Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Slave Island

Author Simon Finch was born in Rio de Janeiro, where his father served in the Diplomatic Corps. Finch was educated abroad before attending university in England for studies in Classical History. His first three novels consist of the Vesuvio Trilogy, including Golden Voyager (1978), Pagan Voyager (1979), and Voyager in Bondage (1981). Avoiding any heavy lifting, I opted to try Finch's stand-alone novel Slave Island, which was originally published by Souvenir Press in 1983 as a hardcover, then later in 1984 in paperback by Pan with an amazing cover by Gino D'Achille.

The 300-page paperback begins in Boston with Billy Peake, a young English colonial, awaiting a shipment of Mexican silver to arrive on a convoy ship. However, the ship's captain and a local businessman named Easton conspired to swindle Peake out of the cargo. After convincing Billy to rut out all of his frustrations at the local whorehouse, the two get Billy drunk and throw him on a ship destined for Africa's slave coast. Two days later Billy awakens to find himself in bondage. 

Arriving in Africa, Billy is placed into caged slavery and forced to mate with a young white woman named Jenny. At first Billy refuses, but as time marches on the two do the wild monkey dance and get it on. Then, the two are forced to walk with a parade of slaves across the continent to an island north of Madagascar named Slave Island. It's a prison dedicated “for the worst Arabian, Turk, and European scum, a Tower of Babel in the ocean for more sinner than saints.”

I know what you're thinking – this sounds awesome! A wild adventure ripe with jungle savagery, the inevitable fight to the death on an island prison, nautical battles, and a revenge plot as Billy fights his way to freedom in the Hellish heat of Slave Island. Well, scratch all the excitement off that excursion list. This literary cruise is headed to a penis extravaganza led by a phallus-obsessed captain named Simon Finch.

I mentioned the page count earlier. Out of those 300 pages, approximately 200 is dedicated to just straight, plain 'ole porno. I'm fairly certain Finch is making up for something because nearly every word is “phallus”, “penis”, “meat”, “sheathed manhood”, “prick”, “throbbing member”, “shaft” or just “dick”. I thought author Dan Streib was fascinated with genitalia, but he's no stiff competition for Finch. This dude is dialed into dick in a big boner way. 

Look, Savage Island is mostly what I would consider a plantation novel or a slave gothic. Lots of African American men being sold into slavery and forced into wild sexual encounters with lonely white women. If that's your thing, you may dig this. There's also plenty of cathouse antics, tons of rape, and some wild (I mean wild!) stuff with dicks being sliced off and stuffed with sand and then being placed on sticks to...well you get it. Maybe 100 hundred pages is the rough and tumble adventure stuff, which is where I like it, and I mostly just skipped all the graphic sex. If you like the plantation stuff, Slave Island is probably a must. There's nothing particularly discouraging about Finch's writing other than his unhealthy fixation on dick. I'm not reading a word of the author's other stuff and will count Slave Island as a one-time sentence. I'm sure I'll never be a repeat offender.

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