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Metrophilias
Brendan Connell
Better Non Sequitur paperback $10

review by Mario Guslandi

A literary tour around the world in 100 pages; touching 36 cities... This is the new challenge faced by Brendan Connell, an American writer of many stories which appeared in various anthologies of dark fiction (such as the world fantasy award winning Leviathan 3 and Strange Tales), and of offbeat historical novels such as the excellent The Translation Of Father Torturo.

The present collection struck me as unexpected, both for its content and the author's writing style. Most of the tales are actually short vignettes or quick snapshots depicting a situation, an attitude, or simply a moment of ordinary life taking place in one of the world's main cities. To my dismay, there remains very little room for that storytelling ability characteristic of Connell's work. So, in the end my favourite pieces in this book are also the (comparatively) longest 'tales'.

The common ground of the included material appears to be eroticism in all its various, odd facets. In Edinburgh the erotic obsessions of a suicidal man are finally disclosed in his farewell note. Florence portrays the sexual fantasies of a young woman whose preferred phallic objects are of strictly religious nature. Jerusalem is a weird tale featuring a carpenter with peculiar erotic tastes, while Seville is an enjoyable piece describing the insane passion of a Spanish duellist for his deadly sword.

In Oslo two men discuss the carnal attractions of women's most intimate, smelling body part, while in Quito a young man is attracted only by girls with an arm or a leg put in plaster. Tokyo revolves around a man obsessed with flowers, and Uberlandia features two sexually greedy women and a well-endowed husband. The book is very entertaining and can provide a quick, pleasant reading to anyone.

Metrophilias by Brendan Connell



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