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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Delta of Venus

Delta of Venus: Erotica
by Anias Nin
320 pages

I picked this book from the list of 1,001 Book To Read Before You Die because I liked the title "Delta of Venus" - it sounded like something out of Greek mythology or the like. Imagine my surprise when the book arrived and I found out that the entire title was "Delta of Venus: Erotica" ...

Author Anias Nin (I'd never heard of her before) is famous for her published journals. She began writing them at age 11 and continued for 60 years. According to wikipedia Nin's journals "provide a deeply explorative insight into her personal life and relationships" over her very Bohemian lifetime.

The author's introduction to the book sheds light on the stories in this book. In the 1940s, Nin and a group of writer-friends were contacted by an anonymous client who offered to pay $1.00 per page for erotica. Nin and her friends took the job, but not without a sense of humor. The wrote wild stories, thinking that their employer would be put off and cancel his order. But the wilder and less realistic the stories, the more he seemed to enjoy them.

Since this is erotica and since I don't want you to know all THAT much about me, I won't tell you which stories appealed to me the most. (You're thanking me for that, I know.) I will tell you that the language is very creative when it comes to describing the "scenes" and that this book is very hot and steamy. Most of it was very appealing but other parts were very disturbing.

Disturbing how? Well, like I said, Nin and her friends wrote some really far-fetched stories simply to see how their client would take them. Those stories include pedophilia and sado-masochism - NOT pleasant to read about, let me tell you, and it often appeared out of no where (I didn't see it coming and I was unpleasantly surprised by it). The problem is, I didn't know at the start of the story how it would turn out in the end, or else I would have skipped those particular tales ...

Fair warning: If you don't enjoy reading details about "adventurous" sexual escapades then do not read this book. On the whole (minus the creepy parts) I quite enjoyed it. And reading it certainly added some spice to my marriage over the past month ...


Missy said...

A couple of years back I read her novel "Spy in the House of Love", it was pretty good.

Ti said...

I've never read one of her books before but I've picked up erotica in the past and some of it is really quite good. Glad it spiced up the marriage. LOL.

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

Ages ago (really, it was high school), I read two volumes of the "Diaries of Anais Nin." I remember liking them (well enough to read a second volume, I suppose).

Maybe I'll revisit her ...

Alyce said...

I could just see having this one out on the coffee table when the pastor stops by for a visit! LOL! I don't think this is one I would read, but I enjoyed reading your review.

Dreamybee said...

Oh my! That would be a bit of a surprise! You'd think they would disclose the entire title on that list of must-reads.

I've run into that unexpected downside of erotica as well. When I was a newlywed I bought an anthology of erotica, thinking it would be kind of fun to read, and it was except that I'd be reading along, everything's fine, things are interesting, and then Ew! I did not need to read THAT.

Hubby: "Hey, where are you going?"
Me: "I have to go wash my brain out with soap."
Hubby: ???

Heather J. said...

Missy - I'd never even heard of her before this.

Ti - It certainly can be fun when it is well written (like this mostly was).

Dawn - I highly recommend it!

Alyce - yeah, that WOULD be awkward. But funny!

Dreamybee - that's what happened with some of these stories. Some were good but some were icky.

Anna said...

I read erotica, but you certainly made me curious! ;)

Diary of an Eccentric

momofonefornow said...

Haha! I loved your last line.

I just read Anias Nin for my womens lit class. It was very tame. Not erotic at all.

Darla D said...

I have had this book on my shelf for years, but for some reason I haven't read it yet. You've made me curious to read it now!

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