by Scott Carpenter

August 2004
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S.L. Carpenterís Dark Lust is a seventy-one-page story filled with several short stories about lust, the execution of lust, and I believe what is supposed to be humor. I believe some of these stories are meant to be cautionary tales, while some of them are just meant to be funny and others sexy.

I had a hard time with the book because I just couldnít get into it. From the first story Dark Lord Risen where a woman because of a medallion finds herself the sexual prisoner of her desires and a man called Dark Lord; to Caveman Love, a story with a self-explanatory title whose humor is so sophomoric, no make that juvenile, that I was reminded of what it feels like to be in a room with my three 15-year old nephews, I was disenchanted with this book.

There were a couple of stories, however, that did hold my attention. The New Guy is cleverly done and has a surprising, humorous twist at the end, while Love Letter is just filled with so much ugly, gratuitous violence that I couldnít look away. It was like seeing an accident on the expressway. The ending was predictable and not at all funny or clever. In the Right Time Alfonso is a lovesick would-be suitor who is so lonely he masturbates to Scooby-Doo cartoons (again, the humor is juvenile). He rides the bus at the same time every day, and one day he sees his beautiful dream woman. So for four months, every time heís on the bus, he looks for her. One day he gets up the courage to approach her; he buys her a flower and everything. Just as heís about to make his move, disaster strikes. This is an okay story, but the build-up gives the reader a hint, thereby making the ending predictable.

Some of these stories are standouts, but Iím sorry to say that not enough of them are good enough for this series of short stories to get a top rating.

Reviewed in January 2005 by Lisa.

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