This review probably isn’t NSFW, but whoa nellie you better believe the book itself is!
Title: Oedipus Aroused
Author: Robert Devereaux
Publisher: Lambent Light Publishing
How fittingly Freudian that my first words upon beholding it were, “Oh wow it’s so BIG!” By which I meant thick. I mean, by which I meant, the book. This is a big, thick, hefty book. You need both hands to handle a turgid tome of this girth.
Presented as a lost — or hidden — Homeric epic, only recently unearthed and translated, it definitely lives up to the claim. It’s the Iliad of smut. You know how that one has all those utterly fantastic, detailed, poetic, evocative descriptions of battle? Imagine that, only, with sex.
Even utilizing some of the same classic words! One of my favorite adjectives, ‘winedark,’ gets a good deal of play, not much of it in reference to the sea this time, let me tell you! Devereaux, a fantastic author as well as a gentleman and a scholar and a certified orgasmatician, has written some steamy stuff with mythic overtones before, but here, he has above and beyond outdone himself.
Story-wise, this goes far beyond the regular Oedipus most people know, though rest assured all the elements are there. Oracles, prophecies, efforts to avert or circumvent said prophecies that only end up bringing about their fulfillment, riddles of the Sphinx, fathers feeling threatened by sons, sons feeling oppressed by fathers, forbidden lusts, ultimate taboos … yep, it’s all there. And then some. Oh, boy, and then some.
For one thing, it involves a cast of characters far in excess of Oedipus, Laius, and Jocasta. It involves the royals of Thebes visiting the royals of Corinth, in the days leading up to a festival of Demeter, abstinence followed by excess, kind of a Greek myth Mardi Gras. So, you’ve got lecherous old kings, nymphomaniacal queens, frustrated virgins, lovelorn romantics, sultry handmaidens, naked bull-leapers, tales of the many and varied pervy exploits of the gods, and of course ALL THE SEX.
You know those dramatic farces a la Wilde and Shakespeare, with mistaken identities and matchmaking and tricksies and swapsies and all manner of slapstick hijinks? If the Marquis deSade or some other legendary pornographer wrote a tragedy/farce, it would be a lot like this. Nearly needing a scorecard to keep track of who’s related to whom, who knows who’s related to whom, who’s doing whom, who’s wanting to do whom.
Also, again, the size is impressive! The size, and the heft, and the staying power. It’ll keep you going for 350 pages, leave you spent and exhausted and eager for more.