Reviewed: 2011-04-11 - (Review Updated: 2011-04-15)
The oeuvre of Vulgus is something of an acquired taste. I'll read one of his stories when I'm looking for something different, not so much to cleanse the palate as to coat it with a touch of nastiness.
Okay, enough of the dining metaphors . . .
It would be inaccurate to boil all of Vulgus' stories down to two types, but a number of them fit into a couple of categories, one in which the heroine is put through one brutal defilement after another, only to be saved by a white knight showing up in the final chapter, and the other in which the young lady is quite delighted to be introduced to the world of debauchery.
You can put "Angela Transformed" into the latter classification.
You'll find that difficult to believe about the Angela you meet on the opening page, a repressed, naive 14-year-old sheltered from the world of sex by years spent in an all-girls Catholic school. But this is a story about the "slut gene," and all it takes is a rather harmless (by Vulgus' standards) incident to activate it, and open her eyes to her lack of shame over things sexual. Pretty soon, she discovers that her family and the world in general are not what she imagined, and the fun, and Angela's transformation, takes off from there.
To be sure, there's plenty of nastiness to go around in this story of mostly charming pedophiles and the lust-filled teenage sluts they appreciate. There are a few bad apples in the cast, but most are well-intentioned souls, with even an open-minded Prince Charming thrown in for good measure. And lest you worry about poor Angela, if she says once that she actually enjoyed the debauchery which she's just experienced, she says it a hundred times.
Actually, a hundred is problably a low figure, and that's the main problem with "Angela Transformed:" It's a bit too long. There's nothing wrong with epic-length stories; it's just that this one doesn't have the heft to pull it off. For most of the tale, it's a procession of "can you top this?" moments.
But give Vulgus credit: he pulls it all together in the end, with a surprisingly sweet and sentimental resolution, which should elicit a few tears from even the most hard-hearted reader. And don't worry about Angela. It's obvious Vulgus developed great affection for his titular character, and the odds are that you will, too.