I have been hearing a lot of chatter amongst the Cannonball Kissing Book aficionados about a book called Kulti. So I went looking to see what I could find. I found an author name and it looked like she had written a lot of books. As I was perusing her books I noticed one for $.99. I bought it thinking it was a novella and I didn’t bother reading the description. I got a few surprises, not all of them good.
First of all, it was not a novella. I don’t know about you, but I have a certain mindset when I expect a story to end in 100 pages as opposed to almost 500. I was rather taken aback when I expected the story to be wrapping up, but it just kept going. And then I looked at my progress and discovered I was only 27% through. This was completely my fault. My expectations and failure to look at basic information are entirely my fault.
The other surprise was that the initial meet cute happens at a porn convention. Kat, our heroine, is a self described big fan of porn. Tristan, our hero, is a porn star. He’s not a porn star she recognizes, so it’s a surprise. I don’t watch porn, but I don’t have a problem with what people do to get their engines running, as long as it’s between consenting adults. My big problem with the porn connection was not porn, but the attitudes of the protagonists.
There’s a weird hypocrisy that pops up in the book. Kat describes her self as sex positive and one of her best friends is a porn actress. However, Kat is very judgy about other women and people who work in the adult film industry (except her friend). Kat’s negativity about the industry of which she claims to be a big fan, adds an element of ick to the whole book.
Apparently, Robby had fans who were as different as the dogs you’d find in a shelter. Fucking bitches. Each woman had the same expression on her face: slack-jawed and bug-eyed.
I’m not a big fan of the ‘I’m sexually liberated but those other women are whores’ trope. I especially find it distasteful in what is supposed to be a sex positive contemporary romance.
There were things I liked. Zapata does good female friendships. I was initially overwhelmed by the constant use of bitch, whore and slut, because the friends, 3 women and 1 gay man, constantly refer to each other as sluts whores and bitches, and then they refer to other women as sluts, whores and bitches in a derogatory way, so it was kind to hard to separate the gendered hostility from the affection. Once I got past that though, I could appreciate the relationships.
I didn’t hate this book, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it either. There is a lot of gendered and sex based hostility in a story with multiple adult film actors and porn fans. I’m hearing such good things about Kulti that I will get around to reading it, but I won’t race out to buy other Zapata books.