A collaborative effort of ten lesser-known African-American writers (including the publisher), and a variation on the popular, sex-laced 1960s serial novel Naked Came the Stranger. Dante, a.k.a. Eric and Carl, is a man frustrated about a lot of things, the first and foremost being that he can’t figure out why he can’t have a lasting relationship with a woman. He saves one from a bad situation on the street, only to have her tell him exactly what all his private fears are, then put him in a trance on a park bench. A phone call to another woman gets hot and heavy—and then she says her boyfriend’s coming back. Then he runs into a woman he ran out on in Jamaica the year before—and now she walks out on him. The stripper he romanced with poetry (when he should have been paying her cash) won’t let him into her place anymore—especially when he meets another woman he put the moves on in a bar outside the stripper’s window. On it goes. Dante has a busy time of it, and as he works through what these relationships tell him about himself, he starts to find his voice as a writer.
Except for occasional moments of insight and power, the story is disjointed and uneven, and no more titillating than it is tangible.