Indignities of the Flesh
Bentley Little has forged a name for himself as one of the most startlingly original authors in contemporary horror. His subversion of genre tropes and talent for creating surreal, Boschian-like nightmares from the mundane is without parallel.
Herein you'll meet: the mischievous “Rodeo Clown”, who may very well be evil incarnate, or perhaps little more than an innocent bystander in a ring of coincidence; a man obsessed with dental hygiene to the point of stalking, in “Brushing”; a cynic forced to tag along on an ill-advised trip to a faith healer in “Documented Miracles”; a demented birthday girl whose equally demented birthday wishes are about to come true, in “Happy Birthday, Dear Tama”; a family on the run from cartoonists in search of their god, in “Looney Tunes”; and a man who pays the ultimate price for circumventing a parking attendant in the never before published, “Valet Parking”.
Rounding out the collection are “The Black Ladies” and “The Piñata”, a pair of unsettling stories culled from childhood nightmares, the surprisingly poignant “Even the Dead”, which documents the last days of a tender partnership between two friends, only one of whom is still alive, and “Pray 4 Baby”, Little’s first published story, unavailable for nearly 30 years, the distinctly E.C. Comics-flavored cautionary tale about highway curiosity gone horribly wrong, published exclusively in the Signed, Limited Edition.
Indignities of the Flesh is a superlative gathering of the kind of twisted, darkly humorous, and mind-bending stories for which Bentley Little is best known.
Limited: 500 signed numbered copies, bound in leather, with an exclusive story
Trade: Fully cloth bound hardcover edition
Table of Contents:
- Rodeo Clown
- Documented Miracles
- Happy Birthday, Dear Tama
- Looney Tunes
- The Black Ladies
- The Piñata
- Valet Parking
- Even the Dead
- Pray 4 Baby (Limited Edition Only)
From Publishers Weekly:
“This collection of 10 nightmarish short stories by Stoker winner Little (The Haunted) is enhanced by the author's brief contextual introductions and the accompanying pen-and-ink illustrations by Hugo-winning artist Bob Eggleton, which complement the stories without dictating the reader's visualization. The collection, spanning more than two decades, contains Little's trademark visceral descriptives and Southwest settings, sure to please fans who may have missed some of the more obscure entries.”
“The contents of Bentley Little's new short fiction collection—his first since The Collection in 2002—are something of a snapshot of the small press market for short fiction in the late 1980s and early '90s…”
From San Francisco Book Review:
“The best stories deal with the power of fear and obsession to produce unexpected or irrational responses. Just what would a jealous rodeo clown do? What would a stalker do if confronted by his victim? What is the significance of this particular recurrent nightmare? The answers to these and other questions will take you on a journey, sometimes frightening, and sometimes, darkly humorous. Whatever your taste in horror, you will find something to like in this collection.”