Posts Tagged ‘Portia Da Costa’
I couldn’t decide which of Portia’s many novels to start with until someone on Goodreads nudged me in this direction.
I am so grateful for the nudge!
This book had me in its thrall from the very first sentence. The author’s imagination is delightfully erotic and she can build suspense better than Hitchcock, if you’ll pardon the reference. (Just a name that popped into my head.)
The descriptions and situations gave me intense pleasure many times over.
Intense pleasure is an end in itself but I would like to add a serious tip for anyone who, like me, seeks to improve her English.
I like to read beautiful British English whenever I can, as it rubs in… or rubs off… or something. Now, one of the best ways to learn anything is to make sure your experience with it is intense. Portia writes beautiful British English. Her sentences are among the most lucid, concise and well-judged of any I have read. So for me, this is one of the best books in the world for improving your written English and I recommend it to foreigners everywhere. Practise with it intensely every day and you will soon be writing and speaking pure, elegant, flawless sentences with interesting vocabulary that arise naturally and fully-formed from your impure and imperfect thoughts.
(For American English I recommend Gore Vidal’s books but that’s another review entirely! Gay men are so good at style.)
I bought this anthology for one just one story, which is The Red Shoes (Redux) by Nikki Magennis. It was worth it for that one story.
The other authors have formidable reputations but I wasn’t going to read their stories because I have only just bought another fairy-tale themed collection edited by Alison Tyler which I started to read just before this. In fact this is the fifth fairy-tale themed story anthology I have picked up this year. Fairy tales are a rich source of inspiration and can take this kind of a beating but I can’t.
Alison Tyler is a bit like a fairy tale character herself. She is the Princess of Porn. Whether the other writers know it or not, she has first refusal on every erotic story published in America and can cherry pick from the offerings of the world’s erotica literati.
She must have included some sort of hidden cantrip inside the Kindle text because I started to get curious about the other stories and once I got started I couldn’t stop.
I read Sommer Marsden’s The Three Billys to improve my vocabulary. Her literary inventiveness left me dizzy with awe.
I read Portia Da Costa’s Unveiling His Muse for its perspicacity. Portia’s lucid and witty style acts like a pornographic palette cleanser.
I steeled myself for Kistina Lloyd’s David and needed all my inner resolve to withstand the shock of the ending. No writer comes close to Kristina.
Then I had to take a break.
But Alison must have been out there in the internet weaving her magic because pretty soon I came across this desperate plea:
‘Hairstyle nerds, please help: What do you call it when someone wears their pony tails atop their head at devil-horn angles? Like, sort of in front? It’s like, a candy commando thing. You know, punk, kinda. They dye them pink. It’s a Grrl thing. “front-facing pigtails” isn’t cutting it.’
This cry for help came from Thomas Roche. THE Thomas Roche. Thomas S. Roche. I went scurrying to my anthologies and found I have no less than three stories by him, none of which I had read.
That was then. This is now. I was so impressed by that poetic paragraph that I had to read all three of those stories.
I was very pleased with myself. My instinct didn’t let me down. But I spent the day cursing him. Cupid Has Signed Off made me late for work. It made me break my rule of never reading erotica at the bus stop. Or on the bus. Or in the toilet between meetings (bless you, Kindle for iphone!) The suspense made me ill but luckily the ending was to die for.
Thomas Roche has a novel coming out in September called The Panama Laugh. I’ve pre-ordered it.
Do you need any more assurances that these stories are good? Well, I can’t end this review without telling you to read Alison Tyler’s Rings On My Fingers. That woman has put a spell on me.