Two aspiring writers, one the middle-aged and eponymous George, the other Catherine, a beautiful young Cambridge graduate, find their lives crossing at various strange intersections. George loves Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin. Catherine likes writing dodgy love poems. They both enjoy a bit of lubricious chastisement, albeit from slightly different perspectives.
Alan Daniels’ Spank – The Improbable Adventures of George Aloysius Brown is a fun book. Alright, it’s a spanker (aka an erotic punishment novel) as the name so subtly suggests, just like 50SoG. But why shouldn’t a spanker be fun to boot, I ask you?
If you mated – in the literary sense, of course – Tom Sharpe with E.L. James, their imaginary offspring could well have written it. A few beefs: Daniels’ fondness for aptronyms tends to go over the top. The hero George’s frequent anthropomorphic references to his penis as ‘the little fella’ – all a bit too ‘pathetic phallus-y’, really. And lastly, characters who tend to shoehorn in short lectures on anything from Catherine de Medici and the history of erotic discipline to Colonel Fawcett and his giant anaconda. All interesting stuff, but it rather slows the otherwise spanking (sorry) pace at which the book rips along.
Gripes apart, this is an entertaining read possessing charm and a satisfyingly woven plot. The sex is rude, the romance romantic, the characters are vivid and the situations are often very funny. There’s the odd appealing lurch into Carry-On-farce territory with randy headmasters, camper vans, naughty lady JP’s and naked German tourists. Oh, and before I forget, let me tell you, the spanking is really quite hot.
While Spank might be appreciated more by baby-boomer than younger readers, Daniels’ prose is fluid, with a nice sense of comedic timing.
A felicitous debut novel.
Alan Daniels, SPANK – The Improbable Adventures of George Aloysius Brown, available as a Kindle eBook from Amazon, c.158 pages.