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Literature / The Age of Desire

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"The Age of Desire" is a short story by Clive Barker that was published in 1984 as part of the fourth volume of the Books of Blood.

Police are called into a laboratory to investigate an alarm and find a gruesome crime scene of a woman who has been both raped and torn apart, apparently at the same time. The truth behind the experiment that went down is revealed to be a test for a very powerful chemical aphrodisiac that has made a human subject become rather violent and potent.

Among Barker's work this would be one that is on the heaviest side of sexual material. Reader be warned.

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Tropes appearing here:

  • Age of Titles: This story uses this trope in it's name. Brought about on the idea that this drug could usher in a new age for mankind.
  • Anything That Moves: If this drug gets in your system you basically become this trope. Shown to work in both humans and monkeys.
  • Author Appeal: Boyle ends up on the receiving end of one of Jerome's sexual attacks and finds himself enjoying it in the physical department.
  • Auto Erotica: Jerome finds a couple engaged in this and ends up joining them by force.
  • Extreme Libido: Take the drug in this story and you'll see how extreme it can get.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The idea was to increase the subject's libido, it worked too well and will eventually kill the test subject. As it turns out, though, the doctor running the study did intend to increase libidos to ridiculous levels in order to start an "Age of Desire", though he probably didn't want the subjects to die.
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  • Gorn: Quite a lot given this is a story with a monster that likes to rape and kill.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Well given it's a sexual horror story, you know why this trope is here.
  • Out with a Bang: Because the body can't really handle what the drug does this is what happens to some of the monkeys. However never mind the Doctor who gets killed during the rape that happens before the story begins.
  • Sense Freak: Jerome experiences this as he describes the drug taking effect. He basically feels himself on fire as he becomes aroused.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The first victim of Jerome's rampage is one of the doctors (Doctor Dance) of the study that got him into this mess.
  • Wall Bang Her: Or Will bang him, in Boyle's case.
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