First of all, I’d like to concur with Kinsey’s statement that we are not the sort of people that read a lot because we don’t watch TV; people are amazed at how many books and how much TV we are able to fit into our schedules, as well as our fair share of internet browsing.
Speaking of the internet, I bought a couple of very unusual e-books online over the last month based on Tumblr recommendations that are both absolutely ridiculous and sort of weirdly complementary.
Inspector Pancakes Helps the President of France
By Karla Pacheco and Maren Marmulla
Inspector Pancakes is a picture book based on those old-school Golden Books in which Inspector Pancakes, a dog detective, helps the president of France track the thief who has been stealing his breakfast croissants. Or at least that’s the regular text. The really ingenious idea behind this is that it is two stories; each page has large bold text for the children’s story, and then much smaller italic text for the adult side, in which Pancakes is actually tracking down the brutal murderer of Parisian prostitutes.
The idea is just brilliant, and the pictures are adorable! The problem is the writing. For this type of thing the writing has to be as tight and spot-on as possible in order to work, and it just isn’t. The connection between the two stories is extremely tenuous and the pictures correspond with the children’s story without any winky reference to the adult story that would help tie them together.
Rebecca and I were brainstorming ways of correcting this problem, and we both agreed that the adult section has to be much more complex. It could be longer, of course, which would help, but theoretically at least, a skilled author could make an extremely powerful short story in just a few sentences. Rebecca thought that the author relied too heavily on ultra-violence to make the adult half stand out, and while I agreed that she needed more to it, I thought the violence was a funny contrast to the pictures.
By Kurt Knox
On the other hand, there is Sextrap Dungeon, which had a promotional free download day a little while ago, so I figured what the hell. I have to say now that I highly recommend it (for adult audiences)! It is a choose-your-adventure book where you play a pick-up artist out to get some action on a Saturday night. (You are asked to select male or female at the beginning, but if you select female, you are told that’s ridiculous, and to try again. You then also have the option of how many dicks you’d like.)
The whole thing is super tongue-in-cheek, with a pretty surprising feminist slant, and mostly ends very poorly for your character. There are three “levels” and you graduate up levels by getting some action. Spoiler(?): I graduated up one level by getting a blow job from a Nazi stripper. It truly is a joke book, and not intended to be erotica at all, so there are no graphic descriptions of the sex (the violence is slightly more graphic, but still not extreme) – it is basically at the level of an extremely dirty joke. Think of a choose-your-own-adventure version of The Aristocrats, though actually a bit cleaner than that.