Maltese, William and Johan Ekkel. “Maltese/ Ekkel”, MLR Press, 2012.
Stories and Inspiration
Walter Maltese never ceases to surprise. He has long been one of the masters of the man on man erotic story and he never seems to run out of ideas. His newest idea was to take the drawings of Johann Ekkel and write short stories that correspond to them. Maltese began writing in the 1960’s and has published almost 200 books (and add to that what he has not published). He has also begun writing about wine and food and I have no idea how he does it. He originally asked Ekkel to do two portraits for him and became a true fan of his work. When Maltese saw the artist’s black and white erotic sketches, he became inspired and decided to write stories with ideas that came to him from looking at them. Thus Maltese/Ekkel was born.
Using the themes of passion, sex, vengeance, redemption and salvation, murder, love and retribution, we get some twenty-eight stories that deal with surfers, military, bull-fighting, werecats, the circus and aliens. Maltese writes very hot stories but it is not just the sex that makes them a good read—it is his writing style and I love when you can combine a good idea for a story together with a man who really knows how to write; you get a really good taste of what writing is all about.
I remember when I first started reviewing again about six years ago. I debated whether I would review erotica or not and somehow a book of Maltese’s popped up. I loved that he was able to make sex sound literary so he made the decision for me that if I was going to review erotica, it would have to have some literary value. To give you an idea what I am talking about here is a sample from the book. This is a three line story, “The Boot” and it is as much poetic as it allows the imagination to decide what is going on here.
“I was a stable boy at the Battleman Stud Farm.
I slept with Mr. Battleman’s son.
Mr. Battleman gave me the boot.”
That is the entire story yet in 22 words it says a lot and still allows the reader to take part in it. I really love when an author cannot only pull a reader into his writing but can make him also feel as he is a character or at least very close to the action. By the way Johan Ekkels’s art is just as exciting as the stories.