Case in point: most recent headers, received today:
These Guys Are Much Too Hot to Be Straight
Watch Twinks Lose Their Cherry
Frat Boys Getting Their Asses Pounded!!!1!
So to give a breakdown of my spam.
Viagara's up, up, up, again, and so, apparently, are a large number of extremely repressed college males who need to be spanked, taught a lesson, or deflowered, take your pick. Narcotics are making a serious comeback, offered from Mexico, Canada, and a country I'm not convinced exists in this particular dimension. No Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, but several highly questionable business offers. Someone desperately wants me to know stock prices and how I should buy, buy, buy now.
My breasts and orgasms are being left alone, but strange offers from bored househusbands have come to my attention, and a distrubing number of promises to remove my wrinkles.
*looks at spam* I do *not* have wrinkles.
Also, a few casinos, a couple of herbal remedies, and a few too many headers that don't actually spell anything readable, though if you squint and read them backwards--no. They still don't make sense.
Usually, I buy new authors only after I've read a page or two in to see what I'm dealing with. Dark Father, which is probably one of the worst horror novels in the history of mankind, and Damon both gave me two things--a fairly traumatizing look at sex, and a raging headache trying to figure out the plot at a very young age. You know there's a basic wrongness to a book when you're not even able to giggle guiltily about reading omgsex!!!1!, because you're just that confused about how everyone got to this situation. And to be honest to myself, my primary focus wasn't the sex--one promised me vampires, the other promised me an evil child around my age, and let me point out, neither of those expectations were fulfilled.
What I remember best, and still find amusing, is the fact that a heterosexual bathroom scene was my first introduction to anal sex. And not in a good way, since the author was so indirect it took me an inordinate amount of time to figure out where the penis was going since it obviously wasn't hanging out in the vagina. After working out the concept, I turned my attention to trying to figure out how that worked, since my most recent memories of anything in that area was Very Young and a Thermometer, and man, that had been *really* freaking annoying. In retrospect, I may have been less worried about it if just once, the author had mentioned lube.
Anyway, I picked out Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy, since I tend to trust female authors more than male when I want something more character driven in my fantasy/sci-fi. It didn't look too scary. It had a nice cover and I read the backs and thought, I shall be wild and crazy and buy the whole series! Since actually, I have found it is a guarantee that if I don't *right then*, I will never, ever find the rest of the books again.
I'm still not sure what the author was going for. I'm almost sure there's some really great symbolic meaning, or a great mythological moment, behind her--unusual choices, that me, being less well-read in Well-Read Literature than many, just wasn't getting.
The problem really started when I started saying the namse out loud.
Okay, here's the thing. What I *read* isn't necessarily related to verbal. So a written word is, to me, a written *word*. I won't actually *get* what I'm calling these characters unless I say it out loud, or something in the book connects me.
Such as, it took me a really, really, *really* long time to recongize the names of the main cast. Say, book two.
Saetan, Daemon, and Lucivar.
I picked up this one when it dawned on me that Saetan was the Lord of Darkness in Hell. They sort of had to *print it out just like that* for me to retrospect and go, huh, then say the names out loud to go, ahh.
As yet, despite having read the series, I'm not seeing any really--well, resemblance to any actual known religion. Trust me, when you realize the character you're rooting for is kind of the, well--you start wondering what's going on and what you missed along the way.
I'm missing some serious theology, mythology, or some really strange new interpretation, because no matter *how* I read it, I'm not getting this as a retelling of anything even vaguely related. Totally possible and likely I just haven't read widely enough to see what she's basing it on.
On the other hand, and this is what just kills me, maybe she isn't. Maybe she was just *really* fond of the names and just tossed them in there for fun.
On the other hand, they were a really, *really* fast, fun read. I picked up the books on Sunday and finished the last one today after work.
After trying to work out what on earth she was doing with these character names and figure out what she was trying to symbolize, I turned my full attention back to the fact that you will be hard pressed to find a series that is so very blase about sexual mutilation.
I was only a few pages in when one poor guy lost his testicles to rats in a most deliberate and really unfortuate occurrance. Lots of really unhappy men wore really uncomfortable rings around their cocks that could, would, and *did* cause immeasurable amounts of pain every few pages. We hit the gamut from castration by degrees, oral removal of female sexual organs, sexual molestation of children, rape, mutilation of children, skinning, cooking of living people, burning, chopping, cannibalism, magical sex-related disease, and then back to the sexual sadism, yet strangely....
She never wrote an actual sex *scene*. These people apparently fuck twenty-four seven, but man, you couldn't get a description unless someone was getting something really, really mutilated in the process. Now true, she didn't linger on any one scene in loving detail or anything--we're not talking American Psycho With Unicorns--but the sheer number kind of began to make you feel like you had seen a lot.
I'm thinking that reading this one before age, say, fourteen, could have really, really fucked up my ideas on sex quite a bit. I'm not sure it hasn't now. Anytime teeth are going to be anywhere near anything I consider fairly vital to a decent sexual experience and WORST CASE SCENARIO hits, I'm just going to feel a little vulnerable for a while.
I was *years* getting over American Psycho.
Still, once you get past all that, it was kind of a fun read.
Oh look, another ad for Viagara in my inbox.