How long it took me to plow through over 370 pages of cramped erotic prose, that is. I actually had to go through the table of contents with a pencil and check off the stories that I had already read; otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to remember. Think that's a good thing? (^^;;;Ford, Michael Thomas. Tangled Sheets: Tales of Erotica. New York: Kensington, 2005.Summary
: Short story anthology of erotic fiction by the author under his pseudonym Tom Caffrey--who also, in various incarnations, is the protagonist of many of these stories. Sad to say that the stories are not based upon the author's actual experiences, for the most part. I believe that this book is a comprehensive collection of all of Ford's erotica; it includes semi-classics such as "The Blue Dragon" and "Revelation" as well as 38 more stories with various scenarios, most of them relatively real-world and banal.Comments
: I have a low opinion in general of the quality of gay fiction that Kensington puts out, and my low opinion does, it seems, extend to their erotica anthologies as well. The stories quickly become very repetitive and tell more about Ford's taste in fantasy than anything else: He likes dark-haired, furry men and being a bottom. He does NOT particularly like S&M nor writing safe sex scenes. Nearly all of his stories involve consensual sex, and some of them have an element of *coughs* "masculine" romance to them (though personally I thought R. J. March did that hundreds of times better). Most of the stories, though generally well-written for the genre as a whole (Ford has written plenty of other stuff as well, and he is respectably literate), are pretty unmemorable. They weren't even, in my opinion, the most erotically-charged stories I'd ever read; perhaps I reveal my own sex when I say I need more of an emotional charge to go with the physical aspects of it all. In any case, my favorites include "Bachelor Party," about a guy who finds true love with his best friend the night before he is to be wed, and "The Ways of the Father," about the boy who gets lucky with his hunky roommate's equally hunky dad. This really is only a book for die-hard Tom Caffrey fans; despite the variety of the stories, it's a myopic experience in that they are all written by a single author, and there are plenty of other anthologies to check out if you're looking for a good variety and range of gay erotic fiction. Notes
: trade paperback, 1st editionRating
- If you're an erotic fiction enthusiast, it might be nice to have this book in your collection. Otherwise, buy a multi-author anthology that includes Michael Thomas Ford's work and call it a day.