5 out of 5 stars
Share This Review
Loverless Love by Christopher Guerin is an anthology of short stories concerning the relationship between human nature and romantic love. Despite the sexual nature of this book, to describe its works as love stories would be incorrect. Through heavily nuanced characters, narratives, and voices, Guerin has written and curated a stunning depiction of sexuality and humanity.
Each story covers a different aspect of love, although a couple of stories share characters. This anthology covers high school sweethearts, workplace affairs, unfaithful partners, and several other iterations of the inherently complicated nature of love and sex. Stories delve not only into the physical act of sex but the emotional and mental implications that partaking in sexual activity evokes. In this anthology, sex is not always an act of love. It might be bred from lust, jealousy, hatred, or any number of other complex and intertwining facets of the human mind.
My favorite part of this anthology was simply the fact that each story covered a new angle. Each chapter was long enough to fully flesh out each character and to develop a voice for itself, but short enough that I never felt that any one story was taking up too much literary real estate. Additionally, I adored how messy Guerin allowed relationships to get. They never seemed over-dramatized, just incredibly human. I do not believe there was ever a truly blameless character in any story, but I found myself empathizing with several of them just the same. Similarly, even the cruelest and most twisted of people are painted in just a sympathetic enough light to portray them as more human than monsters.
I do not have anything to criticize about this book, as the only two errors I found were small spelling issues. I would recommend caution to readers who are sensitive to topics such as sexual assault, as instances of such appear throughout this anthology. Readers who are opposed to erotica or other graphic depictions of sex should be aware that this book contains much of this kind of content.
Overall, Loverless Love is a masterpiece of an anthology. The prose was beautiful and it was only complimented by the narrative and the characters. The variety in diction between stories is refreshing and provides an even more fully developed exploration of sex. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy more mature themes and those interested in untangling human nature in the context of its relation to sex and romance. Due to its exceptional writing and lack of notable errors, I rate Loverless Love a perfect 5 out of 5 stars.
View: on Bookshelves