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2002 RFT Best Of

We won 2 awards this year. 

Best Place to Find Dirty French Novels


"Pornography" is a funny word. It literally means "one-handed writing," which implies that your other hand is doing ... well, you know. Before photography and Internet porn, it took the degenerate French novelists and their nondescriptly packaged tomes to give hardworking Americans manual release. Genet, Bataille, Nin and Huysmans, they wrote beautiful prose celebrating sexuality, debauchery, perversion and all manner of titillation that is either smutty or sublime, depending on your moral fiber.

The myth that the French are great lovers was built on the divinely sordid works of these men and women. And nowhere can you find as many great examples of the classic Dirty French Novel as you will in the front window of Subterranean Books. That's right: As you peruse that copy of Miracle of The Rose (dude, prison sex is hot!), passersby can clearly see you and what you are. Even better, Subterranean will gladly order any of the tomes missing from your collection, so you need not go without the beautiful and brutal Chants of Maldoror just because it's not in stock. Old Mr. Comstock would roll over in his grave at the thought of these classics' being freely available despite all his efforts, but his turgid member keeps him propped sideways in his coffin, like a bike on a kickstand -- which is just the sort of thing the Comte de Lautréamont wanted you to think about when he wrote Maldoror, which is why you should read it.



Best Used-Book Store (Note: We stopped selling used books years ago but darn it, they liked us when we did.)


Although only two years old, Subterranean is a already a favorite among book nuts. The store boasts hardcover and paperback titles that examine just about everything, at some of the best prices in town. If you're looking for an older book, Subterranean probably has it or its staff at least knows what you're talking about and can offer you tips on how to get it. The store carries contemporary authors as well and stocks a handful of new books to fill in gaps in used availability. There are volumes of history books, plus selections covering medieval studies, folklore, anthropology, philosophy, erotica, poetry and more. At the front of the store, behind locked glass, near the kind and helpful staff of three, Subterranean offers a few pricey selections, mainly autographed, scarce and first-edition books.



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