Book Reviews

Lucky Stiff  

by Tonia Brown

Library of Erotic Horror (2010)

Tonia Brown’s Lucky Stiff was something I wanted to read since I had read about its plot. It was so outlandish and out there. It was different. It had zombies and it was erotic. What a hell of a combination! To say it was an enjoyable read in an understatement. The book had such much going for it: it was funny, it had heart, and, most of all, and it was sexy. I can’t say that for any book I’ve ever read.

The novel follows Peter Lyles (yes, even the name is a double entendre!), the titular lucky stiff. While in New Orleans with his friend, he dies through unfortunate circumstances and is whisked away to a voodoo queen who lives deep within the swamps of Louisiana. He’s resurrected and becomes a zombie but he’s not like any of the ordinary living dead. Instead of flesh or brains, he must consume something else. Just what is it? Let’s just say that it involves the end result of a lot of erotic action and adventure.  Lucky Stiff is part a growing up (no pun intended!) tale set in the voodoo queen’s home and the rest is Peter’s travel journal as he sets out to find himself as well as other sources of sustenance.

What captivated me about the whole novel was Peter’s outlook on life after death. While most people might see his dilemma as either a blessing or a curse, he sees it as both. It’s through this dual outlook that he is able to deal with his condition. Ms. Brown has created a character with warmth (not in the literal sense of course), passion, and heart. The reader is never repulsed by Peter’s actions because it’s his way of survival. The alternative is what keeps him going. It keeps him sane and gives him strength. The voodoo priestess is also richly portrayed. Instead of the stereotypical archetype that the reader may expect, Tonia presents a woman who’s driven by her intellect, wisdom, and passions. She becomes an important figure in Peter’s growth (there I go again with the double entendres). The book never bores, either. Whether it’s a vividly described erotic scene or Peter’s musings about life…er death…the reader benefits from Ms. Brown’s unique style of writing. It may read as “simple” (that is, it doesn’t try to be haughty and vain), it actually speaks a ton about the turmoils and tribulations of life. It also, however, talks about the rich and rewarding aspects. It’s this duality that balances the story and becomes more than just an erotic zombie tale.

I would highly recommend Lucky Stiff for any fan of the zombie genre. It’s not the basic end of the world, humanity fighting the undead type, though. The reader should also take the term “erotic’ seriously. So if that sort of thing is offensive, stay away. If, however, you’re willing to give it a chance (like I did), you’ll just see the sex as part of the story…not the driving force. Thank you, Tonia, for an enjoyable and enlightening read!

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One Response to Book Reviews

  1. Tonia Brown says:

    Thanks so much, J.R.! I’m so pleased you enjoyed my Peter. It does my heart good to hear folks enjoyed the sexy sex but at the same time really dug the storyline. Thanks again! WOOT!

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