Sunday, February 2, 2014

Indignities of the Flesh -Bentley Little

"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 'Loony Tune'; 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 Pinata', a pair of unsettling stories culled from childhood nightmares, and 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.
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."

The first word that comes to mind is inconsistent. This is a book that is definitely worth a read but not really worth the hard cover price that I paid. The stories that are good, are very very good. The ones that are not, are just bland. There are 10 short stories in this collection, and of those 10 "Brushing" "Happy Birthday Dear Tamara" "The Black Ladies" "The Pinata" and "Valet Parking"  are the ones that stand out as very good.  The other 5 were just so so, not very scary and left me feeling that the endings were not ever truly complete.