got some really great stories other than that.
  • Sammi
    I've heard a story like that before, with pb & d.

    Good review!
  • Oggins
    Yeah, I've heard stories like that before as well. I just skip over the ones I don't care for. Sounds like this one has some stories that are definitely worth reading otherwise! Thanks for the review!
  • Miss Cinnamon
    Very informational review! Did the dog bit turn you off because you're not into that, or because it was just a really badly executed joke?
  • her.royal.redness
    Hmmm... interesting. Thanks for the review!!
  • C4ss
    Thanks for all the information on this one.
  • bradav
    good review
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