Starving Review: The Fetish Collection by Paul Burns


The Fetish Collection by Paul Burns (Amazon, Goodreads)

So, loyal readers, you’ve seen the Starving Reviewer tackle everything from children’s books to high fantasy.  This week, I’m expanding my taste selection to a new set of recipes, which is to say it’s time to take a taste of some erotica.  The real taste test for this sort of food comes down to that razor-thin edge between erotica (the story drives the sexual content) and straight-out pornography (the sexual content drives the story).  Does The Fetish Collection, a short-story anthology based around sexual fetishes, pass the erotica taste test?

Before we find out, it’s time to bring out the Starving Review creed:

  1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
  2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible.

If we’re going to sample this exotic collection of recipes as erotica, then we obviously have to judge it by a high literary standard.  Do these short stories match up in plot, characters, pacing, and all the other things that we hold dear?  I am happy to report that, yes, indeed, Mr. Burns manages all of this with aplomb.

The writing here is spot on.  As I mentioned above, for erotica to taste right, the plot of each short story in this anthology drives the sexual content of each tale.  There are some stories that have no explicit content at all, simply focusing on psychological aspects of the fetishes examined.  In fact, I must give proper praise to the chef here for focusing on the anthology’s theme of fetishes and the examination there-of.  This theme is included in every recipe and is treated with all the proper respect and introspection the subject is due (NO THIS IS NOT IRONY!).

Pacing, grammar, characterization are all spot on for the short story format.  Another polite nod to the reader is the use of the table of contents to both inform the reader of what fetishes each story examines as well as a rating of explicitness, allowing the reader to examine what they wish and also to be properly prepared for the sexual content of each story.  In the realm of erotica, this is a good nod to the readership and also utilizes the functionality of e-books, allowing a reader to jump directly to a story from the table of contents as well as having links at the end of each tale to jump back to the ToC.  Nicely done!

If these seems to be a short review, it’s because there is little critical to say!  Mr. Burns is a talented writer and he takes his subject matter seriously.  Each erotic tale is a well-baked literary bite, full of spicy tastes and erotic content.  For a fan of proper literary erotica, I cannot recommend The Fetish Collection enough.

FINAL VERDICT: ***** (A box of spicy, tasty erotic treats baked with a skilled literary hand!)

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