Desire: 100 of Literature’s Sexiest Stories edited by Mariella Frostrup

Review published on January 22, 2017.

You could assume from the title that the content of this book would be similar to Fifty Shades of Grey, but thankfully you would be wrong. This collection sets out to explore different types of desire. Does desire come from the images we see or those we create in our mind? The selection of short stories and extracts sets out to prove the latter. In the book’s introduction, Mariella Frostrup argues that desire is created by the imagination and I’m sure many readers, myself included, would agree. The book covers different types of desire in three sections – Awakening Desire, Burning Desire and Darkest Desire. There are the expected authors such as De Sade, Henry Miller and D.H. Lawrence, but also names less associated with this genre such as Roald Dahl.

The three sections that the 100 stories are split into would, I feel, have been better as three separate books combined as a boxed set, which would have been much easier to read while rather than this hefty hardback. That said, this book would make a wonderful gift for its beautiful cover alone. The stories are well chosen from a variety of sources, not just from the romantic genre but literary and historical fiction as well, and all of them are well written. A really enjoyable collection.

Jane Cowley 5/3

Desire: 100 of Literature’s Sexiest Stories edited by Mariella Frostrup
Head of Zeus 9781784975449 hbk Oct 2016

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