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The Collection by Bentley Little (2002-06-05)

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    Bentley Little(Author)

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Review Text

  • By KB on December 16, 2012

    While most of the stories in this collection aren't going to stick with me for long, there are a few key words that will immediately pop up in my mind when I remember The Collection: wierd, bizzare, disturbing, disgusting, ridiculous, and sickening are among these words. You would think since I'm a big horror fan, this meant the book was excellent. True, there were some pretty good stories, but there was also quite a few that were beyond bizzare, quite a few that were forgettable, and quite a few that were downright silly.Stories such as The Sanctuary, Estopppel, Letthe Dreams, and Bumblee were quite good, and definitely had the ingrediants to make your neck hairs stand on edge. Also, the story titled Washingtonians was clever I thought, basically about a man who finds valid documents suggesting that some of America's founding fathers were nothing like we thought. This man then becomes hunted based on the information he knows. Solid stories.Then, there were quite a few stories which were sick, and not in a good Pet Semetary type of way. Life With Father almost made me vomit, and should of never seen print in my opinion. Also, a story titled Against The Pale Sand was disgusting, made even worse by the fact that it contained no plot and had no point (Little explained as much in his preface to the story). What's odd about this is that the story Llama is the same...no plot..no point..but perfectly bizzare and highly enjoyable.Finally, there was a clump of stories which were just incredibly silly and can not be taken serious as real horror.-Pillow Talk-about a man who is being sexually persued by his pillow (seriosuly)-The Potato-YES, this is a story about a giant, evil potato, lol!-Paperwork-a story where a couple is being attacked by...wait for it...paper! Literally, they are being pursued by bloodthirsty newspapers and gum wrappers...run for your life!While I found these stories pretty amusing, I found it annoying that before every single story Bentley Little put in a little preface, trying to make a lame plot seem really interesting. Example: "And I thought, what if the man did? And what if the pillow hugged back?"Example B: "What if all those papers weren't so innocent?"The rest of the stories fell into neither the great nor terrible category, they were okay.It's never easy to rate a short story collection, especially since this particular one contains thirty-two stories in all and they range from the very good to the very bad. I went with three stars over two sars for a couple reasons: one because I appreciate the sheer wierdness, two because there was a few good stories that stood out, and three because even the stories which were laughable kept me pretty highly amused.The Collection is similair to Clive Barker's books of blood, except not as well written and nowhere near as clever.*As for Bentley Little, I don't want to form an opinion on him until I've read at least one of his novels, so for now I remain neutral.*

  • By Wajo on July 11, 2002

    I think one star is much too generous. Why doesn't Amazon.com offer a "no stars" option? While I have read several of Little's books and enjoyed them, that is not the case with this collection of pathetic stories. I know that when reading horror you are supposed to suspend your disbelief, but these stories are so awful and/or ludicrous that you'll end up laughing at their sheer badness. Not a single one of these stories is scary or creepy by any stretch of the imagination. In Little's novels, I always found that while entertaining, he seems to always rush his endings to a swift and unsatisfying finish. Loose ends don't always seem to get tied up and I am always left with the impression that he was tired of writing and just wanted to wrap it up no matter what. While I think "The Ignored" is his best book, none of the stories in this collection are anywhere near as interesting or well written. I understand many of these were written when he was early in career when he was learning his craft, etc. etc. But these are so phenomenally bad...Pieces of paper and garbage attacking people? Visions of blood in a pot of macaroni and cheese? Other themes include cannibalism, incest, a snuff show, and possibly the worst of the lot deals with a man visiting his widowed father only to find the father engaged in a relationship with a deformed child/creature of some sort that he believes is his new wife. I can suspend my disbelief if necessary, but these are so laughable. Most of the stories here have absolutely no point whatsoever and show that Little's habit of not wrapping things up to a satisfying conclusion was a trait from early on. Of course, most of these stories are essentially plotless anyway, so maybe that doesn't matter. I suppose at that time in his career he was following that tiresome trend of deliberately ambiguous endings, but here it just doesn't work. Save your money on this piece of tripe and buy "The Ignored" or any of his other novels. Those may be kind of silly as well but at least they're a fun and entertaining read. Better yet, buy any collection of Stephen King's stories. OK, I'm done ranting for now. I guess it's obvious I thought this was an awful waste of paper. But I'll keep it on hand for any friends that are looking for a good laugh.

  • By Ginahmk on July 3, 2008

    Well, if you haven't read Little, this will be quite the introduction. The stories, overall, capture his strange, spooky view of the world, sometimes laced with social commentary and sexual situations. If you like Little, this is a must read, since you can see the kernels for many of his longer stories developing. For those new to Little, you may think, what is this guy about? These are not typical ghost stories, but more reality benders. What if George Washington were a cannibal? What if some old women knocked on your door and thought you were a hit man? The answers are usually over-the-top, but intriguing. Some stories are better than others, therefore, the four stars. But overall, a good book for fans.

  • By Sibelius on April 6, 2007

    Bentley Little's collection of 32 short stories provides good value (450 or so pages) for fans of the genre looking for bite sized nuggets of squeamish and horrific delights. Fans of Little, familiar with his oeuvre, may be slightly disappointed with the overall quality of these stories when compared to the higher-quality of story telling and atmosphere found in his excellent collection of novels. These short stories, originally published in the span of 1986 - 1996, are truly a mixed bag with a few standouts, a bunch of stinkers and a plethora of ho-hummers. A nice touch to this collection is the author's inclusion of brief intros to each story explaining his motivation and inspiration in writing each tale. Recommended for fans already familiar with Little's works.

  • By Bart Tremain on June 26, 2017

    I really enjoyed these stories. The writing is engaging and moves each story along nicely. Loved the James Dean one, which borders on horror-erotica (horrotica?). Bentley Little is on a par with Stephen King and I will definitely check out more of his writing in the future.


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