This ebook, Twisted, by Lola Smirnova is ‘a bit strange’ to be honest. Purported to be an erotica book (from its cover anyways), it starts out as one and then gradually the heroine introduces herself. Basically it is a story about is flesh trade in Ukraine. Fans of erotica would be disappointed as it evokes pity and pathos more often than eroticism. It is not erotica but it is miles ahead of most erotica books I have read. Erotica books usually offer ‘fake’ content much like porn movies – to appease and entertain us, while the story in this book is very much real. If you are a lover of uber-dark, realistic books and want to have an idea of what it was like to be a whore in a 1990’s Ukrainian society then this book for you; this is the kind of book which would give you even the tiniest detail of a whore’s (or adult entertainer, whatever you call her) life back in those days, leaving little to imagination. At other times the book is oddly humorous:
“It’s simple. Peter spends so much money in one night that at his request the boss closes the club for the whole night and all girls entertain only him. The champagne flows without limits. In exchange, he asks for no intimacy of any kind, only participation in his weird fantasy.”
Kudos to the author for writing a very realistic book of fiction in first person which truly startles you and forces you to think for yourself. I myself come from a country where poor women are regularly trafficked to the Middle East for flesh trade, often against their wishes, so I can relate to the condition presented by this book. Mind you that the language of the book is very strong and graphic. Several times I felt sorry for Julia; she shows in subtle ways how she too longs for a normal life with a lover just like the other girls and how sometimes she is in two minds about her job. I hope Ukrainian girls are better off now, at least enough to keep them away from this social sickness.
For me it has been more of an educative rather than thrilling ride, but I enjoy new experiences like these nonetheless. The only reason I cannot give it five stars is due to its extremely graphic nature; otherwise it is one of a kind and a very moving book written in present tense.