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Kink: Stories

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3.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,353 ratings  ·  395 reviews
'KINK' is a groundbreaking anthology of literary short fiction exploring love and desire, BDSM, and interests across the sexual spectrum, edited by lauded writers R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell, and featuring a roster of all-star contributors including Alexander Chee, Roxane Gay, Carmen Maria Machado, and more.

'KINK' is a dynamic anthology of literary fiction that opens an
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Audible Audio, Unabridged
Published February 9th 2021 by Simon & Schuster Audio
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Average rating 3.31  · 
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 ·  1,353 ratings  ·  395 reviews


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Jenny (Reading Envy)
I dunno. If I'm being honest it feels like all the cool kids got together to prove they were better than everyone else and then weren't?

The stories are... fine. In my years of reading for the Over the Rainbow Booklist, I definitely encountered better - the problem with doing this in short story form is that you can either develop the story and characters or the activities and most of these stories do the latter. I've always felt including sex, even kink, should tell us something other than that
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Emily B
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Despite the long list of impressive authors contributing to this book and the provocative subject matter, I was left disappointed. Unfortunately this wasn't what I was looking for. I wanted to be shocked and intrigued and maybe even disgusted but I just wasn't.
As always some stories were better than others and I think my favourite was Chris Kraus's and Carmen Maria Machado's was definitely interesting. The others didn't stand out to me and almost blended together.
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Meike
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
Greenwell and Kwon have teamed up to give us a short story collection with a clear mission: "Instead of pathologizing kink, the stories in this anthology treat it as a complex, psychologically rich act of communication." While there are of course some weaker and some stronger stories in this 15 piece collection, the majority is captivating and impressive, also the pieces by lesser known authors - and I confess: I have initially been drawn to the book by the big names that feature as contributors ...more
Amalia Gkavea
‘’Bristol, Vermont. Summer - the flies biting. Vermont is named for its green mountains, the man tells her. To her, they look like sleeping animals with soft pelts. With the windows of the rental car down, it smells like cows, so they roll them up. The light has a weight to it. She squints against the sun. They have come to the mountains to get away from the city, where life feels unbearable. She has just dyed her hair blonde and it is parched and fine, like straw. Too yellow, also like straw ...more
Rachel
Like most anthologies, Kink: Stories was a mixed bag, though it's certainly enjoyable for its novelty alone (its thesis being that erotica has a place in literary fiction). I found the preponderance of stories about BDSM started to get a little boring after a while, but this was otherwise a refreshing collection that I enjoyed spending time with.

I felt the stories that were the most successful were the ones that contextualized the characters’ kinks—I don’t mean that in a ‘every kink comes from a
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Elyse  Walters
Audiobook....narrated by a full cast of readers.

“You can’t get enough of what you don’t need”

Love, sex, desire, unfulfilled desires, fantasies, BDSM, dungeons, bondage, cuffs, ropes, riding crops, dominatrix, submissive, attraction, personal satisfaction, insatiable hunger, disappointments, empowerment, shame, masturbation, penetration, orgasm, voyeurism, hooking up, dating, lesbian sex, couple exploration, safe words, truth, trust....

“Kink” explores ‘kinky sex’ ....

These anthologies are tastef
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Hannah
The second I heard about this anthology, I knew I needed to read it. The subject matter is right up my alley and the list of contributors is just incredible. The book did not disappoint in the slightest. Of course, when it comes to anthologies there will always be stories that work better for me than others but I genuinely thought all of these stories did something interesting.

The biggest surprise was Trust by Larissa Pham which I found emotionally resonant and super well-written – by an author
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Barry Pierce
a mixed bag of a collection but a lot of fun overall
Darryl Suite
Mar 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FINAL REVIEW: I believe that the initial mini-review I gave on Goodreads was incorrect. This is what i had said: “Is it just me or do most of these stories not fit into the introduction's criteria? I think most of the stories are quite strong, but the introduction is what makes them feel like they're a letdown. Judge them on their own and they're very good. I did enjoy the collection as I went along but only after I decided to dismiss the introduction's supposed intentions.”

I think this is untru
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Erik
Feb 19, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
The much hyped Kink is much less kinky than its title lets on.

Kink is a collection of stories, written by a coterie of some of the most acclaimed writers of today, that orbit around an attempt to pull back the covers of human desire. This desire - as in the case of Alexander Chee's and R.O. Kwon's stories - can be kinky, but in the case of several other tales, kink is mysteriously absent. The stories are diverse and varied; the backgrounds and experiences come from multiple racial and gender
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Esther Espeland
May 24, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow this was such a slog I can’t believe how bored I was by this! This felt so much like someone from the “cool kids club” of current famous writers was like what if I try writing a story that’s a little bit “bad boy” and we put them all together, except all of the stories are exactly the same!! There was maybe one I liked, but now I can’t even remember which bc they all ran together. Because! ever depiction of kink was exactly the same. Supposedly for celebrating like the diversity of kink ever ...more
Traci at The Stacks
A mixed collection. Some of the stories are really great and some weren’t for me. I loved how queer the book was and how diverse the characters were. Some of kink got redundant.
~Jo~
So, THIS was kink?

Meh.

I've read kinkier.

I was definitely in the wrong place here, as I was expecting a mouth watering, tantalising and even a slightly disgusting collection of stories about people that enjoy and deliberately seek out, kinky sex. Unfortunately, I honestly felt like the sex involved was mostly not consented to, and riddled with abuse. That is not how I roll.

I wanted a foot fetish or two, some bondage, a little role play and to top it off, a good nylon fetish. Who doesn't love n
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Trio
A collection of fifteen short stories, edited by Garth Greenwell and R.O. Kwon, Kink is a diverse collection by a wide variety of authors. Truly something for everyone. As the editors state in the foreword: the stories treat kink as a “rich act of communication” and “explore the whole gamut of human feelings”.

My favorite is Oh, Youth, Brandon Taylor’s piece on being a seasonal rent boy. An architecture student, the main character pays his bills by spending summers with married couples who are lo
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Matthew
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For years my father had joked it was because of The Box one had to be 18 to enter the basement. Ironically enough boxing had prompted its purchase, but its popularity – and infamy – would be due to its “other” offerings. Which makes sense considering those additional benefits included round-the-clock, crystal-clear (read: NOT scrambled), standard definition (it was the 90’s) porn. And I don’t just mean porn like in the soft-core Skinemax sense, either.

Seems antiquated now. These days kids get t
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Taylor Givens
Sep 04, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I WANT THIS TO BE THE BEST THING I READ IN 2021. Have you seen this collection of authors?! I'm literally crying right now and honestly i'm just thankful to be alive to witness Garth Greenwell's art in any form. And Brandon Taylor? And Roxane Gay? And R.O. Kwon? and they're writing about kink?! What have we done to deserve this??? I. CAN'T. WAIT!!! Most anticipated release of 2021. This is my dream. <3 ...more
Marianna Tsotra
This was one of my most anticipated 2021 books and I can guarantee it is worth all the hype.

The short stories in this anthology about kink, fetish and the BDSM community explore sexuality and desires through a psychoanalytical narrative prism, delving deep into each character's past, insecurities, wants and needs. And this is what distinguishes the stories in this collection from plain erotic fiction. Albeit being extremely descriptive, delightfully profane and, ultimately, hot, they remain fait
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Jenni
2.75 stars.

Most of the stories in this collection were a miss for me, unfortunately. I found a lot of them to not have much depth when considered as a short story and the more explicit aspects of most of the stories did not really engage me or feel unique when compared to the collection as a whole. There were a few stories I really enjoyed, in part because they had more meat in terms of a narrative or ideas presented, which include Melissa Febos’s “The Cure,” “Safeword” by R. O. Kwon, “Oh Youth”
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Shelby
I wanted to love this, I wanted this to be a book that would let me discover something new.
Unfortunately this wasn’t it.

Kink is a collection of short stories from several different authors and in each one the narrator has some kind of sexual “kink”. Some of the stories I actually enjoyed while others I felt we’re lacking.

I definitely thought it would be dirtier, and I guess I wanted it to be kinkier? It felt very light in that regard.
If you’re looking for a quick read with some (lightly) kin
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Nicole
When I saw the editors and contributors for this collection, I was immediately intrigued. I appreciated the focus of this collection and am honestly surprised there hasn't been a collection quite like this. As the foreword says, "Instead of pathologizing kink, the stories in this anthology treat it as a complex, psychologically rich act of communication." It expands the boundaries of literary fiction with its explorations of desire, love, trust, intimacy, power, and sex across different identiti ...more
Bandit
Feb 07, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was meant to be a sort of litmus test for my inner prude. I mean, I don’t think of myself as prudish actually, but also I don’t especially like sex scenes in literature unless they are done well, in good taste and further the plot. But just reading a sex scene for the sake of sex, such as presumably any erotica genre…no, thanks. It seems too much like porn. And sex to me is one of those things that those who can, do and those who can’t…well, resort to porn and erotica. This may look l ...more
Karen Foster
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Netgalley for the review copy...

I rarely read short stories, and less likely to read an anthology. But I was drawn to this, seeing the list of authors and it’s unique mission. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful, R.O. thought, if stories like these could live together in one book, in the kind of book that could sit on artists’ residencies’ library shelves?”

Like most collections, its a mixed bag, liking some better than others. But the quality of the writing throughout is of course excellent. Bu
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Ygraine
(thanks to netgalley and simon & schuster for an advance review copy!)

some of the stories in this collection were stunning ! i think kim fu's scissors was particularly Good at embodying, literally & metaphorically, the experience of absolute trust, the threat, the fantasy that make sense as a paradigm of kink fr me.

the other stories that struck me, both ones that i enjoyed & one that i found particularly distressing, felt more ambiguous, lingered on the places where fantasies of power asymmetr
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Bob Hughes
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not sure entirely what to expect from this collection at first, but was drawn in by the contributors to this book (including some big names like Roxanne Gay and Garth Greenwell) and how these stories might all connect to the title 'Kink'.

The title of this collection may intrigue and repel people in equal measure, but essentially it goes far deeper than just a group of stories about sex. Indeed, these stories cover a broad range of identities, thoughts and sexual practices, and use sex and/
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Paige
Feb 14, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
disappointing tbh!! I thought it was interesting that the introduction explicitly said the collection wanted to celebrate and depathologize kink when it felt like 75% of the stories had protagonists that were unhappy/unsatisfied/misunderstood/drawn to kink because of trauma.

appreciated the diversity of individuals and relationships depicted, and thought there were a couple bangers, but overall :/
M. (Inside My Library Mind)
More reviews up on my blog Inside My Library Mind

This was a really solid anthology! I like anthologies where different authors come together to explore a topic through short stories because I get to sample an author’s writing that I have not read from before, but also to read new stuff from authors I already love. And that’s what happened with Kink. Overall, I liked half of the stories and disliked the other half, but I still thought that the collection as a whole worked really well, and I am
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Victoria Haddow
Feb 10, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021, dnf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jaclyn
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short story collection I was super intrigued by when I first heard about it—I love the subject matter boundaries this is pushing in literary fiction and the range of content explored. Stylistically, it’s a collection where most stories worked for me—they are moment driven or deep dives into small windows of the characters depicted. My favorites are stories that used language in as sensory and sensual a way as the content they depicted, the tensions and edge palpable particularly in SCI ...more
Amelia
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, anthology
Thanks to the publishers via Edelweiss+ for the ARC of Kink.

I loved the concept of this anthology, literary fiction that aims to depathologise and psychologically explore kink. Unfortunately the execution is terrible, and the stories contradict that aim entirely, suggesting that kink is shameful, used to avoid intimacy, not negotiated or consented to, and conflated with abuse. The stories are nearly universally depressing, dull and grim, while a few barely involve kink at all. The kink that is
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Jasmine
more tk as this was an ARC slated for february. first thoughts: steadily built up storytelling power, got interesting, went off the rails at the end.
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R.O. Kwon’s nationally bestselling first novel, The Incendiaries, is published by Riverhead (U.S.) and Virago/Little Brown (U.K.), and it is being translated into six languages. Named a best book of the year by over forty publications, The Incendiaries was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award for Best First Book, Los Angeles Times First Book Prize, and Northern Califo ...more

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