Eros Gone Wild

Writers and Artists: Various

Humanoids, $89.95, color, 304 pages

One thing European porn has going for it, as opposed to American porn, is that Europeans don't have the strain of Puritan priggishness that runs through the U.S. psyche. In America, sex always is, at some level, dirty and shameful. But in Europe, sex is free to be fun, or stupid, or clumsy, or funny, or celebrated, or boring -- well, it's free to be anything. Heck, it can even be shameful, as long as that's part of the fun.

Which is how I'd describe Eros Gone Wild: Fun. These short stories are all over the map in terms of tone and content, aside from the fact that they all involve, in some way, naked people doing naughty things. Most of the stories have an O. Twist ending, but some are involved enough to have characterization, and some seem nothing but characterization! Some stories suffer from the European penchant for non-linear and/or surreal stories that sometimes don't seem to make much sense to us literal Americans, who like our stories to march forward in a single direction from a simple beginning to a suitable end.

The art varies, of course, as it does in most anthologies. Much of it is in the Moebius/Manara style, which is generally popular among Americans. Some of it is more experimental, and there's at least one story that seems drawn entirely by brush and is more impressionistic than illustrative.

But, for the most part, this is a light-hearted read with a lot of naughtiness -- and leagues ahead of American porn, forever ashamed of itself.

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