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Sir Charles Panther
- Published on Amazon.com
Full disclosure: Ms. Morizawa contacted me based on her reading of some of my Amazon.com reviews, and asked if I would like to read her book. I agreed, and promised an honest and fair review.
This book is an unfortunate hybrid of apparently autobiographical narrative and raw adult fiction, and they do not go well together. While a memoir about early missteps, finding one's way in life, addiction, growth of self esteem leading toward eventual maturity and independence can be compelling, instructive and even entertaining, coupling this story with the graphic and raw sex of adult fiction takes the air out of both. Addiction, abuse and conflicted introspection are neither erotic nor sexy, and the lurid details of frequent, desperate sex detract highly from the narrative of the memoir.
The frequency of the sex and its full and graphic depiction firmly place it as adult fiction, with the memoir aspect serving as backstory. There is a clear story of a woman in transition, living that transition in sexual and destructive behaviors, but this is incompletely explored.
Fanny Press is marketing this book as erotica, and the back cover also calls this a "debut collection of erotica." Unfortunately, I found very little of this work to be erotic, in that it really didn't catch my interest, and generally failed to arouse me. "The Foreigner" chapter was the only one that truly worked, an interesting and well developed story of a Tokyo massage parlor experienced fully and mutually by the narrator and her man. Another aspect of this work which powerfully detracted from eroticism was the pervasive presence in the early chapters of hard drug and alcohol abuse, lots of chain-smoking, and other forms of abuse. This is personal preference, yes, but these are all major turn-offs. We even get the narrator cutting herself in the fourth chapter (not sexy), and at one point attempting to lure a hot guy in group session by saying she'd had a biopsy that day because of all of the frequent and unprotected sex she was having (not sexy).
Each chapter centers on a relationship with a man...or any number of men, with one usually out of reach or otherwise unobtainable. As such, the focus then veers from erotic literature to relating and relationships, neither of which are well developed, so some chapters are conflicted and unfocused.
Unfortunately, the book does not hold together as a comprehensive collection of stories that would make up a memoir-like temporal progression. Yes, there is a basic narrative arc, from the first story of a woman with low self-esteem, through drug and alcohol abuse, to a conclusion more or less approaching a healthy relationship. But we don't get enough narrator insight, the crucial emotional events happening between the sexual crashings-together, the learning, growth and maturation. This is the biggest failing of this book, if it is in fact supposed to be a memoir. But given that it is being sold as erotica, such character development would be extraneous, and take the book in a direction away from adult fiction and its promise of frequent encounters (which does deliver).
One thing that is glaringly obvious, on almost every page of this book, is that Fanny Press is desperately in need of professional editors, both content editors and technical editors. The errors in spelling, punctuation, usage, grammar, syntax were so frequent and glaring that they affected my intake of this book; by the third chapter they were distracting, and by the fifth chapter I was annoyed at having to read through this sub-professional work. Not once in this book were "lie" and "lay" used correctly. "Naval" was consistent in its use to describe a belly button. "Ground" and "floor" were consistently interchangeable. Two people leaving one another were "departing company."
As for overall content editing, it appears Morizawa was her own editor. I cannot detect that anyone else worked these stories and their presentation to make them flow, make them consistent, make them more readable, and make them all meld together to form a single consistent and cohesive whole. The first four chapters are straightforward first-person past-tense, but then the fifth chapter opens with a completely new narrative construction, the third-person personification of the author's, ah, reproductive apparatus. And this approach lasts only for this chapter, failing to return in the following three. The phrase "in order to" was used over and over and distractingly over, as were other words and phrases, a few of them consistently incorrect in usage. A dial tone was described as beeping. The narrator putting her clothes back on was "redressing myself." A man's oral sex upon a lady was compared to a dog finding leftovers in a trash can (not sexy). Then there were lines like, "A hint of moisture developed in his eyes creating a glassy replica of the ocean's lullaby at low tide," and, "Overall I felt pretty masked--present, but somewhat hidden in the illusion of privacy," both of which contain unique and original author insight and impression, yet are very poorly constructed--an editing failure--leaving the reader to slog through.
All this being said, this book does deliver on one thing: sex. There's a lot of it. There is not a great deal of variation, such as you would get in an erotic story collection; all of these chapters center on the narrator. But on just about every single page, she's getting it on, about to, or thinking about it.
Bottom line: If all you want is rumpy-pumpy, and you don't care how it's presented, this book is for you. But for the more discerning reader, if you can get past the myriad glaring editing failures, there is an unresolved conflict between the collection of stylized erotic encounters and the story of one woman's journey from abused and abusive tramp to recovering and mature adult.