Reviewer Gordon Osmond : Gordon is a produced and award-winning playwright and author of: So You Think You Know English--A Guide to English for Those Who Think They Don't Need One, Wet Firecrackers--The Unauthorized Autobiography of Gordon Osmond and his debut novel Slipping on Stardust.
He has reviewed books and stageplays for http://CurtainUp.com and for the Bertha Klausner International Literary Agency. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School and practiced law on Wall Street for many years before concentrating on writing fiction and non-fiction. You can find out more about Gordon by clicking HERE
Under a title that is itself a clever variation of the more frequently encountered Word Made Flesh, Editor Bernie Mojzes has assembled ten very sexy short stories written by as many authors. We cannot be absolutely sure about the number of authors because of the wacked-out biography of contributor, Sunny Moraine.
The editor’s call for submissions invited contributors to explore the connections among the trinity of writer, writing tools, and medium.
The response to this provocative stimulus is remarkable. Each of the stories is fresh, imaginative, and beautifully written. Forget about the cloying coyness and vocabularic (made that word up, caught up in the freedom of these stories) claustrophobia of contemporary romance novels wherein breasts are “cupped,” arms “snake,” cocks are “manhoods,” and clits are “mounds.”
Unfortunately, the tendency to “verbalize” nouns is not totally absent from this collection, for example, “when Kitty palms the door open…” I may be old-fashioned, but I’d be just as happy if Kitty just pushed the door open. I was equally unimpressed with, “It is exquisite agony.”
In some of the stories, the use of simile is so prevalent as to mimic today’s teenagers’ “like”- soaked conversations. For example,” tumbling into desire like an updraft. It hurts. His fingers are sharp, his body unyielding. She opens like a book in his hands…” Similes are, of course, one of a writer’s primary tools, based as they are, on a human’s abstractive capacity, but, as with all good things, their use can be overdone.
In some of the stories, the sex act is clearly the piece’s centerpiece; in others, it’s more of an integrated side dish. Some of the stories’ venues are realistic; others clearly fantastical and futuristic. In all cases, the descriptions are vibrant, admirable, and memorable.
The first story, All the Spaces In-Between by A.C. Wise, uses the author’s relationship with typewriters and their ancient ribbons to spool out a tale of sex and remembrance. It sets a high standard of excellence that the following stories more than maintain.
Because of my long exposure to the world of theatre and its fulsome foibles, Rival Pens by Benji Bright is probably my personal favorite. Featuring bitchiness worthy of Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker, two playwrights exchange letters which drool over actors they share, at least on stage and perhaps elsewhere. Great fun.
Editor Mojzes did such an outstanding job assembling the literary ejaculations of these outstanding artists that I am inclined to forgive him for his unbelievably trite, however true, finale to his introduction: “The stories I received exceeded my expectations. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.” Another arguable slip was allowing the use of “further” and “farther” within sentences of each other, each referring to a geographic comparison.
In this same introduction to the anthology, Mojzes reports that he would have preferred to be a story contributor rather than the collection’s editor. If his own short account of having his torn jeans inscribed by a party guest is an example of his wit and writing, ‘tis a shame the publisher didn’t allow him to function in both capacities.