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Trompe-l'oeil (or, The Old In and Out. Of Love.)

Trompe-l'oeil (or, The Old In and Out. Of Love.) [Kindle Edition]

Russell Bittner
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Trompe l'Œil, by Russell Bittner, is a tantalizingly brilliant story about the human condition. Be ready for the rollercoaster read of your life!Read the book! It might just change your life. --Lucinda Kempe -- fiction writer at large

Product Description

If E. L. James (of Fifty Shades fame) was in any way a disappointment to you as a reader, Trompe-l'oeil may be a suitable antidote -- maybe even an elixir. Its author, Russell Bittner, finished this book in 2004 -- years before the Fifty Shades trilogy was born. It is not the product of fan fiction or of any such collaborative effort; it is the author's own work -- start to finish--conceived, developed and executed in his own Brooklyn, New York garden. As is every work of fiction, it is in part the product of his imagination, in part the product of his experience. The languages (with English translations), he feels, are integral to the story and are his own -- the product of ten years' study on the Continent. They are not meant to impress or annoy, but rather -- he hopes -- to enhance. And, he feels, they will bear up under the scrutiny of any native speaker.

DANEKA SØRENSEN is a Danish transplant to NYC, where she manages her life from an Upper East Side apartment building by night and from the top floor of a mid-town skyscraper by day -- ostensibly, all under tight control.KIT ADDISON is a fashion photographer with a sideline penchant for flora and poetry who lives on the LowerEast Side. The distance between them, however, is about much more than a mere hundred city blocks.

The first sixty-five pages are devoted to setting and character development. From that point on, all hell breaks loose.

But the hell that breaks loose does so only in the reader's head. Russell has always believed that a woman's most erogenous zone is between her ears -- and this story goes straight for that cerebral "G spot."

That's as much as you need to know about the two principal characters and about the nature of this book. The rest will reveal -- and unveil -- itself in the eighty-two chapters of the story whose journey, incidentally, will take you from New York to Paris, to Lisbon and the coast of Portugal, to Rome and Positano, to Copenhagen and to Bornholm (a Danish island in the Baltic Sea), then finally back to New York City.

The thirty-three reviews (as of today, July 16, 2013) should tell you the rest.

Caveat lector! This is not a story for lovers of the work of Jane Austen -- except in Ms. Austen's imagination.Unfortunately for that particular author, however, she didn't live in our more liberally graphic times.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 859 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1478151056
  • Publisher: Amazon Kindle; 1 edition (4 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #679,282 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I built up a writer's CV of both print and online publications over more years than I care to count before publishing my novel here at Amazon. (If you'd care to glance, it's here below.) "Why did you then ultimately self-publish?" you may well ask.

Quite simply, because I ran out of patience looking for brick & mortar publishers who couldn't look past the "success" of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY into something a bit more challenging to readers.

Please don't get me wrong ... I've got nothing against E. L. James and her success. (We should ALL be so lucky!) I just didn't -- and don't -- endorse her interpretation of things, her style, her lack of the simple mechanics of writing and editing. It seems to me that readers deserve more for their pound, their dollar, their euro. It seems to me that readers deserve honesty and diligence in a writer.



In print journals/magazines: The American Dissident; The Blind Man's Rainbow; The Lyric; The Barbaric Yawp; The International Journal of Erotica; Wicked Hollow; Æsthetica; The Raintown Review; CRITJournal; Tuesday, an Art Project; Grey Book Press; Inkspill Magazine; The Feline Muse; Sonnetto Poesia; and Trinacria.

On-line at: EdificeWrecked; ken*again; SpillwayReview; Quintessence; Erotica-readers; Ink-mag; GirlsWithInsurance; Fireweed; ThievesJargon; MadHatter's Review; ALongStoryShort; LauraHird; SouthernHum; ZygoteInMyCoffee; OpiumMagazine; JustusRoux; PWReview; DifferentVoices; VoidMagazine; MindfireReview; Salome-Magazine; Plum Biscuit (a journal of the NYC Writers Coalition); 3AM; Dogmatika; ALittlePoetry; EvergreenReview; theBreath; Sliptongue; Chanterelle'sNotebook; AscentAspirations; TheLinnet'sWings; 3rdActs; DeadDrunkDublin; The CentrifugalEye; Dogzplot; TheNewFormalist; Per Contra: PartyOfTheFirstPart; DISPATCHLitareview; Litsnack; ClockwiseCat; TheFelineMuse; and at LucidRhythms.


In journals/magazines: The International Journal of Erotica; The Edgar Literary Magazine; Beyond Centauri; Snow Monkey; Swill Magazine; SEINundWERDEN; Skive Magazine; The Whortleberry Press; ABCTales; and Snow Monkey.

On-line at: 3AM; Pindeldyboz; Satin Slippers; DeadMule; Ink-Mag; GirlsWithInsurance; UndergroundVoices; HackWriters; BlueFood; ALongStoryShort; SouthernHum; DeadDrunkDublin; 10,000 Monkeys; Yankeepot-roast; SkiveMagazine; Quintessence; writeThis; SwillMag; SuffolkPunch; MannequinEnvy LauraHird; Per Contra; ThievesJargon; UndergroundVoices; SUSS: Another Literary Journal; Cezanne'sCarrot; Sliptongue; RedPeter; TheSquirrelCage; FarawayJournal; VerbSap; TheRose&Thorn; 3rdActs; CliteratureJournal; TheCerisePress; EclecticFlash; DonovanHall; Dogmatika; DanseMacabre; SuffolkPunch; Writers'BlocMag; and ISMsPress.

Conduct monthly interviews of notable English-language poets at ("Poet's Corner").

Book blog:
Books: Trompe-l'oeil -
Stories in the Key of C. Minor. -

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not for the faint of heart 6 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Ordinarily here I would copy in the book blurb, but in this case I find it very wordy, which is much like the rest of the book. Instead I offer you my very brief synopsis:
Meet Daneka Sorenson, a very wealthy Danish transplant to New York City. Enter Kit, a financially poor New York Photographer. After a very short romantic encounter they then don't see one another for another 11 years, when they are once again thrown together. What follows is a steamy love affair, but with a cloud hanging over the relationship. They leave New York and travel together through many European cities ...
"What gradually comes to light in the space of two continents and one return transatlantic flight is that, while love's bite may initially be sweet, the aftertaste may be exceedingly bitter--when not downright nauseating." (This last bit is taken from the end of the book's blurb).

The book starts very slowly, and even when it reaches speed the book remains a complicated read. It feels as though the author has tried too hard for a colourful array of vocabulary, which ends up confusing and hard work. This comes across as a very intellectual book, which makes it very difficult to place. Whilst it definitely satisfies the criteria for outright erotica, I would have to say that this would be erotica aimed at the highly intellectual reader. This book sits very definitely within the Adult genre, and is not for the faint hearted.

The first 20% of the book is given over to a commentary from the author - we don't meet the characters really until this point - a fifth of the way in. The point of view changes often from one paragraph to the next, with a sudden shift of point of view mid flow on at least two occasions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Secrets cannot be hushed 14 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel juxtaposes the light and darkness of human life. The light is the relationship between Kit, a photographer, and Daneka, a mysterious and gracile Danish woman. The secret wounds that scar Daneka's heart are the darkness.

Kit and Daneka enjoy a languorous intimacy, which could be the subject of a whole book. The author strikes a classy balance in his depictions of the sensual and emotional aspects of their romance. Their bliss, though intense, turns out to be fragile. Kit puzzles over the real identity of his lover; her background and social connections are opaque. Their international travels terminate in Denmark, and here the accumulation of secrecy seems likely to burst its banks. Kit loves Daneka as deeply as man ever loved a woman; but is that enough to heal her wounds?

I recommend this book to those who seek erotic fiction that doesn't shy away from emotional and mature themes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tainted love 12 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The male protagonist of "Trompe-l'oeil", Kit, is a glamorous photographer in the mould of David Hemming's character from "Blowup".

Daneka is a petite Danish woman who becomes Kit's client. She is a few years older than him, and the most feminine woman he's ever met. Beautiful models are old hat to him, yet he is instantly smitten by her perfect neck and charming accent. Daneka is quietly impressed by Kit, but she keeps an impeccable cool, assessing him from a distance.

Kit and Daneka soon fall for one another. Their romance is deep and intense, its sensuality deepened by exotic locales such as Paris and the Algarve. However, the pain and grief that Daneka left behind in Denmark begin to seep into her new life with Kit. Will her dark secrets poison their relationship forever?

This romance novel is dark, erotic and beautifully composed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Story and a Tragedy 17 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Russell Bittner's novel Trompe-l'oeil is a love story, and a wonderful piece of writing. In photographic detail, it calls upon every one of the senses, to create the sights, the tastes and smells of every morcel of sensual pleasure that can come with infatuation. The novel is also a tragedy. But it is not the usual, mundane tragedy brought on by time, as passionate love grows stale and fades away like the morning dew. It's the sort of tragedy that ensues when one person in the story is happy to see the illusions fade away, because it will allow the nurturing of a real long-term relationship, while the other side tries to maintain the facade of better than perfect beauty.

Kit Addison is an up and coming fashion photographer in New York, made blasé by the amount of naked flesh he has to photograph during the course of a normal working. At heart he is still a "simple boy from a simple state, from the comparatively simple United States". When his lucky path crosses that of Daneka an older, very wealthy and successful European lady, who edits one of New York's major magazines, he is all too ready to succumb to her perfect body and sophisticated way of life. He knows that one day the perfect illusion will end, but he feels sure he will be able to handle it. In the meantime, he intends to make the most of the experience.

Daneka takes Kit on a tour of some of Europe's most beautiful spots, where she dazzles him with her command of languages. Kit is no mean slouch at Italian or Russian himself. At heart, he is a decent person, ready to hitch his wagon permanently to that of Daneka's, but is she willing to devote herself to him? Hours of passionate, erotic engagement can be immediately followed by episodes of withdrawal, when she refuses even to acknowledge his presence.
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