Friday, 29 July 2016

GONE by C.Allen

It's a whirlwind of a debut. A debut that takes my breath away. I'm talking about C.Allen's book "Gone." There's no prevaricating, no hesitation, this new writer is bold and handles his characters and narrative with an easy, engaging confidence.

His "protagonist is Serena; Serena is beautiful and bored with the mundanity of her life. An advertisement in a newspaper offering an enticing freedom away from the restraints and restrictions of life grabs her attention.

Of course, Serena answers the ad, arrangements are made, rules are dictated, which she manipulates to suit herself...she's feisty, assertive, she has to deal with the repercussions of her disobedience, but the rewards are great.

And as I am reading "Gone" I find myself wanting to know more about this intriguing new writer. This often happens with readers when a book is exceptional...I was also thinking about writing this review. C.Allen is writing quality erotica and writes from a female point of view. It's evocative, sensual stuff, stuff that as a woman I can relate to. Taste, scent, touch...the allure of erotic arousal. I was surprised to learn that C.Allen is a guy.

Perhaps this shouldn't matter, but my experience of reading an enormous amount of erotica, over the years, is that male writers rarely get it right when writing from a woman's point of view. The same can probably be said of women writing from a male's point of view. With the exception of Emily Bronte, writing about Heathcliffe, most of us cannot conceive of what goes on in our opposite gender's head.

C.Allen gets it exactly right. "Gone" is an erotic enterprise and will appeal both to the newcomer to erotica and to those readers, who are somewhat jaded with the same old stories.

And there is more to come. Serena's erotic adventures have only just begun.

And there is a real treat in store for you! C.Allen’s book is on free promotion this Saturday and Sunday…grab a copy while it’s going free!

“Gone” is at Amazon UK And Amazon US

Friday, 22 July 2016


David Perlmutter comes to my blog this week to tell you about his latest publication in his “My Way” series. “Sex For The Beach” it’s a collection of very explicit erotic tales by writers who really do know how to tantalise…eleven alluring, arousing stories.

Over to David!

After the recent publication of MY WAY FOUR – May the Fourth be With You and MY
WAY 5 – About Life, I would like to welcome you to the next instalment of my MY
WAY series and this one is HOT, I mean really HOT.

I am delighted to be able to TEASE and PLEASE you with some of the best indie
Authors I know who write erotic literature.

I have eleven story tellers who made this book rather HARD in the editing and
planning stages. My editor/co-author and I have had the PLEASURE of casting our
eyes over each and every one of the eleven STEAMY chapters. Yes, eleven of the
most TANTALISING written words that we have ever read or CUM across. The process
of editing hasn’t been an easy one as we do edit together, and for one reason or
another, as you will read, we were rather SEDUCED by the writing and many times
ended up quite distracted and putting our laptops down.

I must warn you before you read this HOT BED of erotica, that no one under the
age of 18 must further proceed, as the contents may offend.

So let’s begin this erotica ORGY and let’s get DOWN and DIRTY with the authors
featured within, all ready and waiting to SEDUCE you.

Now let's meet the featured authors!


I started the MY WAY brand as self-help books for indie authors, so MY WAY WON, MY WAY TOO and MY WAY FREE- TRENDING ON TWITTER, (FREE to download on my website, are all about book marketing! I wanted to keep the MY WAY brand going but in a different direction, so one weekend on a break to Bournmouth, my girlfriend, Julie who is also my editor and co-author of the brand and I had a brainwave on the journey and came up with the idea for continuing the brand but to include and promote authors in different genres! And that is how it all came together.
So MY WAY FOUR - May the 4th Be With You features authors of Science Fiction, MY WAY 5 About Life is about all about mental health and features 21 authors/bloggers of their experiences and MY WAY SIX - Sex For The Beach features authors of erotica
The MY WAY brand will continue with:
MY WAY SEVEN HEAVEN - Fiction and Non - Fiction books about religion
MY WAY ATE - Food For Thought - About food disorders
MY WAY CRIME - 999 - Will feature authors of Crime Fiction
MY WAY TEN Will be about me again!

MY WAY SIX IS AT AMAZON UK  & at AMAZON US The rest of the MY WAY series is also for sale at Amazon also.

Friday, 15 July 2016


Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 29th August 1780 – 14th January 1867) was a French Neoclassical painter. Although he considered himself to be a painter of history in the tradition of Nicolas Poussin and Jacques-Louis David, by the end of his life it was Ingres’ portraits, both painted and drawn, that were recognized as his greatest legacy.

From Wiki

“A man profoundly respectful of the past, he assumed the role of a guardian of academic orthodoxy against the ascendant Romantic style represented by his nemesis Eugène Delacroix. His exemplars, he once explained, were "the great masters which flourished in that century of glorious memory when Raphael set the eternal and incontestable bounds of the sublime in art ... “I am thus a conservator of good doctrine, and not an innovator.” Nevertheless, modern opinion has tended to regard Ingres and the other Neo-classicists of his era as embodying the Romantic spirit of his time, while his expressive distortions of form and space make him an important precursor of modern art.”

But I want to talk about the eroticism in Ingres’ painting. The way he painted women, reflecting the parts of the female body that were considered to be erotic according to contemporary style. Just as today’s female fashion seems to be a penchant for a generous mouth and full, bee-stung lips, the desired style in Ingres’ day, was for an ivory, translucent skin, rounded, gracefully formed limbs, an elegant neck, décolletage and a long back.

Although rare and little known during his time, his works are very famous today and include The Bather of Valpinçon, La Grande Odalisque and The Turkish Baths. They rank among the most daring and enigmatic paintings of the 19th century.

Whether naked or clothed, you can see from the way Ingres’ painted women, that his eyes lingered; he delighted in the female form.

I think that eroticism is enhanced by clothes, and while Ingres’ painted many, many nudes, the painting I want to look at first, is of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière.

Jonathan Jones writes in , the Guardian newspaper, 2nd August 2003;

“Mademoiselle Rivière was 15 when Ingres painted her. The portrait was shown at the Salon of 1806 along with his pictures of her parents and Napoleon. By the end of the year she was dead.

The sexuality Ingres usually reserved for harem fantasies slips, over into the real and respectable world in this charged portrait. His obviously intense visual relationship with his subject and his contentment to look, with a clinical waxy fetishism, at Mademoiselle Rivière's full lips, bared neck, long gloves and spectacularly serpentine boa, lend this picture drama.

The beauty of the painting is its sublimated stillness. Fragile like porcelain, with smoothed hair, Mademoiselle Rivière is incongruous against a rural backdrop. She is a clothed odalisque, an unreal being in the French countryside. She makes you think of Ingres’ paintings of Greek myths, in which you sense that a supernatural power is about to smash through the surface of his vision. Ingres’ paintings suggest overwhelming forces, inside and outside the artist. He is far greater and more ambitious than we recognise if we dwell solely on the "accuracy" of his portraits.

This image of femininity seizes a quality of youthful candour just on the brink of a womanhood that Mademoiselle Rivière, who died that very year, was never to know. The sunlit openness of the spring landscape, the simplicity and slight stiffness of the stance, the natural ruddiness of cheeks and lips, the dazzling whiteness of the dress and swan's-down boa (which offended those 1806 Salon critics accustomed to a darker, more shadowed palette)--such elements create a purity and innocence foreign to the atmosphere of cultivated artifice and sensuality in Ingres’ portraits of mature women. Appropriate to the age of the sitter, Mademoiselle Rivière’s sensuality is nascent rather than overripe. Indeed, the chiselled clarity of the head, centred beneath the arcing upper frame, smacks of something strangely archaic. The staring, almond-shaped eyes; the fixed smile; the stylised geometries of hairline, eyebrows, ear locks- all recall an early moment in an artistic cycle, whether Egyptian, archaic Greek, or Italian quattrocento.”

From the Louvre website

“Ingres set the erotic tone of 19th and 20th-century French art. In Rome in the late 1800s,he painted a nude for the king of Naples; in 1814 he did his Grande Odalisque, now in the Louvre. The liberation of the eye is the great revolution of painting in 19th-century France and, in Ingres’ inspection of nudes, you see, for the first time, the overt voyeurism that was to be taken to an extreme by Degas.

La Grande Odalisque painted in 1814, Ingres transposes the theme of the mythological nude, whose long tradition goes back to the Renaissance, to an imaginary Orient. This work, his most famous nude, was commissioned by Caroline Murat, Napoleon's sister and the queen of Naples. Here, Ingres paints a nude with long, sinuous lines bearing little resemblance to anatomical reality, but renders the details and texture of the fabrics with sharp precision. This work drew fierce criticism when it was displayed at the Salon of 1819.”

She looks over her shoulder at the viewer inviting observation. She is owned and paid for, she doesn’t challenge the viewer; she will move, when and where, she is told. You can trail your fingers down the length of that long, long spine. You can caress her. Test the weight of that firm breast in the palm of your hand. She will offer no resistance. Her owner has granted his permission. And the feather fan; is she going to masturbate with the handle?

From the Louvre website

“The woman lying on a divan is offering herself because she is nude and turns her face towards us. The painting's title, which means "harem woman," and the accessories around her conjure up the sensuous Orient. But the woman is also discreet because she shows only her back and part of one breast. The nude was a major theme in Western art, but since the Renaissance figures portrayed in that way had been drawn from mythology; here Ingres transposes the theme to a distant land.”

From The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

“La Grande Odalisque, a painting by Jean-Auguste Ingres (1780-1867), was throughout the 19th century notorious for its anatomical inaccuracy; in particular, the woman was said to have three lumbar vertebrae too many. This view was accepted by all art critics, but never tested and proven. We measured the length of the back and of the pelvis in human models, expressed the mean values in terms of head height, and transferred them to the painting. The deformation was found to be greater than originally assumed (five, rather than three, extra lumbar vertebrae), and to involve both the back and the pelvis. Ingres' paintings skilfully combine realism and symbolism. We suggest that the deformation may have been introduced for psychological reasons. By placing the harem woman's head further away from her pelvis the artist may have been marking the gulf between her thoughts (expressed by her aloof, resigned look) and her social role (symbolized by her deliberately lengthened pelvis).”

From the Louvre website.

“The Valpinçon Bather, Ingres’ first great nude, is the model for all his later nudes. She is already typical of Ingres’ style, with its sumptuous textures (for example, the turban), sinuous harmony of line, and depiction of the serene attitude and chaste sensuality of the woman's body-all enlisted in the quest for absolute perfection.

The work featuring a bathing woman is generally known by the name of one of its nineteenth-century owners. It was one of the works Ingres sent to Paris in 1808 when he was studying at the French Academy in Rome. This early work is a masterpiece of harmonious lines and delicate light. The woman's superb nude back left a deep impression on the artist; he returned to it in several later works, most notably the Turkish Bath”.

The woman is turned from the viewer; there is no fear of being found out. It is as if the woman, fresh from her bath, is in a peepshow. We can indulge in our private, debauched fantasies to our hearts’ content.

From Wiki.

“Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) described the model as having a "deep voluptuousness", yet in many ways she is presented as essentially chaste.This contradiction is apparent in many elements of the painting. The turn of her neck and the curves of her back and legs are accentuated by the fall of the metallic green draperies, the swell of the white curtain in front of her and the folds of the bed sheets and linen. However, these elements are countered by the cool tone in which her flesh is rendered, as well as by elements such as the cool and elegant black-veined marble to the left of her. There is a stillness, a concentrated calm which only serves to heighten the implicit eroticism - what if, one wonders, she were actually to turn around?

Ingres returned to this form of this figure a number of times in his life; culminating in his The Turkish Bath of 1863, where the central figure in the foreground playing a mandolin echoes in rhythm and tone the model of the Valpinçon bather.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu travelled extensively. In 1716 she wrote the following in her journal after visiting a Turkish bath. One hundred years later, Ingres copied her description into his sketch book.

: "... il y avait bien la deux cent baigneuses; les premiers sophas furent couverts de cousins et de riches tapis; et toutes etaient nues. Cependant il n’y avait parmielles ni geste indecent, ni posture lascive…”

There were certainly two hundred (female) bathers there; the first sofa’s were covered with cushions and rich tapestries, and they were all nude (naked). However, none of them had indecent gestures or took on lascivious poses.

From that brief passage, Ingres painted his erotic masterpiece. However objective Lady Mary intended her account to be, it had the reverse effect on Ingres, for it inspired him to paint, forty five years later, one of the most erotic paintings that had been seen by the world.

Ingres combined all the elements into his greatest painting, Le Bain Turc, completed in 1863. This was originally a square composition, but only a photograph by Marville exists of the painting in this format. It was commissioned by Napoleon, but returned to the artist on the insistence of the Princess Clothilde, who was shocked by the lascivious postures of the naked figures.

Once the painting was back in the studio Ingres exercised his true mastery and miraculously turned it into a tondo. The circular composition is so convincing that it is hard to believe that it was ever conceived otherwise. An oil sketch exists showing how he rearranged the arms of the figure on the right. The right arm had previously fallen downwards. He raised it behind her head, but at the same time cunningly managed to keep the profile of the hand by transferring it to the arm of the figure below, where it now half conceals the bashful lady's face.

The Turkish Bath is erotica for the connoisseur. What at first seems to be a disorganised extravaganza of female flesh, is actually a carefully arranged series of images, where the eye is led around the steaming bath; our eyes’ journey around the painting is dictated by Ingres. First the magnificent back of the Valpinçon bather; here, she strums a lute. On the right a woman sprawls languidly, displaying herself without reticence. Two girls play with each others’ fat nipples. And it goes on and on. The air is hot and steamy; the scent of female arousal and smoky drugs, make the viewer giddy.

From Wiki.

Ingres relished the irony of producing an erotic work in his old age, painting an inscription of his age (AETATIS LXXXII) on the work. - He did not paint this work from live models, but from several croquis and paintings he had produced over the course of his career, re-using 'bather' and 'odalisque' figures (he had earlier produced La Grande Odalisque) he had previously drawn or painted as single figures on a bed or beside a bath. The figure best known to have been copied is from his The Bather of Valpinçon, reproduced here almost identically and forming the central element of the new composition. The figure with her arms raised above her head in the right foreground, however, is based on an 1818 croquis of the artist's wife Madeleine Chapelle (1782-1849), though her right shoulder is lowered whereas her right arm is raised (an anatomical inconsistency usual in Ingres’ work - La Grande Odalisque has three additional vertebrae). The other bodies are juxtaposed in various unlit areas behind them.

In 1867 Ingres told others that he retained “all the fire of a man of thirty years.”

When he said that, he was eighty two years old. Good for you Monsieur Ingres!

All of the paintings featured here can be seen at the Louvre.

Big thanks to Jan Vander Laenen for the translations from French to English.

Friday, 8 July 2016


Sometimes, something snaps inside our heads. We become disconnected; we can’t find our way. We are lost. We may be confused, babble, see visions. Sometimes, people take us away. The world whispers about us; around us. People say that we are mad.
And it is madness that inhabits the world of Ken Kesey’s novel, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Not just madness, fear inhabits that world too.

I can’t claim, by a long way, to have read every novel written in the twentieth century, but I’ve read a helluva lot, and I really do believe that Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, published in 1962, is one of the finest. It’s startling in its originality; Kesey’s use of language is stunning in his poetic prose. He twists metaphor until it strains like tortured metal, and threatens to snap, and all the while, instantly, the reader knows exactly what Kesey is talking about. His novel deserves its reputation as a classic work of literature.

The narrative takes place in “the Big Nurse’s” ward in a mental institution. It sounds as if you are in for a tough read, but you’re not. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is funny, Kesey’s sharp sense of humour rescues the book from bleakness.

The novel is also poignant and ultimately heartbreaking.

The two main players in Kesey’s novel are McMurphy and “the Big Nurse;” Nurse Ratched.

Kesey has gravitas. His writing has dignity. Our emotions may be miniscule, set against the great profundities that human beings have to pit themselves against, but any writer who can make us think; “yes, I have felt like that too,” is worthy indeed.

Kesey demonstrates this understanding after McMurphy observes in the group therapy session, how the residents turn against Harding. “Pecking at him, like he was a wounded chicken”, all under the eye of Nurse Ratched and the doctor. McMurphy says that Nurse Ratched is a “Ball breaker” -- she sits with a small smile on her face as Harding is emotionally castrated.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is told in the first person, by Chief Bromden. The Chief is a patient on the Big Nurse’s ward. He has been there the longest of all the patients, and despite being considered a hopeless case, he has learnt to carve out a life for himself. He knows how to survive. The staff and patients all think that the Chief is mute; deaf and dumb. He isn’t; he can hear as well as anyone, and if he chose to, he could speak. Through the Chief, readers are treated to a cynical look at society and its rules. He refers to the authority figures in the book as “The Combine”, in reference to the mechanical way they manipulate individuals. The story is really a modern day parable about the abuse of power.

The Chief describes Nurse Ratched;

“Her face is smooth, calculated, and precision made, like an expensive baby doll, skin like flesh coloured enamel, blend of white and cream and baby blue eyes, small nose, pink little nostrils -- everything working together except the colour on her lips and fingernails, and the size of her bosom. A mistake was made somehow in manufacturing, putting those big womanly breasts on what would otherwise been a perfect work, and you can see how bitter she is about it.”

The Chief introduces us to the ward. We immediately understand that this is a domain of lost souls. People with no power, who at some time in their lives have had their grip on sanity slip, never to regain their footing.

Enter, Randle P. McMurphy.

Faking insanity to get out of prison for a battery charge, McMurphy immediately begins upsetting Nurse Ratched’s routines, embroiling the two in a power struggle. As an upbeat character, McMurphy easily convinces the other patients—including the stuttering Billy Bibbit, the effeminate Dale Harding and the germaphobic George Sorenson—to gamble, to vote to watch the World Series on TV, to take a fishing trip and to start questioning the demands of the hospital staff. McMurphy is a strong, but flawed character; one who, at times, struggles with the expectations he has manipulated and the consequences he has brought about.

McMurphy represents the freedom that the patients have voluntarily given up – and it is McMurphy who shows them how to find the courage to reclaim their place in the world.

When McMurphy first enters the ward, the thing that immediately distinguishes him, aside from his lack of fear, are his jokes. He laughs out loud at everything, and makes fun of everyone. Laughter is very rarely heard in the ward, and by not taking anything too seriously, McMurphy is able to exert power over it. He manages to avoid any sort of insult or invasion by making a joke of it. And laughter is something that men do. McMurphy’s gut wrenching belly laugh is absolutely male. The Chief notices McMurphy’s calloused hands; his sunburnt skin. McMurphy is a man; a concept that the men in the ward have forgotten. Even through the pervasive odour of hospital smells, the stench of incontinence, the Chief scents on McMurphy;

“…the man smell of dust and dirt from the open fields, and sweat, and work.”

McMurphy, having bet the rest of the men that he can get the Big Nurse to crack within a week, makes his first step by the use of a long joke. The Big Nurse is unable to fight back because it takes her by surprise. By making fun of her, he subverts her authority, and eliminates any power she might have over him.

McMurphy tells the other men jokes in an attempt to get them to laugh, but such an act smacks of rebellion, and the other men are unable to accomplish it. Laughter is equated with strength and an ability to not take everything seriously. It also means having an emotional reaction to something that isn't fear, an idea of which the men of the ward are terrified.

When for the first time, the men take part in the joke, pretending to be dangerous mental patients, they frighten the people around them into treating them with respect, giving the men a feeling of power. They become a team against the world, which they always were, but a team with an ability to actively fight back. For the first time, the joke is at the expense of the society that has terrorized them.

McMurphy laughs at seeing the men the way they are, both laughing at them and with them. He is able to survive for so long against the world that has destroyed the rest of them because he can laugh at it. He takes everything seriously by taking nothing seriously. He doesn't deny that there is pain and hardship, but he refuses to let that define and ruin him.

But McMurphy misunderstands the enormity of what he has taken on. He is playing a dangerous game. These men, really are people who are very ill. They are emotionally frail and while McMurphy reminds them of what it is like to have fun, there is danger ahead. And Nurse Ratched is a formidable foe.

The Chief muses;

"I thought for a minute there I saw her whipped. Maybe I did. But I see now that it don't make any difference.... To beat her you don't have to whip her two out of three or three out of five, but every time you meet. As soon as you let down your guard, as soon as you lose once, she's won for good. And eventually we all got to lose. Nobody can help that."

McMurphy slips up and shows the danger of constant jokes. The Big Nurse warns him of the possibility of a lobotomy, but instead of taking it seriously, he turns it into a joke about his testicles. McMurphy has no intention of backing down at this point, but by turning the warning into the joke, he increases the chances of it being acted upon.

Friday is the day that the men go to the X-Ray room to get checked up. While they wait, McMurphy notices another door and asks where it leads. Harding tells him that it goes to the Shock Shop, and explains the theory behind electro-shock therapy. Once again, it is revealed that the Big Nurse has the power to order such treatment as well as lobotomies. McMurphy realizes that it's the system that's behind everything, and tries to explain this to the rest of them; how even if they got rid of the Big Nurse, things wouldn't change, really. The men don't understand, and Harding finally admits that they've noticed that he's stopped fighting against the Nurse. McMurphy agrees, and tells them he realised he had as much to lose as the rest of them. Harding tells him no, McMurphy has more to lose, since all the Acutes are there voluntarily. McMurphy can't believe this, and he starts accosting all of them, until Billy Bibbit breaks down.

"'You think I wuh-wuh-wuh-want to stay in here? You think I wouldn't like a con-con-vertible and a guh-guh-girl friend? But did you ever have people l-l-laughing at you? No, because you're so b-big and so tough! Well, I'm not big and tough.'"

It’s the beginning of a downward spiralling tragedy, that for the Chief culminates in triumphant liberation, and ends in disaster for others.

McMurphy gets the doctor on his side, and they organise a fishing trip. It’s a chance to remind the men of who they are, outside the confines of the hospital. On the fishing expedition the patients laugh and feel complete humans again. This happens with McMurphy's guidance, his laughter booming in the face of chaos.

But later, all the men who went on the boat trip have to take a special shower, because Nurse Ratched thinks they might have caught some sort of bug. While they're in the shower, the black aides attack George, trying to get him to put on salve. George refuses, because of his neatness obsession and pathological fear of germs. McMurphy steps in to defend him, and he gets in a fight with the aides. The Chief helps throw them off, and the two of them get strapped down and sent up to “Disturbed”.

Things are dangerously out of control for McMurphy. This passage, where they are driving home from the fishing trip, stands out for me. The Chief narrates;

“Then -- as he was talking -- a set of tail-lights going past lit up McMurphy’s face, and the windshield reflected an expression that was only allowed because he figured it’d be too dark for anybody in the car to see, dreadfully tired and strained and frantic, like there wasn’t enough time left for something he had to do…While his relaxed, good natured voice doled out his life for us to live, a rollicking past full of kid fun and drinking buddies and loving women and barroom battles over meagre honours -- for all of us to dream ourselves into.”

This is a story of sacrifice. While the Chief and McMurphy are waiting for Electric Shock Treatment, Kesey sprinkles his prose with Christ images.

McMurphy arranges himself willingly on the table in a crucifix; arms outstretched, his ankles clamped together, he’s clamped down at the wrists.

“They put graphite salve on his temples. ‘What is it?’ he says. ‘Conductant.’ the technician says. ‘Anointest my head with conductant. Do I get a crown of thorns?’”

Electro Shock Treatment is an obscene ritual and Kesey tells it so casually and that’s what makes it so horrifying. It is only when the Chief describes McMurphy’s body arcing, as the volts slam through him, that the reader offers up a silent scream.

“…light arcs across, stiffens him, bridges him up off the table till nothing is down but his wrists and ankles…”

The Chief is brought back to the ward, and the rest of the men greet him like a hero. They ask him all sorts of questions about what's going on with McMurphy, and when he responds, no one thinks it odd that the Chief is talking now.

The Big Nurse sees that McMurphy's legend is growing, and while he's away he's just getting bigger and bigger, so she starts making plans to bring him back down. The men anticipate this, and work out a plan to get McMurphy out of the ward that Saturday, forgetting it's the day that McMurphy has set up for Billy's date with Candy. They tell their plans to McMurphy when he returns to the ward, but he refuses to leave until after that night. He says to consider it his going away party.

McMurphy bribes the night aide, Mr. Turkle, with the promise of “booze and broads“, in order to get him to open up a window that night. Candy is late, but when she arrives, she's got a friend with her, the woman, Sandy, who was supposed to be with her earlier at the boat trip. The group hides from the night supervisor, and proceeds to get drunk on the liquor the women brought with them, along with whatever medication Harding can get out of the cabinet. Billy and Candy eventually sneak off for some privacy, and Harding tries to get McMurphy to leave. McMurphy asks why the others don't come with him, but all of them need a little more time. He asks Harding what made them so scared. Harding isn't able to say, exactly, just that they were beaten down by the rest of the world for the things they did, and who they were, and that they didn't have the strength to fight back. McMurphy says that he's always had people bugging him, and it's never brought him down that much. Harding admits that this is true, but that he's figured out who drives strong people like McMurphy to weakness.

"'Yeah? Not that I'm admitting I'm down that road, but what is this something else?'
'It is us.' He swept his hand about him in a soft white circle and repeated, 'Us.'"

It's five am, and McMurphy decides to get some sleep before leaving. He says goodbye to Harding and the Chief, then settles into bed. All of them fall asleep and don't wake up till the black aides come on the ward at six-thirty.

Harding tries to get McMurphy to leave in the morning, but he claims that he's too drunk to move. When roll call shows that Billy is missing, the aides and the Big Nurse do a room check. They find him and Candy in bed in one of the rooms. Nurse Ratched is shocked, and keeps telling Billy how ashamed she is for him, but Billy doesn't seem to notice, just gets his clothes together and comes out into the hall. He responds to her questions without a stutter. However, the Big Nurse knows what buttons to push in the end. "'What worries me, Billy,' she said- I could hear the change in her voice- 'is how your mother is going to take this.'" Billy immediately panics. He begs Nurse Ratched not to call his mother, and when the nurse refuses, he starts to blame the fact that he was in bed with a woman on everyone else in the room, saying they made him do it. He is taken away to wait alone in the doctor's office.

All the men sit down in the day room, and they tell McMurphy that they don't blame him at all, they know it wasn't his fault. He just relaxes and looks like he's waiting for something. The doctor yells for the nurse from his office, and she and the aides go running. She comes back alone, and speaks directly to McMurphy. She tells him that Billy cut his throat with some instruments in the doctor's desk.

"'First Charles Cheswick and now William Bibbit! I hope you're finally satisfied. Playing with human lives- gambling with human lives- as if you thought yourself to be a God!'"

She goes back into her office. The Chief knows that McMurphy is going to do something, and at first he thinks to try and stop it; but then he realises that he can't stop it, because he and the rest of the men of the ward are forcing McMurphy to do it. They force him to get out of his chair and go over to nurses' station. He rips open the Big Nurse's shirt, revealing those too large breasts, and tries to strangle her.

When the doctors and aides rip him off her, he cries out. The Chief describes it as;

“A sound of cornered-animal fear and hate and surrender and defiance, that if you ever trailed coon or cougar or lynx is like the last sound the treed and shot and falling animal makes as the dogs get him, when he finally doesn't care any more about anything but himself and his dying.”

McMurphy’s fate is sealed. When he is returned to the ward, he has had a lobotomy. The mythology of McMurphy lives on. The men on the ward discuss whether this ruined spectacle is really him.

“After a minute of silence, Scanlon turned and spat on the floor. ‘Ah what’s the old bitch tryin’ to put over on us anyhow, for craps sake. That ain’t him.’”

“‘Nothing like him,’ Martini said.”

“‘How stupid she think we are?’”

The chief knows it is McMurphy and he tries to think of what McMurphy would have done.

“I was sure of only one thing: he wouldn’t have left something like that sit there in the day room with his name tacked on it for twenty or thirty years so the Big Nurse could use it as an example of what can happen if you buck the system. I was sure of that.”

Nurse Ratched may think that she has won the game, but the Chief’s final actions before he leaves the ward, make it a hollow victory.

The title of the book is a line from a nursery rhyme.

Vintery, mintery, cutery, corn,
Apple seed and apple thorn,
Wire, briar, limber lock
Three geese in a flock
One flew East
One flew West
And one flew over the cuckoo's nest.

Chief Bromden's grandmother sang this song to him when he was young, and they had a game about it.

The inspiration for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest came while working on the night shift (with Gordon Lish) at the Menlo Park Veterans' Hospital. There, Kesey often spent time talking to the patients, sometimes under the influence of the hallucinogenic drugs, with which he had volunteered to experiment. Kesey did not believe that these patients were insane, rather that society had pushed them out because they did not fit the conventional ideas of how people were supposed to act and behave. Published in 1962, it was an immediate success; in 1963, it was adapted into a successful stage play by Dale Wasserman; in 1975, Miloš Forman directed a screen adaptation, which won the "Big Five" Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Best Director (Forman) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Lawrence Hauben, Bo Goldman).

Kesey was originally involved in creating the film, but left two weeks into production. He claimed never to have seen the movie because of a dispute over the $20,000 he was initially paid for the film rights. Kesey loathed the fact that, unlike the book, the film was not narrated by the Chief Bromden character, and he disagreed with Jack Nicholson being cast as Randle McMurphy (he wanted Gene Hackman). Despite this, Faye Kesey has stated that Ken was generally supportive of the film and was pleased that it was made.

Friday, 1 July 2016

ENSLAVING ELI 5 star reviews from Mistress Angelica and her collared slave

Mistress Angelica and her collared slave come to my blog this week; both have written splendid reviews of my Fem/Dom novella Enslaving Eli. Here is Mistress Angelica’s review – she is innovative and writes from the point of view of Jasmine, Eli’s dead Mistress.

I look down at him. His clothes are moist from the freshly dug damp earth that he has laid upon. His fight with the red hot tears that constantly fill his eyes is lost and they fall over his cheeks and into the ground where I lie. When I say, ‘Where I lie,’ I mean my shell of a body lies, encased in solid oak, in the ground but my spirit (I) am flying; as I always said I would do. I wish I could tell you how right I had been about that! I can feel your tension, the rage, the fear, the pain; our souls are still connected, they always will be.

Your sobs are harsh and every ounce of me needs to touch you, to comfort you somehow, but I can’t because I am dead. Instead I watch you pummel the earth, heave the contents from your stomach, sob and stumble through your shattered life. I’d tried to stroke your cheek last night as you had drifted off into an exhausted slumber. Your eyes had twitched; I hope you’d felt me as I want to ease the pain I have caused in leaving you. I had thought back to all of the physical pain you had endured for me, all of the training. I had felt like I was preparing you fully for what was to come next. However, the thing I did not prepare you for was not having me there to guide you, instruct you, lead you or simply be there for you and now you are drowning in grief. I see this as a mistake on my part. Perhaps I should have shared you? Perhaps I should have loosened our connection instead of encouraged it? But I couldn’t have done either any differently because I love you.

Slowly, over time, I watch you heal. I watch you smile again. I am proud of you, my slave, for finding the path out of hell. I watch you begin to notice again and the softer emotions that have been hiding in fear from the harshness of grief begin to bloom once more. I watch you move forward and all the time I watch you I am aware of the brand you wear, my brand, and I know we will always be connected.

The first chapter of your book ‘Enslaving Eli’ reduced me to tears. I began to think of how I would feel in the Domme’s shoes, if she could still see Eli. In all honesty I was imagining what it would be like to see my personal servant in that predicament. I know that if I had the ability to see him I would be torn to shreds, only being able to watch and not to mend, heal or help in anyway, the complete opposite of what a Mistress does in life, is one of the most torturous things I can imagine.
Your book captured me unlike any other ‘erotica’ I’ve read (and I’ve read quite a lot!) Thank you.

And here is Mistress Angelica’s collared slave’s review of my novella, Enslaving Eli, in which he reveals, a deeply personal account, the nature of submission.

Depending on your definition of "eroticism", this book is certainly that, but more than that is needed to make a book interesting, and "Enslaving Eli" is interesting.
This is a lovely story, short but with breadth. I love the idea of the Coterie, and the connection with Greek mythology; together they provide additional interest and background to the story, and perhaps even the reason, why? I read the book in one sitting, eager to reach the conclusion, which was completely unexpected, a wonderful "twist". The totality of the ending, his total acceptance, is profound.
Eli, the submissive, is clearly a fine specimen of a male, with exceptional "staying power". Personally I cannot relate to that, although I can believe it. However, his inexplicable desires to belong, to be used, to serve, to please, are things that most submissives would relate to, with or without the sexual connotations. These can be the things that drive the submissive, almost to obsession. That such feelings exist are undeniable and cannot be dismissed. I would imagine that most readers of this book would have an open enough mind to accept that, and perhaps take the time to ponder, why? I don`t know the answer to that question, and you won`t find the answer in this book, but exist they do.
Jasmine, the dominant female, provides the perfect match, cruel but caring, dismissive but loving, a product of the Coterie but with a rebellious streak. She doesn`t cajole Eli into enslavement, but simply allows him to spiral in; you cannot force submission, you have to allow the submissive to give it.
In conclusion, a very interesting and worthwhile read, good description and detail, good storyline, a range of emotions, and a great ending.

Enslaving Eli is available as an eread and in paperback at Amazon UK  and Amazon US 

Poster images by Gary Walker #Look4Books

You can read my review of Mistress Angelica’s erotic book My Dinner Party here 

Mistress Angelica is @MAngelica1UK on Twitter

Mistress Angelica's collard slave is @MAslavem on Twitter