Friday, October 1, 2010

REVIEW: Shadowlands by Charlie David

Shadlowlands is a collection of short (often very short) stories of gay erotica. I generally liked the characters presented, but many of the stories were so short (3-10 pages) that there simply was no opportunity to really explore or develop them. Having said that, the longer stories (I'm thinking of Pygmalion, Harvest, and Narcissus here) are handled this beautifully. Even some of the shorter stories (I'm particularly thinking of October 13th) did an admirable job, considering their brevity.
Oddly enough for such short stories, the setting of each story is very deliberately crafted. In almost every story, the setting seemed ideally suited to the story. They weren't bold, in-your-face settings. Instead, they were the kind of settings you almost take for granted, until you realise how deeply you were drawn into the scene, and how clearly you could envision everything around you. For me, the comfortable, homey kind of settings seemed to work best.

While each story has it's own style (to the point where you could be forgiven for thinking they were written by different authors), there is still a consistent ''voice' that connects them. I really can't think of any better way to explain it than that. You could almost envision Charlie sitting across from you telling story - they really have that storyteller style, as opposed to a literary short story.

I'd love to see what he can do with some longer pieces, but the samplings we have here are certainly enough for me to keep reading.

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