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ANNYA PROTOPOPOV
Milla


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Publishers Export Co Inc, San Diego, 1968
price: $1.95; 208 pages


The blurb on the back:

The story of a voluptuous Russian woman who earned her way to the top by way of her body and brains ... a compassionate, historical and erotic look at the Russia few know about.


opening lines:
Ludmilla had been my mother for fifteen years when first I ventured to recognize that she was more than an apparition that bestowed a couple of weeks per annum, in the summer season, and the eve and day of Christmas upon by brother Sergi and I.


Well, if you read that opening sentence, you'll get an idea of (a) how clumsy the writing is, and (b) how poor the publishing standards are - it was only after reading it twice that I realized there was a misprint, and that it should read 'my brother', not 'by brother'. Doesn't fill you with enthusiasm for ploughing your way through a couple of hundred pages.

And frankly, you'd be right not to bother. It's a tedious and unrewarding read, despite the curious boast that it's 'A never-before published classic novel'. The pornographic passages are dull, and the bits between are worse. The only point of interest is the typical 1960s obsession with incest - here we have a young man fending off an attempted rape by his father before succumbing to his mother's advances.

I have to say I feel a little cheated that this is the book I found, when the Publisher's Export Co had such an impressive catalogue. Here's some titles from the back of the book: Orgy of the Gods, Pansy Paradise, Young, Black & Gay, Mistress of Satan's Roost, My Sister's Keyhole, Satan Was A Lesbian, Disciple of De Sade... I mean, I know they're all going to be rubbish, but at least the titles are cool. And what do I get? Milla. It's nothing, is it?


ARTISTIC MERIT: 1/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
1/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
2/5


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