A collection of eight short stories are interwoven by one common thread of a theme, The Palomino. Over the years the legendary establishment has been a restaurant, a bar, an adult video and novelty store and eventually a gentleman’s club. The stories are gruesome and graphic in nature, luring the reader from page one down a path of enlightenment to see just how each story is connected to one another.
“The Glue Trap” – Lloyd, a disgruntled employee at the Palomino under the tutelage of his father-in-law shows his true colors in a sticky situation that will render the average reader completely undone at the seams.
“The Hole” – Vengeance is sought after a young Native American boy is thrown into a transference well, an ominous deed by a most unsuspecting soul.
“Sweet Mouth” – John learns more than what he bargains for about what lurks on the other side of the glory hole at the Palomino peep show booth.
“Another Dead Donald” – Cheryl is a psychic medium with premonitions of the depraved only through the act of fellatio.
“Rough Night at The Palomino” – Tina suspects she’s been drugged with a date rape drug while at the Palomino and seeks protection and refuge in Dirk, a local patron before a sequence of sinister events transpires.
“Black Fire” – Mark walks into a convenience store robbery and meets his own twisted, torrid fate.
“Park, Bench, River, Gun” – Tom and Cheryl share a disoriented, confusing exchange.
“The Porn Maid’s Tale” – Dave Brickman ponders remorse and regret over initiating a new comer into the realm of adult entertainment by the name of Selena Simpson.
Tales of the Palomino is creative and definitely experimental in style. I like how each story has something to do with the next while leaving the reader in suspense to determine what the common lineage is. Although some stories are a slight bit on the murky side and we have to grapple with their relevance, the payoff (or should we say money shot) seems to work out in the end.
It’s interesting how the genres of horror, suspense and sensuality are mish-mashed into one. Few authors have fine-tuned their product or delivery thereof when it comes to combining sensuality and other subgenres. The author Rob Errera should however be very cautious of not misleading potential audiences with sensuality directing right in the title. I found this selection to be almost as equally presumptuous labelling anything volume one. It’s evident the author is so confident in the success of these stories that there will indeed be further sequels, necessitating a volume two, volume three, so on and so forth. I think the term sensuality, derived from the word sensual, is in essence relative. Yet at the same time one cannot help but find the word synonymous with eroticism. There is a fine line between what is erotic and what is pornographic. It’s disappointing to see there really isn’t much that is erotic in the literary sense from Rob Errera. The line is crossed unapologetically into pornography and terror. By the final act we discover this isn’t a bad combination, but for future reference we’d rather a spade be called a spade.
Most readers attribute the concept of sensuality to be couple’s and women friendly, perhaps something the Mrs. would read by candlelight in the bath while enjoying a nice glass of wine. Chances are she’s not as interested in reading about the double penetration or gang rape in the back seat of a car in a seedy bar’s parking lot.
The descriptions are very vivid and the prose can at times even be poetic. Each of the stories is brief, concise and imaginative enough to hold the reader’s attention. I think no one can argue this is a viable commodity in a forever depreciating attention span society.
By the time to final tale, “The Porn’s Maid” had arrived I had no idea I’d be so delightfully surprised with such an innovative, original concept. I am concerned however that the average reader may get a little lost in the xxx industry jargon, lingo and syntax. The author has to keep in mind not every average, every day reader knows what the XRCO or AVN is. I think there is a tendency in the porn industry to take for granted everyone else is hip or privy to their ways. Granted such names as Jenna Jameson, Sharon Mitchell, Brad Armstrong and studios like Vivid, Wicked and Anabolic are increasingly popular they won’t necessarily mean anything to most readers. I fear that the average reader will question why they’re investing into a story of this nature and ultimately abandon it without giving it the fair shake that it deserves.
Sensual Nightmares, Tales of the Palomino Volume 1 is an interesting concept, clearly not for everyone and a little neat avant-garde to the adult entertainment industry. Personally, the execution was just a little on the flaccid side for me.