THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC BOOK REVIEW, BY JAMES MYERS
By Eric Jerome Dickey
Published by Dutton an Imprint of the Penguin Group (USA)
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
Four Star Rating ****
ERIC JEROME DICKEY, ORIGINALLY FROM MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, IS THE NATIONAL BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF CHASING DESTINY, GENEVIEVE, DRIVE ME CRAZY, NAUGHTY OR NICE, THE OTHER WOMAN, THIEVES' PARADISE, BETWEEN LOVERS, LIAR'S GAME, CHEATERS, MILK IN MY COFFEE, FRIENDS AND LOVERS, AND SISTER SISTER, AS WELL AS A CONTRIBUTOR TO GOT TO BE REAL AND NAL'S MOTHERS & SONS. HE WORKED AS A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER, A MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER, ACTOR, AND STAND UP COMIC BEFORE BECOMING A FULL-TIME NOVELIST.
MOST RECENT NOVELS INCLUDE WAKING WITH ENEMIES & SLEEPING WITH STRANGERS
…The temptation was too great. The look in the photographer’s eyes, his intensions were clear. He’d hiked up the mountain to find me. As if he knew what I was thinking. As if he knew my feelings.
Both had given me business cards. As if it were up to me to choose the flavor of my sin.
Or tuck my tail between my legs and run into the woods.
There was nothing more exciting than the possibility of a new lover.
Nothing more stimulating. Nothing as frightening.
Yes there was always a but.
The men that were easy on the eyes were never painless on the heart…
I took the business in my hands, looked at each as if I were still staring at Karl and Mark, impure thoughts so strong as I whispered, “Be careful, Anais. Be careful of abnormal pleasures.”
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin
"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."
--Wm. Blake, "Proverbs of Hell."
Eric Jerome Dickey, the best young writer in America, is back with his latest erotic exploration, Pleasure. From the very first sentence of this book, there is an overt, memorable, haunting sexuality. This novel of sexual excess and self-enlightenment is quite simply riveting. Nia Simon Bijou is a young black woman who seems to have it all. A successful writer in Atlanta, she’s just broken up with the “ideal guy”, Logan. Logan is the recurring boyfriend who won’t let go in this book. He claims he loves Nia, but the chemistry just is not there for Nia. Until she spells it out for him, he just does not quit. She had a desire to try it all, to find an unselfish lover “whose strength and desire matched my own.” While on a jog she meets her “twin sins”, two identical twin brothers, Karl and Mark, who catch her fancy.
At first, she resists, but the twins take her on a sexual odyssey that will definitely make your pulse race faster. Then complications arise, she falls in love with Mark, the married one who is unavailable and is desired by Karl, the single one who just wants her. Through the twins, Nia meets, Kiki Sunshine, a model who is attracted to all 3 playmates. The sequences in the book of the three way encounters and the girl on girl encounters are among the most erotic in the book. Nia also meets, Jewell, the wife of Mark who turns out to be Atlanta’s favorite newscaster and sweetheart, “The Jewell of the South”. Needless to say, she is not pleased her husband has this new adventure going on in his life. Jewell and Nia discover that they have more in common then they first thought, they both love the wrong twin. Jewell is married to Karl, but stays with him because of the desire to have his brother Mark.
Nia, who has history of having her heart broken while she was young, and in listening to Jewell’s story, she see herself, being balanced and kept off balance between the two brothers. Ultimately as it turns out pleasure is the desire to be taken and owed by one man. Her mentor Anais Nin wrote, “I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated. I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding." (My emphasis added). Not wanting to travel down the road, Nia learns the true focus of her desires is not to be trapped by them. To be held and not possessed becomes her new mantra.
Vivid, intense and disturbing, this novel is a good one. The story of this young woman’s sexual journey is the most intensely erotic novel I’ve read in 2008. Dickey is a dangerous man, revealing a complex understanding of female sexuality. On April 1 avoid the long lines and get to the bookstore early. Pick up a copy of Pleasure, a sizzling study of sex, love, jealousy and obsession. This is another hot and orgasmic effort for one Eric Jerome Dickey. Proof again that he is the best young writer in America. I cannot wait to read what he writes next.