Butterflies on a Mirror

An ENE Review of the novel
Butterflies on a Mirror by Sidney E. Durham


Reviewed by JZ Sharpe

Some believe that women and men write different flavors of erotica. Women, they say, write a more emotional type of story, with an emphasis on emotions and the relationship between the characters, while men tend to create their tales around the act itself (with characterization limited to bust size and hair color). I've simplified matters here, of course, but that's the gist of it.
Which leaves me in a quandary, after reading Butterflies on a Mirror -- where shall we place someone like Sidney Durham on the writing/gender continuum? All the stories in this collection are hot, but the attention to characterization and plot is always present, and this creates a real story that sticks with the reader long after he or she has put down the book. There are thirteen stories in this collection, and not a bad apple among them.
We begin with Haircut, a story that will convince you that the hair on a man's head is not necessarily the most important hair on his body. No doubt many men who read this one will wonder where they might find this mythical beauty parlor! The collection takes off from there, riding a roller coaster of emotion, from the mournful Laura's Wake (proving the existence of love after death), to The Truth About Rapunzel (fairy tales are not just for kids anymore!). So many plums, it's hard to choose a favorite, but if I had to, I'd pick the title story, Butterflies on a Mirror -- for once an adultery tale without the too-bitter aftertaste.
I loved every story in this collection, and I'm sure you will, too -- regardless of your gender! Because, I've decided, Mr. Durham doesn't write just for men, or only for women. He writes for people, and that's the widest audience of all, not to mention the best.
Butterflies on a Mirror

Butterflies on a Mirror by Sidney Durham

Butterflies on a Mirror, Sidney Durham's second book of short stories, sparkles and sizzles with the same intensity of his first offering. In this collection, you will look in as an ordinary haircut becomes much more, as a wallpaper hanger adds new depth to a young man's education, as a fairy tale is finally explained. This baker's dozen of Durham's stories reaffirms the dialog and characters who seem to spring from the written word and grab you by the throat, forcing you to continue reading.

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For the past five years, JZ Sharpe has been making up for the time she lost in a 20-year writer's block. She lives in the Pennsylvania mountains, where most of her friends and coworkers would be shocked and amazed by her secret life as a writer of erotica and science fiction. JZ Sharpe is a regular contributor to ENE. You can also find her work at About's Amateur Erotica, Adult Story Corner, Biblio Eroticus, Blood Moon Zine , Dare , Erotica Readers Association, HotErotica.Com and Scarlet Letters . Get lashed by the Sharpe Tongue.

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