Many of the tales in Toby Litt's collection Exhibitionism
are "sexual comedies"; and Litt has that rarest of literary gifts: an ability to write about sex in an unsentimental, non-pornographic, un-cringe-making way. His stories are honest, amusing, stylish and eloquent.
"Alphabed" is particularly striking and insightful: it's an A to Z of dying sexual passion which spares neither blushes nor expletives as it dissects the decay inherent in carnality. Similarly, "On The Etiquette of Eye-Contact During Oral Sex" does exactly what it says on the tin: even if the wit sometimes flags, it's full of salutary advice on the trickiest of erotic acts. But it's not just sex that benefits from the Litt technique. The first story, "Dreamgirls", is a mildly touching fantasy on what it means for inner wishes to come true. The "Audioguide" is nobly experimental and almost entirely confusing (it's probably about museums) but is never less than smart. Best of the lot is "Mapmaking Among The Middle Classes"--it's a deliciously sly dig at the feng shui of bourgeois socialising.
Litt's bestselling novels, like Deadkidsongs and Beatniks have proved he's a dab hand at examining generational angst and masculine hang-ups; this impressive collection of short stories shows he has other talents, too.--Sean Thomas
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'Everything Toby Litt touches turns to gold' BIG ISSUE