Through The Valley Of The Nest Of Spiders
Take an erotic journey through life, sex, and time - if you dare
Samuel R. Delany's "Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders" is an explicit novel about the life of a gay man in the rural South. The story spans a 60-year romance that involves acceptance, love, sex, and the roller coaster of life. At times the story can be fascinating, while at other times it is downright disturbing.
The novel begins in 2007 just as the main character, Eric Jeffers, turns 17 and moves from Atlanta to the fictional community of Diamond Harbor. On his first day, he meets his partner Morgan at a truck stop which also doubles as a gay hook up spot for the blue collared men of the rural area...but then again who hasn't met their partner at a truck stop that also doubles as a gay hook up spot?
"Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders" centers on the unique open relationship of Eric and Morgan until they reach old age and die. As the characters age, time progresses past 2012 - well into the future. The future brings new jobs, new friends, the loss of loved ones, as well as open sexual exploration.
As time passes the novel touches upon many themes such as race, relationships, growing old, life, death, and future. Oh yeah, did I mention sex yet? Not just any sex, but taboo sex. Delany pushes the envelope and describes sexual practices that go against the norm and beyond erotica - at some point oral sex is performed on a dog.
The novel is filled with extremely graphic sex scenes full of dirty, (not 'sexy dirty' but dirty as in urine, feces, and other unsanitary practices) raunchy, wild sexual escapades. Let's just say if "Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders" were made into a movie, it would be rated NC-17 plus XXX for good measure. It could give John Waters' "Pink Flamingos" a run for its money.
To be honest, "Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders" is a bit hard to handle at times. It has nothing to do with the shear size of the 800-plus-page novel or the graphic content involving orgies, urolagnia, smegma, incest, and zoophilia. I take issue with the descriptive details Delany uses to describe the main character's frequent habit of picking his nose and eating his snot. Readers take warning -I do not recommend eating or drinking while reading this book.
Delany leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination as he paints with words and develops fictional characters and a community that feels like factual people and places. When it comes to boogers and snot, sometimes it is better to leave things to the imagination.
Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders
Samuel R Delany