Friday, 30 October 2015
GO EAST YOUNG MAN
Anthony Adler has an intuitive feel for arousing his reader. How can sex be subtle yet explicit at the same time? In Berlin Exile we read about the dark world of bdsm; we learn about it too. A reader coming here after reading and loving 50 Shades will pretty soon realise the lack of authenticity in EL James’ book. I don’t know how far Anthony Adler has personally delved into the real world of bdsm; maybe he has dabbled, maybe he’s a sophisticated Master or maybe, like EL James, he’s read a few stories and researched the Internet, but his response is to give us a book that really is a magnificent turn on for the reader. We keep turning the pages and that is, after all, everything that a writer desires. Of course we’d love fame, even more so we’d love riches, but more than anything we want our reader’s attention. And that is exactly what Anthony Adler gets. His book is superbly crafted erotica.
Here’s our protagonist.
Jamie Stolts really only has himself to blame. His reputation lost, his high flying position in a prestigious public relations company gone…along with his enviable salary. He's just closed a brilliant deal with a company in Japan and he's feeling pretty pleased with himself. Jamie has just turned 30 and his 5 year plan of being a company director in the next couple of years is beginning to look like a reality.
Caught out, after a highly charged erotic thrill with the boss’ daughter and Jamie is out…high powered job gone…exclusive lifestyle shattered…all that's on offer is a dubious job in Berlin. It's not a question of go west young man...it's go east.
Berlin Exile is a story of a young man's personal, emotional and spiritual growth. I don't mean spiritual in terms of a religious belief…it's more about an introspection…Jamie thinks about his behaviour and the reader starts to see a real change.
Anthony Adler’s book has a resonance of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. In the same way that we don't like Pip at the beginning of Great Expectations, so it is with Jamie in Berlin Exile. Okay, Jamie is fun, Anthony Adler presents him as a nice enough guy…a little superficial, a little promiscuous, he likes to be in control…but he's not without kindness. He just doesn't want to be tied down…and that's why he shuns any relationship that looks as if it's going to extend beyond one night. Told in the first person, we get to know Jamie quickly.
So, Berlin…there’s suddenly a lot going on in Jamie’s life; new people, new friends, a new love. Jamie’s work life in Berlin is refreshing to him. He feels a connection with his work; it’s not just a means to an end…he is working with good people, kind, talented people, people whom he likes and as their boss, he feels responsible for; it’s a complete contrast with what was his work life in London. The reader catches Jamie making comparisons; he thinks how unnecessary it all was to be overtly competitive, unkindly aggressive, where the reward was either a pay rise, or being noticed by “right” people.
Early in Berlin Exile Jamie talks about music, the music that to a great extent, has defined his life. He loves the great classic stuff; the Stones, the Beatles, the Who.His musical tastes are defined by nostalgia and nostalgia is always deceptive…we yearn for something to was never really there.
It's as if Jamie realized that new music was there, he just hasn't been open to it. He hasn't listened, not really. And just as Jamie is beginning to question his attitude to work and to women, he hears the music of Berlin. His musical tastes change into something profound; something esoteric. He is drawn to the enigmatic, charismatic band Null Eins Null and in an equal measure, he is drawn to the enigmatic, charismatic exotic Silke.
There’s a world of bdsm here and though it’s not for the faint hearted, Anthony Adler is never crude. I won’t say that Jamie embraces the lifestyle immediately, for Jamie it’s a slow unfolding…a learning about control. Who is in control? In his previous life, being in control was an imperative. Through Silke, Jamie learns about relinquishing control and finding peace; a profound harmony.
Anthony Adler is an impressive writer of erotica. He stands out, way above his peers. I look forward to hearing more from him. This book was a pleasure to read; Anthony Adler is a new, young writer who knows how to tell a cool story, he knows how to craft memorable characters, he knows how to maintain control of a narrative.
Berlin Exile will stay with me for a long time.
Berlin Exile is at Amazon UK And Amazon US
You can find Anthony Adler at Twitter @FickSchon