on 29 November 2008
Rossignol has a gentle style which sustains an entertainingly erotic narrative, and places little strain on the reader's credibility. In this book a young man is stimulated by the sight of his neighbour's nubile daughter exposing her naked torso, to the extent that he enlists the educational expertise of a friendly local employer of financially motivated young women to improve his `amatory cv'. In the space of a single torrid week, funded by a new-found talent for gambling, he gains sufficient prowess to conquer the virginity of the initial target of his lusts, and he thus embarks on a carefree life, grazing his way through what he amusingly calls the `vertical smiles' of all the women he meets. The book is well written, heterosexual in nature and fairly average in its practices, and it sustains interest almost to the end, but it then, regrettably, it fails to come to a satisfactory ending. This may be because a follow-on instalment seems to have been planned, but if this is the case I could find no details of such. The book therefore ends with two sections that are almost appendices, both rather taxonomic in nature: an expertly written catalogue of the physical and erotic performance characteristics of twenty `working girls'; and a well-thought-out systematisation of how such professionals might be objectively assessed. These sections are undoubtedly interesting, but in the context of a self-contained erotic novel they are not an ideal substitute for an `ending', happy or otherwise. The book is, however, stimulating and entertaining, as is prerequisite in this genre.