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Trash, Sex, Magic [Paperback]

Jennifer Stevenson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Jun 2004
"This just absolutely rocks."-Audrey Niffenegger "Raunchy, funny, and disturbing."-Chicago Reader "Deeply charming."-The Washington Post A tender, joyful, raunchy, radiant novel. Imagine The Metamorphoses or A Midsummer Night's Dream transported to the woods of Illinois. When a development company cuts down a beloved tree, and tries to drive out Raedawn Summer's family, strange things start to happen.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Big Mouth House; First Edition edition (17 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931520127
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931520126
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,720,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


""Jennifer Stevenson is my goddess. In this book, trash is power, a springtime bacchanalia of beautiful, wild women, magic trees and sexy men--love it."

About the Author

With her husband of twenty-six years, Jennifer Stevenson owns Hawkeye Scenic Studios, Inc., a scenery construction shop located in Chicago. Her stories have been published in a number of anthologies. "Solstice" was published as a chapbook by Green Man Review. Trash Sex Magic is Jennifer Stevenson's first novel. She is currently working on a series of romantic comedies.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly excellent 6 Nov 2009
Trash Sex Magic is about, well, what's in the title. The magical stability of a riverside part of land is in trouble, and can only be solved with sexual magic. Which might sound like the book's just an excuse for lots of gratuitous porn. Except for the part where Stevenson has written a cast of great, real characters, has made her magic dark and troublesome, has a plot that keeps moving, and treats sex as a complicated and integral part of the book's characters. I had trouble putting this one down at night.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strange magical love story 21 Aug 2004
By Marianne Frye - Published on
This book was an amazing read. It is hard to believe that it is her first book !

It is a sensuous and lyrical tale told about an odd and unusual group of characters who live along a river bank. The characters are never made fun of or exploited for the story, and instead of victims of society they are people who have made unconventional choices. They are given depth and a vibrancy that makes you think they live on still after the book is done. Her writing is such that you seem to be in their world - it is both very human, and very different.

The story is a love affair between the characters and nature, with sex often being their means of communicating and channeling the magic and the love. It is an integral part of the story, but not graphic or leering.

The story is told beautifully and contains a bit of mystery, pathos, horror and hope. Though there is a plot, the true focus is the characters and their love of the land and each other. A truly wonderful accomplishment.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime fantasy 21 Nov 2005
By Charles R. Middaugh - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is without doubt one of the most original books I have read. It is very beautifully written and certainly took me to a place I have never been. It continues to haunt me weeks after I completed it. I can't recommend it highly enough. It manages to synthesize elements of fanatsy, horror, reality and sensuality in a way that leaves you overwhelmed at the beauty of the world. And one thing is for certain-you will never, never look at a tree in the same way again!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical and beautifully written but what the hell was it about? 29 Mar 2006
By Lisbeth Ann - Published on
I read this in one sitting and I kept wondering if there was a metaphor that I missed somewhere. But no, it is paranormal at it's strangest depth. It was as if the writing was magical, very beautiful and difficult to stop reading. The flow was musical and yet if I had to describe this book to someone in a word, I would have to say STRANGE. There is one character in this book that was so beautiful in human form and magical form and that is where I wondered whether I had missed a metaphor. Alexander Caebeau is a beautiful Bahamian man of such a gentle and giving nature, incredibly beautiful in every physical and spiritual sense, he is someone you think about out of the clear blue, many months after you've read the book, at a time perhaps when you secretly wish there was an Alexander Caebeau in your life. And maybe that is what the book is about. I can never be sure but the prose is so lyrically appealing and Alexander is uncommonly innocent and sublimely beautiful which made the book worth reading, even if it was the strangest book I've ever read.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars 1 Dec 2008
By D. K. Stokes - Published on
I really, really wanted to love it. People who I respect the heck out of love it. I remember when I first heard about it and I thought it sounded great and wanted to read it. And I can tell that it's written very well. But I'm just not the reader for this book, and it pains me to say that.

Most of the reviews I read called Trash Sex Magic a love story, and it is that, but it's mostly the story of Raedawn Somershoe who, along with her mother, creates magic through sex. The giant tree that anchored the area and that housed the essence of Raedawn's friend/lover has been cut down by a developer, and now nature's going all haywire, particularly the river. What's needed is someone to take his place, and she finds him in Alexander Cabeau, whose grandmother sent him from the Bahamas.

A synopsis of the plot really does nothing to explain this story. I call it "literary fantasy," which is my way of trying to convey the feel of the book, but maybe a better term would be "poetic fantasy," because it affected me like poetry. Some of what happens in the book is "real," some is metaphor, and some is magic, and it's not always easy to tell which is which. In fact, I'm half convinced that the entire book is metaphor.

But I'm a more literal reader. I love fantasy and magic, but I like it to be grounded. For me, this is like trying to focus on one of those hidden picture paintings--I can do it, I can see the hidden picture, but it's hard work, and it gives me a headache. Just like with poetry, I got tired and frustrated trying to figure out what was real, and waiting for something to happen. And just like with good poetry, I can tell that this is a really well-written book, but I can't feel it myself. It's like looking at a pair of gorgeous shoes, but they're a size 6, and there's no way I can wear them. I know they're great shoes, but I can't have them.

So, 3.5 stars, which is what my personal enjoyment level of the book was: I liked it, but it's not a keeper for me. I used to think I was lacking or intellectually lazy because I don't enjoy poetry, or books like this, but now I think it's just a matter of brain wiring. Don't disillusion me, please.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sexy Story of Magic and Trash 10 Jan 2006
By Terri Rowan - Published on
Raedawn Somershoe, her mother Gelia, and several other people live in a collection of trailers along the Fox River. Theirs is a world of mud, junk piles, and mystery, as spectacular as it is shabby.

In a strange world, stranger things begin to happen when land developers intrude on the riverbank. Rae's love is killed, the river goes wild, and a storm of activity drowns the area in magic and tension.

This novel is not for the faint of heart. Bold in premise, it does not shy away from subjects considered taboo by many people. For those brave enough to take the journey, for anyone who ever lived in a run-down trailer, those who were ever intimate with a few wild acres in the middle of humanity's business, or those who ever had an uncomfortable moment, this is a triumphant read.

For those who are easily offended, this is not for you. For those afraid to explore outside their zone of comfort, this is not for you. For those who don't want a story that will cling to their soul long after the book is shelved, this is not for you.

"Trash Sex Magic" gets five stars for bold creativity, skilled layering of characters' stories, and for the literary quality of the writing. Although a few scenes in the novel are mildly confusing for the average reader, Stevenson's work shows a brilliant insight into human nature.

"A real book is not one that's read, but one that reads us." -W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

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