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09 July 2006 @ 04:04 pm
 
Ok, here we go. I'm finally going to write about...

THE SEXUAL ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, by Larry Townsend.

GOD THIS IS LONG, SORRY. Warning, porn excerpts within.

Part One:
Introduction and A Study in Lavender Lace

There is one important rule throughout this book: Every single male is extremely hot, well hung, and gay like Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We start out with an introduction chapter that's pretty much like the very beginning of Study in Scarlet when we learn a bit about Watson's past and how he meets Sherlock Holmes. There are of course some very important differences. Watson has already done his share of banging in his army days, describing the orderlies as pretty and the like. Stamford is not just a friend of both Holmes and Watson, he was at one point Watson's lover, which brings about the most disturbing three words ever uttered by Watson in a pastiche ever: "extraordinary rectal structure." This is also an omen of how the sex is to be for the remainder of the novel (this was on page 2). Anyway, Stamford is also a pimp of sorts, introducing homosexual men to each other for liasons secretly. Although, with the sheer amount of homosexual men around I don't know how they could manage to NOT find each other, or in fact reproduce at all. Like in the original Study, Stamford introduces Watson to Holmes in his laboratory and the scene plays out much as most readers of the canon will remember, the blood test, the "You have been in India, I percieve..." speech (taken almost word for word, mind you). Holmes, however, is not looking for a roommate, but a trick. And Watson is fine with that. They of course go home and bugger each other senseless. The sex is so absolutely fantastic that Holmes invites Watson to move in. What?

I was already having issues, in just the introduction. What makes the pairing interesting, usually, is that they go from an intense, loyal friendship to a physical, sexual one. Not the other way around. Instead the love comes from sex, which I guess happens, but it makes the sex much more boring. Townsend's prose is also so mechanical and focused on anatomy rather than feeling that even though it's not really poorly written, per se, it's just so specific that it becomes either laughable or just gross. His physical description of Watson, for example, is so specific it's kind of creepy, and it also doesn't fit any mental image of him I've ever had:

"At the time, of course, I was quite young, as I have previously noted, and my body was extremely well-defined. Being blond, I had little hair except at head and pubis, and what there was held so light a hue and so downy a composition it hardly showed under even the brightest lamp."

Blonde hairless Watson? All righty...

Anyway. The next shocking revelation is that Mrs. Hudson is not a Mrs. at all! S/he is a drag queen famous across Europe. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps because the prescence of any woman would ruin the mood, a sentiment which becomes more prominent later on. Lestrade and Gregson of Scotland Yard have always been rivals, but in Townsend's universe, it is because they were once lovers, but had a nasty breakup, apparently. And so on. Townsend replaces or alters every detail possible to make it sexual. I knew that it'd be completely sex-soaked going in, but I was still surprised (and more importantly, annoyed).

So with that established, we move into the main story. It begins just like Study in Scarlet, but with odd random crotch references, like when Holmes explains how he deduced a man was a Marine Sergeant: "Even across the street I could see a great blue anchor tattooed on the back of the fellow's hand. That smacked of the sea. He had a military carriage, however, regulation side whiskers, and displayed a most distinctive bulge along his left inner thigh. There we have the marine." Because you have to have a certain sized penis to get into the marines?

There is also a strange crotch reference on the cab-ride to the murder scene: "My companion was in the best of spirits, allowing his hand to rest upon my groin while he prattled away about Cremona fiddles and the difference between a Stradivarius and an Amati." He just... flops his hand on Watson's groin? Do people really do that? What the hell?

Moving on, we get to the main storyline, the murder of one Enoch Drebber. He has the look of horror on his face, but added is a mondo erection and frilly undies. Instead of "RACHE" written on the wall as a red herring like in the original, it is a giant penis. Yes. A big erect penis smeared on the wall in blood. And it's not a red herring this time. The late Mr. Drebber was strangled to death. With a penis.

Ahem. Our Scotland Yarders too have been revamped, Lestrade is not just "ferret-like" anymore, he is "lean and strangely appealing in a pinched, ferret-like way." No I don't know how that would be attractive either. Gregson is a total fairy, calling Holmes "love' and "dear" in a decidedly 20th century way.

Holmes and Watson depart and upon returning to Baker Street, Holmes immediately tests his own murder weapon on Watson. Literally:

"Finally, however, he did satisfy one point of confusion by straddling my chest and forcing the full length of his powerful, eager penis [lol, eager penis. say it out loud.] down my throat. Holding it in me at its maximum penetration, he stared down into my eyes until I slowly began to panic. I could not draw breath and the presence of his monstrous shaft within my hals was forcing up streams of phlegm, which in turn added to the pre-existing constriction. At length, when I was on the verge of unconsciousness, he withdrew enough to let me pull in a lungful of air."

Where is the Holmes with real concern for Watson's safety? The one who didn't want to let Watson go face off a snake in the dark in "The Speckled Band"? Or the one who apologized profusely for subjecting him to mind altering, madness inducing substances in "The Devil's Foot"? I know the concept of Holmes and Watson being sexually involved is already out of character, but the rest of their characters should be preserved as much as possible. Not to mention that was just a little bit disturbing too.

A large wang now confirmed to be the murder weapon, our sleuths visit Constable John Rance, on duty the night of the murder. Rance, too, is a big queer and when Holmes and Watson show up they interrupt a perfectly good lovemaking session (both Rance and his boytoy are hotties, of course, his boytoy so much that Watson gasps at the sight of his naked body). And one of the oddest scenes follows when Rance tries to get his significant other to go in the other room:

" 'Wot'll ya do for me, if I fetch yer suds?' he asked mischievously.
'Now Ollie…' began the constable
The boy shook his head, standing in front of the other in a cocky pose, hands on his hips as his lithe little body twisted this way and that, 'Right now,' he insisted. 'Kiss it, right now!' He moved a trifle closer to Rance and continued to flaunt his genitals a bare few inches before the other's face.
The constable blushed red, and glanced at Holmes and me in obvious consternation. He started to lean forward, as if to comply with the young man's wishes, but the boy stepped back a pace. 'On your knees,' he demanded.
Again the big man hesitated in embarrassed discomfort, finally dropping to his knees as the youth insisted and pressed his lips to the semi-tumescent member.
'Tell it yer love it,' hissed the lad
'I loves you, ' whispered the constable.
At that, the youngster danced away and started gathering up his clothes. A few moments later he was properly accoutered and he held out his hand to his lover. The constable placed a coin in the outstretched palm, and Oliver departed."

WHAT. Who does that with people around? I mean REALLY!? That was just… I have no idea. Strangest thing in the whole book, to me. First of all, he's running around naked and doesn't even care. But the KISS IT! Bit had to be there on top of it. I don't understand!

Moving on, Rance describes this guy he ran into the night of the murder, who Holmes is sure is the murderer going back for a gold ring (to large to have been a woman's, of course) he dropped. Original: He faked being drunk to avoid arrest. Townsend: He sucks off Rance to avoid arrest. This is all described in detail by Rance in the horribly written dialect. Blech.

On the ride home there is more random crotch touching:
"Leaning back in the cab, Holmes' fingers playing lightly about my crotch in time to his humming, I meditated upon the many-sidedness of this amateur bloodhound, and upon the human mind in general.
I though too, about Gregson and Lestrade, tried to picture the pair of them making love. So strange, this world of ours, so strange… The duplicity of the human soul was never to be explained."

I don't see how Gregson and Lestrade humping relates to the duplicity of the human soul any more than I understand the casual molesting.

Unlike in the original, Watson stays home from the concert opting instead to daydream about Rance and Oliver and Rance and the murderer. Holmes comes home late, awkward half-asleep blow-job ensues. Holmes again drifts obnoxiously far out of character in the morning, expressing that he was more interested in the men at the concert than the music itself. Sigh. The story again returns to normal with the ad in the paper about the ring having been found, an old lady shows up to claim it, and Holmes goes off to follow her, like normal (again, a lot of text taken word for word from Doyle). During Holmes' absence however, things get dirty again for no real reason. A servant boy (indeterminate age, probably intended to be young enough to disturb me) comes up and offers himself to Watson as he's apparently done for Holmes as well: "I don't think he'd mind, sir. He's had me once or twice hisself." For some reason Mrs. Hudson shows up and makes a big deal about it, that Holmes will be pissed and so forth, but upon his return he's just like "yeah whatev." O…kay.

The tale goes on, the old woman wasn't an old woman at all but an accomplice of the murderer, blah blah blah. Now the Baker Street Irregulars turn up, and Townsend finally actually offends me. They're all young young boys, to say 15 would be quite a stretch, and Watson describes them all as pretty, and further implications are made, first: "They are sharp as needles and can frequently worm their way into situations where - well you can imagine that for yourself." And second, 'From the sniggering responses just noted,' I replied, 'I would say you have made use of more than just their eyes and ears.'" RAAARRGGHHHHH! NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! At least they weren't in any sex scenes but GOD DAMMIT NO!

I need to be less detailed or I will never ever finish this. Story goes on. Drebber's secretary Strangerson is found dead as well, murdered the same way. Irregulars find the cabman/murderer. Holmes catches him. Hooray. Oh, before this, Holmes and Watson arrange themselves in their pants to look all bulgey in hopes of distracting the murderer. Lolz.

Now we finally get into the story of the murder, one Jefferson Hope of Utah. Yes, Mormons are involved. In accordance with the NO WIMMINS rule, Lucy Ferrier is now Lucius Ferrier. Otherwise, it is mostly in accordance with the original, Lucius and his adoptive father John Ferrier are saved by the Mormons and taken into the fold, as long as they follow all the weirdo church rules. This is all well and good and John becomes pretty well-to-do, though he never marries (added detail: he takes on a bunch of hot manservant types). Lucius grows up, which is described in the same way as Lucy growing up and the gender switch doesn't work:

Original: "It was not the father, however, who first discovered that the child had developed into the woman. It seldom is in such cases. That mysterious change is too subtle and too gradual to be measured by dates. Least of all does the maiden herself know it until the tone of a voice or the touch of a hand sets her heart thrilling within her, and she learns, with a mixture of pride and of fear, that a new and a larger nature has awakened within her."

Townsend: "It was not the father, however, who first discovered that the child had developed into a young man. It seldom is in such cases. That mysterious change is too subtle and too gradual to be measured by dates. Least of all does the youth himself know it until the tone of another's voice or the touch of a hand sets his heart thrilling within him. He learns, then, with a mixture of pride and fear, that a new and larger nature has awakened inside himself."

Not much is changed but the wording just doesn't work for a guy. I guess if he's a nancy-boy which he sort of is it's… okay, but it's just… grah.

Anyway. Lovely Lucius meets Manly Jefferson Hope when he helps out Lucius when his horse freaks out amid a herd of cows. Romantic (granted, that's how Lucy and Jefferson meet too). Of course they go off to a secluded place in the woods and make rumpy-pumpy. What follows is another sex scene, but this one wins the ultimate prize for Most Unnecessary Detail in a Sex Scene Ever:

"The cock of Jefferson Hope was thick and corded, like his upper arms and chest. Tiny veins twisted in gnarled blue outline across the surface, seeming to pulsate even in repose, and more especially when his flesh responded to Lucius' proximity. Then, its phenomenal length would increase, growing like some mythical serpent. The bulbous, shiny head would poke forth from the heavy folds of foreskin, its single eye opening and expanding, as if responding to the brilliant sunlight beyond the overhand of foliage."

No further comment.

The sex is so good of course they're in love. John Ferrier is totally okay with this because he used to bump mandanglers with Jefferson's dad. It's DESTINY! But all is not well because we're in Mormon-land and they start getting antsy for Lucius to get married. Problem is, this plot point doesn't work very well with the gender switch either. If Lucy were to marry one of the Mormon boys she'd be a 5th or 6th wife and therefore in a seriously craptastic situation. For Lucius, he's just horrified at the thought of touching EW A GIRRLLLLLL. Which I think makes me sad :'(

All talk of marriage is soon forgotten in lieu of the discovery of OMG GAY goings-on. So what do an offended Enoch Drebber and Joseph Strangerson do? Rape the boy, of course! In grotesque detail. Even the hot manservant types get in on it. And they all pretty much fuck him to death. No not pretty much. That's what they do. Jefferson Hope returns to find his beloved's remains and the father tied to a post outside. He vows VENGANCE and proceeds to hunt all of the manservant types down and castrate them (after making them pleasure themselves?) and only Enoch and Joseph elude him. So he chases them all the way to Europe and finally finds them in England.

All the rapists were described is hot. And that disturbs me. I know some people have rape fantasies (something I completely don't understand) but man, the kid died. I don't understand people D:

And there we pretty much reach the end of the tail. Jefferson is arrested but it doesn't really matter because he has an aortic aneurysm and dies before he can get jailed anyway. And everyone cries, or nearly does at the end of his tale when they didn't in the original.

Phew.

I think Jefferson Hope was more interesting in the original. I know death-by-rape is much more horrific than death-by-marriage as Lucy faced, but something about the scene when he bursts into the room with all the mourning women around Lucy and takes the ring off of her finger, insisting that she not be buried with it and then running back out again like some crazed apparition. It's just a great scene, man. I dunno.

I suppose the book wasn't trying to be literature, it was trying to be porn and that's what it was. But it wasn't even all that sexy. The sex was all about what they were doing not who was doing it or why they were doing it, just… that they were doing it. And it made it all so boring.

You'd think after all that I'd have a better conclusion or something but I don't. I've got two more stories to write about, anyway! (much much shorter than this though, mercifully).

COMING SOON: The Queer Adventure of the Greek Interpreter and The Final Solution
 
 
 
karose on July 9th, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC)
Man, that's just kind of sad. Worse is the thought that some people actually find stuff like Excessive, Gross Detail and Porn Logic hot. X_x; Reading's such a rarity these days, you'd think the author would have the good sense to suppose readers want more than just a transcription of a cheap theme-porno.

Awkward blowjobs in the night sound fun, but not in the context of much of the other stuff. Le sigh. Although Stamford will immortalise himself with me as the pimp to set up Watson and Holmes out of the smiling, seedy malevolence of his heart.

...Also, hi! *friends here too*
Weirdo the Abhorrentjianna on July 9th, 2006 10:54 pm (UTC)
Apparently, people do. It was a little bit sexy at points but I've read far better fanfiction

It's funny, the awkward blowjob was the shortest bit of sex in the whole thing. Watson's falling asleep daydreaming about other people doing it, then Holmes comes home, esentially drags him into the room, gives him a quickie, and then Watson crashes out.

I was like... what.
(no subject) - karose on July 9th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jianna on July 9th, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - karose on July 10th, 2006 12:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jianna on July 10th, 2006 01:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - karose on July 10th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jianna on July 10th, 2006 01:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
SERIOUS FEMININE DERANGEMENTwoodburner on July 9th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
GOD WHY DO MALE WRITERS NOT UNDERSTAND THAT JUST WRITING THE DRY (ahem so to speak) DETAILS OF SEX IS NOT SEXY. I have had others accuse that this is a female notion or something, but it's not just me. Dave (my manslave S.O.) and a good number of other men have agreed with me whole-heartedly. It's a story, duh, the same rules of storytelling apply. Nobody cares that his tongue is teasing the glans so much as how it feels. How are you supposed to empathize with the character, be aroused with the character, if you can't feel with the character?

Also, just because it's porn doesn't mean it shouldn't have to make sense, too. >.>; I mean, even if you're not trying for literary porn, even if you're just writing for entertainment purposes, there are limits to believability, and if you push them too far it stops being entertaining and arousing and starts being annoying, or possibly worse, hilarious.
Weirdo the Abhorrentjianna on July 9th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
EXACTLY. It said on the back that it was "camp" so I should have seen it coming but MAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNN
(no subject) - woodburner on July 9th, 2006 10:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jianna on July 9th, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Nuclear Autumn: everything is self-explanatorymojavefive on July 9th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
Here we were hoping for thoughtful, well-written smut, and instead all we got was dull formulaic erotica.

Not a slash fan personally, but it seems to be a common literary problem that GAY SEX = LOVE OMGLOL.
Weirdo the Abhorrentjianna on July 9th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
It's a common theme, but that doesn't mean it works. I've never seen it be believable anyway. It makes me wish the fanfiction that's actually good were the published stuff and this drivel was left on the interent to rot =\
(no subject) - mojavefive on July 9th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jianna on July 9th, 2006 11:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mojavefive on July 9th, 2006 11:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jianna on July 9th, 2006 11:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mojavefive on July 9th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Milady Hawke: Charlotte/Minamiladyhawke on July 9th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
...
Bwahahahaha! Man, that's just... wow. This must be every bit as bad as some of the badfic I read about on GAFF. Great job with the review, btw - I was laughing so hard I cried a bit.
Weirdo the Abhorrent: Bitch!jianna on July 10th, 2006 01:03 am (UTC)
Re: ...
hehehe, thanks :)
ragnarok_iii: Holy Lobsterragnarok_iii on July 10th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC)
"rumpy-pumpy"

Best part. Why did I read this entire entry? D:
ghostgecko on July 10th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
Man, that is just too sad to be funny. It sounds like a cut and paste between the real deal and generic gay pron - which I've read plenty of and my lord is it boring boring boring. And speaking as a gay guy, no, not all of us like that biology exam detailed sex.
Two Triangles Make a Boxthegameisafoot on July 10th, 2006 05:44 am (UTC)
I'd come up with some witty retort that expresses how terribly sad and wrong that is, but I'm still reeling from the hit in the head by the OMGBADPR0N brick.

I mean, I'm all for the H/W pr0n, but I mean, really. Come on now. Let's not get ridiculous.
Weirdo the Abhorrentjianna on July 10th, 2006 06:51 am (UTC)
Not to mention the fact that only half of the sex at most was H/W. *shallow*
Kat: Pellegri - D|katimus_prime on July 10th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
Oh dear.
It sucks that the mechanics took a backseat to the emotion. :< (I actually can't read things like that myself. Sometimes I might accidentally write them, though. ^^)
sheet_squirrel on August 7th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
Great review, even if the book is pants! Lol. You had me chuckling all the way through this, and I am 100% convinced I can live my life without clapping my sensitive eyes on this particular pastiche...

Plus I think that description of Jefferson Hope's cock has got to be one of the most "ewww" things I have ever read!!
Parmigianino: Dude. What. WHAT?mooseydoom777 on February 5th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
Oh God...That was...I mean..and the....I never thought I'd say this, but TOO MUCH COCK.

I love Holmes/Watson to death, but really, that's just ridiculous.

RAPED TO DEATH OMG MASSIVE AMOUNT OF FAIL.

*Ded*
(Anonymous) on August 9th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
I laughed until I popped a few blood vessels in my eyeballs reading this. I don't want the book, I want the rest of this review. I seriously can't tell what this emotion is: disturbed joy or amused horror or some weird mix of the two. zomg LOL for the randomness!
(Anonymous) on September 4th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
Before I say anything, let me point out that I hated this book as much as you did. It's sad, then, that you seem in a few places in this review to be completely dismissive of and prejudiced toward your own sex.

When you discuss the difference between erotica and porn, for instance, you have to point out that oh no, it's not just us inferior, not-very-bright, stunted women who think this: real men, such as your SO, agree with you. Why do you need a man to agree with anything you say in order for it to be valid? Why do you consider the woman's point of view somehow less worthy or less mainstream than that of the average man? Because whether you see it or not, that's exactly what you've said here.

Your sneering dismissal of romance novels as "purple prose" and the implication that they're somehow as a genre automatically bad and inferior to almost anything else shows the same prejudice. I'd send you a list of recommendations for well-written, well-plotted, deliciously hot romance novels, but then I suppose you'd make the tired, ignorant claim that they "transcend their genre" or "aren't really romance novels". Anything to keep that ignorant prejudice going, because BY GOD you can't enjoy something the average man doesn't approve of.

Have a little respect for yourself and for your fellow women. Stop assuming that only things that are directed at or approved by men are acceptable.
Weirdo the Abhorrentjianna on September 5th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
Woah woah woah. Did you even read what I wrote? What the hell are you even talking about? This book, which I hated, was written by a man. The stories that made me love Sherlock Holmes slash were almost all written by women. Wha... How exactly is that assuming that only things directed at men are acceptable? And I can only enjoy things the average man approves of? Seriously? The average man would probably never go anywhere near this book.

Nice job being anonymous and unjustifiably and infuriatingly scathing.
Curried Goat in a paper cupderien on September 5th, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
Y'know... sorry, I haven't read everything, and I hope to tomorrow because it looks like a very entertaining review, but I just wanted to note, re "blond [sic]" - in fact, "blonde" is for a female, "blond" is correct for a male.
Weirdo the Abhorrentjianna on September 5th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC)
Ah, I didn't know that there were gender-specific spellings for that. The English language. It is mysterious.

(fixed, btw)
(no subject) - derien on September 5th, 2007 10:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yaoibarbie on December 22nd, 2011 09:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yaoibarbie on December 22nd, 2011 09:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
jcomer2001jcomer2001 on April 4th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
-He just... flops his hand on Watson's groin? Do people really do that? What the hell?
Hey J,

--He just... flops his hand on Watson's groin? Do people really do that? What the hell?



If you're gay and you know he's gay, and you are going to....probably have sexxx, then, yes, gay men do do that.
Otherwise, well, no.

Edited at 2009-04-04 05:35 pm (UTC)
chelonianmobile: chelonianmobile on January 1st, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)
"Extraordinary rectal structure" ... bwahahahahaa!

Hey, ferrety features can be attractive. But not sexually, and only when they're on an actual ferret. *hugs ferrets*

No, I still prefer "A Study in Emerald". Yay Cthulhu ... Y'know, this one would probably be improved by tentacles.
yaoibarbieyaoibarbie on December 22nd, 2011 09:28 am (UTC)
LMAO!! (@ tentacles)