by Scott Carpenter

July 2002
ISBN: 1-84360-190-7
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Humankind’s most basic urge – the need to reproduce – has been refined over millennia into the urge to, well to put it simply, the urge to screw around. Scott Carpenter explores that urge in his new book Strange Lust. In this collection of assorted tales covering some pretty kinky territory, Mr. Carpenter has left few stones unturned in his lighthearted odyssey through the human sexual condition.

There are more than 20 short stories here – most not even stories, more like vignettes; brief glimpses into the mating dance in all its various permutations. Some are funny, some poignant, some flat-out embarrassing. Several feature sex in public places, others deal with married sex. Lots feature a definite twist and an occasional sting in their tail!! There’s single sex, voyeurism, quickies and a nosy dog. Pretty much something for everyone!! But – Mr. Carpenter – you missed out on chocolate. Tsk. Tsk.

One couple, Peter and Susan, make occasional return appearances, and theirs is probably the most identifiable romance, although in fairness, I couldn’t imagine anyone I knew in any of these situations. Of course, I may just hang around with a bunch of really dull and unimaginative folks!! When I’d finished this book, it did feel as though I’d been to a rather rowdy rave, had several margaritas too many, and listened to a group of friends relating their latest sexual adventures! (Oh wait – wasn’t that the last Tupperware party?)

Make no mistake, this is an erotic bunch of stories. The steam heat is there and the orgasms-per-chapter count is off the scale! But there is a kind of charming appeal to these tales, a “hey-buddy-you’ll-never-guess-what-happened-to-me-and-Jane” type of feeling that softens the sting of the language and the subject matter! This book easily slides into the category of an entertaining yet spicy hot read!

So it’s not Shakespeare - who cares? Mr. Carpenter’s writing style is uninhibited and expressive. Most importantly to me, this collection is not demeaning, depressing, or unpleasant, even when the temptation to walk on the dark side must have been very close! I shall look forward to more from Scott Carpenter – maybe the next book will involve chocolate – I’m sure if it does, it will be in a very inventive way!!!

Reviewed in July 2002 by Celia.

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