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Norceuil's Garden: Queer Fiction and Erotica

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In the grand, erotic tradition of Georges Bataille, Anaïs Nin and the Marquis de Sade, Edward Dutton's "Norceuil's Garden: Queer Fiction and Erotica" is a diverse collection of queer, sexy, postmodern tales ranging from coming-of-age stories to literary erotica to experimental prose. From the vampire-phobic graduate student of “The Vampire of Xanthos” to the world-weary, d In the grand, erotic tradition of Georges Bataille, Anaïs Nin and the Marquis de Sade, Edward Dutton's "Norceuil's Garden: Queer Fiction and Erotica" is a diverse collection of queer, sexy, postmodern tales ranging from coming-of-age stories to literary erotica to experimental prose. From the vampire-phobic graduate student of “The Vampire of Xanthos” to the world-weary, dirty old man of “Norceuil’s Garden” to the young prostitute-philosopher in “Hustler,” these narratives bristle with testosterone, angst and desire. Poised on the knife's edge between erotica and surrealist prose, these stories will leave you open-mouthed and gasping for more. Edward Dutton is a Brit living in America. His work has been published in Chroma, Chelsea Station, Velvet Mafia, Best Gay Romance 2009 and Best Gay Bondage Erotica. CONTENTS: I. THE MANOR II. THE VAMPIRE OF XANTHOS III. NORCEUIL'S GARDEN IV. BEING IN MISSOURI V. DISTRACTIONS FROM BORGES VI. HUSTLER VII. LONDON / PARIS, A MEMOIR VIII. WILLIAM IX. THE FOREST OF SUICIDES: FRAGMENTS AUTHOR'S NOTE


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In the grand, erotic tradition of Georges Bataille, Anaïs Nin and the Marquis de Sade, Edward Dutton's "Norceuil's Garden: Queer Fiction and Erotica" is a diverse collection of queer, sexy, postmodern tales ranging from coming-of-age stories to literary erotica to experimental prose. From the vampire-phobic graduate student of “The Vampire of Xanthos” to the world-weary, d In the grand, erotic tradition of Georges Bataille, Anaïs Nin and the Marquis de Sade, Edward Dutton's "Norceuil's Garden: Queer Fiction and Erotica" is a diverse collection of queer, sexy, postmodern tales ranging from coming-of-age stories to literary erotica to experimental prose. From the vampire-phobic graduate student of “The Vampire of Xanthos” to the world-weary, dirty old man of “Norceuil’s Garden” to the young prostitute-philosopher in “Hustler,” these narratives bristle with testosterone, angst and desire. Poised on the knife's edge between erotica and surrealist prose, these stories will leave you open-mouthed and gasping for more. Edward Dutton is a Brit living in America. His work has been published in Chroma, Chelsea Station, Velvet Mafia, Best Gay Romance 2009 and Best Gay Bondage Erotica. CONTENTS: I. THE MANOR II. THE VAMPIRE OF XANTHOS III. NORCEUIL'S GARDEN IV. BEING IN MISSOURI V. DISTRACTIONS FROM BORGES VI. HUSTLER VII. LONDON / PARIS, A MEMOIR VIII. WILLIAM IX. THE FOREST OF SUICIDES: FRAGMENTS AUTHOR'S NOTE

36 review for Norceuil's Garden: Queer Fiction and Erotica

  1. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Daniels

    I received this book in a giveaway.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amos Lassen

    Dutton, Edward. “Norceuil’s Garden: Queer Fiction and Erotica”, Create Space, 2014. Erotic Stories Written in Beautiful Language Amos Lassen Two of the many benefits I get as a reviewer include the opportunity to read new talent and to meet those who write. Today I was lucky enough to experience both of these. Edward Dutton is an Englishman living in Boston and although some of his work has been published, this is his first book and it is quite a dive into the pool of gay literature. There is so mu Dutton, Edward. “Norceuil’s Garden: Queer Fiction and Erotica”, Create Space, 2014. Erotic Stories Written in Beautiful Language Amos Lassen Two of the many benefits I get as a reviewer include the opportunity to read new talent and to meet those who write. Today I was lucky enough to experience both of these. Edward Dutton is an Englishman living in Boston and although some of his work has been published, this is his first book and it is quite a dive into the pool of gay literature. There is so much erotic writing out there that it is easy to become lost in it. On the other hand it is there for those who want it but on the other end there is not a great deal of it that can pass for literary smut. Edward Dutton handles this and shows us that erotic writing indeed can be literature and it can appeal to many and especially to the literary elite as they like to think of themselves,. I was totally unprepared for what I found here. Let me say right off that the only time I really read erotic is when I am asked to review it. I do not see much to its value anymore especially since there are few limits these days in literature. What this book that so many other erotic writing doesn’t is gorgeous language, well developed themes and each word seems to have been specifically chosen. In other words, there is a lot of talent here and a very good thinker and writer. There are eight very sexy, very postmodern stories here and they run the gamut of gay literature—from a coming out narrative to almost pure erotic writing. It is hard to tell if any of these stories are autobiographical but as most writers do write about themselves, I got the sense that Dutton might possibly have written about himself in some of the tales. I think what really makes this collection of stories so special is the intelligence they show. Yes they are erotic but they are also intellectual—here is a writer who uses his head to write about giving head in a way that makes it an activity that uses the brain. You cannot say that about erotica in general. I felt that Dutton experienced something like a renaissance as he wrote. I also got some of that from speaking with him and I told him that I would probably use the term “literary smut” to describe his writing. That was before I spent time with his book. Yes, there is smut and yes there is literature and they come together, unite and give us a lot to think about. There is for example, in “The Vampire of Xabthos” a graduate student who abhors vampires and there is a tired and dirty old man in the story that gives this book its title. There is a hustler who is a philosopher and so on. Desire is evident in all of the stories and it is reminiscent of the early erotic stories of Tennessee Williams (“Desire and the Black Masseur”, “One Arm”, “The Angel in the Alcove”) and that is a compliment of the highest order. And there is also angst. If I ask you to think of an erotic short story that contained angst, most of you would be at a loss. I really thought that is would take no time to write a review here and now I see how wrong I was. As I sat down to write my head was filled with thoughts that came to me after I closed the covers of the book. I thought back to the writer, having just met him and spoken to him and I find that there is something about him that I did not as we spoke but that is laid bare in his writing. I can’t exactly put my finger on it—another reviewer said it was a combination of erotica and surrealism but there is something else and I suspect to will come to one day. Speaking with him made me all the more curious to read his stories as if that would help me understand him better. It didn’t—-I suppose there is something there that I will learn of one day. For the same being it is fine to say that he is a new talent in our midst and we must watch him because I have a feeling that we will be hearing a great deal more both about and from him. These are dark stories. Before I read them I read the author’s note included in the book and learned that Dutton tells us that this collection, “represents…. my twenties – all the desires of my youthful self, my attraction to transgression and my intellectual enthusiasm. When I look at Norceuil’s Garden: Queer Fiction and Erotica, it’s like looking back at my twenties. And when I look back at my twenties, I sometimes want that excitement back.” This goes right alone with the excess we find in the stories but when we are young we love excess—excess of everything—sex, money, drugs what have you. Let me give you a sample here— this is from the first short story, “The Manor”. “It was paradise in the Manor. I lived there before I knew anything about life, before I tasted my first sip of beer, my first slobbery penis, my first prick of the needle, the bitterness of the drug dissolving on my tongue”. Now that gives quite a picture to carry in our minds but it also sets the tone of the entire collection. Life is a series of learning experiences. Dutton’s characters learning experiences in “The Manor” came from a session with the coach, a session that has been a fantasy for many. Dutton, however, writes it down. “The Manor” is about Jake, a college student who loves sex and enjoys having it with fellow students as well as faculty members but he is soon forced to leave his exclusive school for a place where education is less expensive. As he leaves we see his lack that he is somewhat shallow when he describes his greatest pleasure is taking a penis into his mouth and services it to climax. (Actually I knew someone just like him and never could understand how he lived or thought). A much darker story is “The Vampire of Xanthos”. We meet a graduate student who falls in love via the Internet with a professor of archeology. When the two finally meet, our student wonders if the man he meets, Violetlove, is alive or is one of the undead. It is only natural for him to wonder if this professor has actually lived through the periods of his archeological research. The third story gives the collection its name. “Norceuil’s Garden” is about the host Norceuil as he prepares to host a garden party that is to be populated with beautiful young men who are tied, bound and are these strictly for the pleasure of those men who are regarded as elders. Many of you will be reminded of Dante’s “Inferno” here in this the darkest of all of the stories in the book. “Hustler” is up next and while not as dark it is also not light and the title alone suggests something about the nature of the story which I will divulge, I have to get you reading and to go ahead and tell you everything does neither of us any good. “London/Paris” memoirs is a look backwards at the life of a young gay man who has experiences while shopping and we learn about other things that Harrod’s has to offer. In Paris this same young man has interesting adventures that are totally unexpected. I have not written by them all because to do so would spoil a wonderful read so you are on your own reading “Distractions from Borges” is taken literally from Andrew’s private notebooks and I understand that what we read is very close to what the author experienced in his life. “Being in Missouri” tells of a Brit in the United States in Missouri working on his PhD in literature. “The Forest of Suicides: Fragments” is written in a series of short paragraphs that morph into larger sections as the story is propelled forward. About this story I will say no more. I love the way Dutton has combined philosophy and social and cultural themes together and taken as a whole this is a very enjoyable read and I cannot recommend it highly enough. If I have a complaint at all, it is that the individual stories do not have page numbers and while this may pose no problem for the average reader it did for me because I had to constantly turn pages to find a story. This is really not a huge problem and it can easily be overcome. I love literature that challenges me and I find that Dutton not only challenges me to introspect but also to think of how other writings that I have read fit into what he presents. To me that is what literature is all about. Share this:

  3. 5 out of 5

    GGR-Review

    The works in this collection are less erotic than intellectually cerebral which casts these tales into a sort of no-mans-land where the jouissance fails in its pursuit of excess over satisfaction. The presumed excess of the time reflects Dutton as a young man, growing into awareness, yet not quite there. I use the word “presumed” for in this modern age of sexualization, excess is the watchword and standard for commerce and entertainment. For those of you going WTF is she talking about, Norceuil’s The works in this collection are less erotic than intellectually cerebral which casts these tales into a sort of no-mans-land where the jouissance fails in its pursuit of excess over satisfaction. The presumed excess of the time reflects Dutton as a young man, growing into awareness, yet not quite there. I use the word “presumed” for in this modern age of sexualization, excess is the watchword and standard for commerce and entertainment. For those of you going WTF is she talking about, Norceuil’s Garden can appeal at several levels. For this reader, obviously the philosophical tone and socio-cultural thematic elements grabbed and held my attention. This is a worthy addition to your library if you are a serious student of gay lit because it removes the obfuscation of titillation but retains the core questions of what it means to be gay in a culture of disavowal. This may not be a read for everyone, but if you would like a glimpse atthe inner landscape of an author with serious questions about who and what he is, there is much to recommend here. This book was reviewed by Diane on GGR-Review

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    *received for free through Goodreads First Reads A dark and slightly twisted collection of intellectual and poetic short stories that focus on homosexual sexual encounters and characters. Some stories focus more on graphic sex that is not at all pretty or romantic and seems more inclined towards darker fetishes (i.e. non-consensual). The stories that are more cerebral were beautifully written but also have that darker quality and occasional moroseness that color this authors writings. I would hav *received for free through Goodreads First Reads A dark and slightly twisted collection of intellectual and poetic short stories that focus on homosexual sexual encounters and characters. Some stories focus more on graphic sex that is not at all pretty or romantic and seems more inclined towards darker fetishes (i.e. non-consensual). The stories that are more cerebral were beautifully written but also have that darker quality and occasional moroseness that color this authors writings. I would have appreciated something a bit happier but that was not what the author was going for and I respect that and was happy enough with the filthy sex.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel T

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ann

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Holden

  8. 5 out of 5

    J

  9. 5 out of 5

    K.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kaite

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda L.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Crago

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alice Malary

  16. 5 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tex Reader

  20. 5 out of 5

    Todd Rumsey

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katie Harder-schauer

  22. 5 out of 5

    Donna Willis

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Hall

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kim Kellogg

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan Walker

  26. 4 out of 5

    Max

  27. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  29. 4 out of 5

    WriteKnight

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ducky

  31. 5 out of 5

    Lara Polk

  32. 4 out of 5

    Jae Park

  33. 5 out of 5

    Erma Talamante

  34. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

  35. 4 out of 5

    Kay Butz

  36. 5 out of 5

    Yusuf Nasrullah

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