Jessica, the MC, encounters Club Shadowlands by accident when her car gets stalled on a dark and rainy night. If that sounds cliche, it kind of is. She takes shelter at the club nearby, and the sexy manager gives her a set of clean clothing after toweling her off rather invasively. He informs her that it's a private club and gives her a thick packet of rules, which he tells her to read. If she doesn't want to abide by them, she can wait in the corridor with the bouncer. As Jessica explores the club, she quickly discovers that it has a rather interesting theme. BDSM. Dun, dun, dun.
Master Z, owner and participant, cannot get enough of Jessica's curvy bod. He knows that if she gives him the chance, she'll be the perfect submissive. But he wants her to come to him freely, even if that means giving her the chance to run away screaming lol.
What follows is a night of bacchanalia that wouldn't be out of place in ancient Rome. People get whipped, spanked. There's simulated rape (although Jessica and Z do not participate). There's medical erotica, including a staged gynecological/breast exam. There's exhibitionism, voyeurism. Sinclair manages to incorporate a whole bunch of different subsets of BDSM sex, talking about what's typical, what's not, and how it all is fair game as long as the adults are consenting and abide by CSS.
(Consensual, safe, sane.)
The writing is much better than I was expecting. No typos. A little cheesy and over-the-top in parts, but the sex scenes more than made up for it. I didn't really like Jessica's character. Her reluctance didn't bother me--I thought her hesitance and shyness were quite well done--but the fact that she kept kicking people, and attacking people in defense of the women being "attacked" was a little silly and dumb, although the reasons behind this were later explained. It was also annoying to have a small, big-boobed, curvy heroine whining about how "ugly" and "fat" she was.
As a 5'9" woman, I have little patience with tiny people who whine about being found unattractive to men. There are tons of men who won't even consider dating a tall woman, no matter how attractive she is, just because she's tall. And if you're tall and curvy, you can pretty much forget about it.
But again, that's kind of a personal peeve. Similarly, I had to suspend my disbelief when Master Z was portrayed as a mind-reader. It got to the point where I was wondering if there was a supernatural element to this book--psychic? vampire? Nope. He is a psychologist. Buddy, I hate to say it, but being a psychologist does not make you a psychic. So that annoyed me as well.
Still, CLUB SHADOWLANDS is a great book for those who want to know more about the BDSM scene. I found it very informative, and loved the way the participants were described. There are some bad eggs who participate, but they usually aren't welcomed by the group (and are often disbarred from clubs). Most people who participate in the BDSM scene are just ordinary people looking for a way to kick back and blow off steam with their favorite kind of sex. Which happens to be BDSM.
I would consider reading other books in this series.
Picture FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS but with an AMERICAN PSYCHO/QUENTIN TARANTINO bent. Maybe with a Rob Zombie soundtrack. If that sounds appealing to you, pick up this book. You'll probably enjoy it. If you're looking for something that doesn't resemble a "bad trip", look elsewhere.
Nathan T. Rex is a film producer. He used to move in the highest circles but his last film was an overbudgeted flop, and all of Hollywood is moving in to pick at his career's wizened corpse after his fall from grace.
Rex is determined not to fail, though, and with a little help from his friends (and a shit-ton of drugs), he decides he's going to make an epic film about a presidential serial killer. And who better to act as star and consultant in said film than an actual serial killer?
THE AUTEUR had some interesting ideas but I was not really fond of the story or the way it was told. I'm not a fan of violence, especially splatterpunk. I feel like if people have to die in a comic book (or even a regular book) there ought to be a reason, and that reason should not begin and end with "Because."
Also, the main character was such a misogynist that I just couldn't reach any sort of rapport with him. He was a sleazy scumbag of a character who said some evil things about women, and when he attempts to get the serial killer off the murder charges he basically said that they were so stupid and slutty that they deserved to be killed because the serial killer was doing the world a favor.
Most of the requests are pretty straight forward. Towels, food of all kinds--everything ranging from spam to brie. Lots of alcohol. Coffee. Tea. Vitamin supplements. Honey. Things you would expect. Some of the artists allowed for a buy-out--if the venue did not wish to provide food, they would provide a certain amount of cash for the artists to buy food for themselves.
I suppose this would be good if you are a die-hard fan of these bands, and are interested in finding out what their favorites kinds of food, alcohol, and bottled waters are. They get very specific.
And then there are the weird requests. Like, Elton John practically demanded an entire living room to be moved back stage (couch, love seat, endtable, and a tea service) so he could take tea. The Eels, at one point, wanted a stuffed Furby and a stuffed Teletubby toy. Goldfrapp asked for a riding crop and/or whip, plus glittery eyelashes in any color except blue. Hal wanted a life-sized Frank Carson cardboard cutout. James Brown wanted an electric golf cart.
Then there are some artists who seem to expect a bit more bang for their buck. For example, Placebo requested a pack of lubricated condoms. They were one-upped by Stereophonics, who asked for "12 extra-large propholactics, 1 local strippergram, 1 hedge trimmer."
Some of the requests were cute and tongue-in-cheek. Amy Winehouse wanted a sign to hang on her door that said "Only Big Boys Can Enter." The Bloodhound Gang wanted "a local magnet of interested" (that's sweet). Yo La Tengo wanted "dressing room walls covered in previous bands' graffiti and drawings of penises (minimum 4), full-color assortment of permanent markers for, oh, no reason." (I see what they did there.) Westlife wanted "dog/band's own Labrador, shot glasses, chess set, 2 inflatable sumo outfits."
The Electric Six's request was pretty disturbing. They wanted a gun (.38 special) with six rounds of .38 ammo. What, exactly, are they planning on doing with that?
I think EXCESS ALL AREAS is interesting from an anthropological approach; it's like looking at all these sociocultural clues that give you an idea of what the band members are like, where they came from, what their background maybe was. It got a bit boring, reading all those lists, though. Most of them were pretty ordinary. There's only so many shopping lists you can read before it gets old, right?