Spring is in the air, my dear! Or that’s what I hear from all those party people that like to blow on about the state of the clouds and the moisture levels and all that, where has the sun gone etc etc. Why is it so chuffing cold? Well, at bloody cock-fucking last, that’s what I say.
My Valentine’s date went pretty badly, thanks for asking. I’d prefer not to go into the ins and outs, but I will because I can see that you’re pleading with me. The long and short of it is (and he was pretty short, in that department) that I caught norovirus from this guy’s arse. I was getting down to it and I suddenly felt very sick indeed. As sick as a projectile vomiting dog with a chronic shitting disease. Subsequently, I experienced the full force of my failure to consider the general rules on hygiene and respectability. Needless to say, he got out of there sharpish and left me swanning around in my own effluent.
Anyway, I’ve pressure washed the carpets and incinerated the duvet covers, so I’m good to blow on. Violet’s weekly adult book review is back and it’s a eye ball squeezer of a dystopian Sci Fi banger set in little England. The aim, as always, is to attempt to answer that scalding question: can a good book ever be as greasy as a good fuck?
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Book title: The Gas
Author: Charles Platt
Publisher of this edition: Savoy Books Ltd
Copyright: © Charles Platt 1970
First published: 1970
Cover illustration: Harry Douthwaite
THE RAUNCH REVIEW: Violet’s Verdict
Quick synopsis: An accident in a factory releases a gas, which settles over southern England, and makes everyone go sex mad and/or outrageously violent. In essence, it strips humans and animals of all their inhibitions and pent-up urges. The book follows Vincent, who in part is responsible for the release of the gas, as he tries to get back to his wife and kids in order to take them to Scotland (where the gas can’t reach).
Title: It does what it says on the tin really. Pretty much sums up what we’re dealing with. The gas happens and nothing will ever be the same again in little England, where everyone is so totally repressed.
Cover image: The cover is extraordinary and screams FUCK ME I’M A SCI FI CLASSIC. A great example of the crass grisly cover art of that period. The illustration is pretty bestial, aggressive and intimidating, which is an accurate reflection of the shit between the covers. Some strange Medusa like person is dribbling over her own tits, nice. Circles, lots of circles, circles are sexy.
Best sentence/s in the book:
The aura of sex she was radiating was like sitting next to an electric fire.
The waves of swelling pleasure emanating from his prick seemed to be coming from the car itself.
Vincent watched helplessly as the policeman started massaging the dog’s penis, first as if to dispel the pain, but then faster.
She smelled of sweat and old condoms.
A party of suburban wives had tied their husbands down naked on the floor in a long line, and were playing a sexual variation of musical chairs on them.
In the corner, a group of schoolboy plane-spotters had grabbed aircraft models from the check-in counters and were experimentally seeing how far the models’ fuselages would penetrate up each other’s anuses.
His fingers squelched into her fat, slobbery cunt.
The priest tried to kneel up, slipped, fell on his side and started shitting uncontrollably.
He was a red and pink and brown pudding on the floor.
“I’ve come!” he yelled, jism started rushing up past his face in long, sticky streamers, pulled out of Cathy’s cunt by the roaring wind.
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Overall sexual content: The book is absolutely crammed with sex and violence. It begins very sexily and then quickly degrades into a sex crazed gore fest. There is a very erotic element to the sex at the beginning of the book, which is urgent and desperate, but not yet totally alienating and hate fuelled. Obviously as the book progresses the sex gets more and more extreme, almost to the point where life no longer matters anymore and sex is used simply as a weapon and orgasm as a means to regaining a small degree of rationality.
It is very interesting that the sexual anarchy that ensues sees men and women at war with each other. Both men and women seize the opportunity to abuse and violate the opposite sex in a way that implies that that is what they have always wanted but never been brave enough to make happen.
Overall conclusion: 9 out of 10.
Titillation station: The beginning chapters are right up there on the sexy scales. The sex is hot and titillating, despite the fact that once again men are in the driving seat (metaphorically and literally, lots of sex happens a stolen Rolls Royce) and women are given no choice but to suck it up. However, all the erotic charge of the book dries up instantly as the sex becomes more and more taboo and extreme.
Food for thought: It is an absolute banger of a book. One of my all time favourites. It’s no wonder that when it was released in the UK in 1980 it was seized by the book police. It is unapologetically rough. In more ways than one. Charles probably wrote it in a week – given the amount of spelling mistakes – and the fact that this writer and journalist in his own right, wrote it for money for the magnificent churner outer of erotic and avant-garde literary fiction Ophelia Press. I’m tempted to read his hands-on non-fiction works on electronics just for kicks.
There is a big section in the book where Cambridge University students begin kidnapping women to carry out appalling supposedly scientific but totally sexual experiments on them. Most of the descriptions are gratuitous and inherently cruel, with most of the women dying as a result. What is implied here and explicitly stated at one point, is that these men have always felt an inner dislike/threat from female sexuality and take the opportunity in a lawless society to enact horrific acts on women in the name of science, as some sort of fucked up form of revenge for something unsaid/unknown.
I would have given it the top bollocks (10/10) but the end just deflated my arse before I was satisfied. Sadly, with great ideas sometimes there is no way that the end can live up to the promised climax.
P.S. I wasn’t too keen on the incest stuff even though I get that it’s the big taboo. At least the violence was very obviously horrific, whereas the incest was presented in a loving and sexy way, which was a pretty mouldy dick to swallow.
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