The Collection

The Collection - Bentley Little Will leave reviews as I work my way through.

**** The Sanctuary

Disturbingly wicked little ditty. Probably will stick with me for awhile.

*** The Woods Be Dark

Though I think this story would have been more effective if it would have been made clear at the beginning that the narrator was female, it was successful in building suspense and anticipation and withholding details to create curiosity. Fun but not essential.

**** The Phone Book Man

A bizarre little tale that doesn't resolve anything but is a delight to read. Reminds me a bit of my own NOSE HEARS story for some reason. Silly, strange and fun.

*** Estoppel

The tone and surreality of this one reminded me a bit of Adam Light's [b:Way Out Of Here|17415558|Way Out Of Here|Adam Light||24267064], but the ending isn't as good. Really interesting concept, but I think the idea had a lot more potential than this story explored. This tale is an excellent example of the ability of the written word to allow the human mind to accept the plausibility of impossible realities.

***** The Washingtonians

A classic, must-read for horror fans. What an amazing concept, and near-perfect execution. George Washington and the founding fathers were....cannibals? Love it.

***** Life With Father

Holy crap. Wow. Brutal, dark and disturbing.

*** Bob

Amusing in a way, but not entirely successful.

* Bumblebee

I don't know why, but I'm not that into zombies. Not even western zombies. So this story just didn't do it for me. Certainly not up to the same standards of insane creativity set by the preceding stories. Just felt strained and ordinary.

** Lethe Dreams

Too much build up and too little payoff. The ending was much tamer than anything else in the book so far, and just seemed to come out of left field. Maybe this would creep someone out if they were reading it in a book titled "My First Spooky Story", but for me? Yawn.

**** Paperwork

I love stories like this. Love the pervasive sense of weirdness and not knowing what's going on or what will happen next. The ending was a bit of a headscratcher but still very effective and unique.

**** The Idol

Another incredibly unique story, not horror but weird, weird weird! The first couple pages caused me to lose interest the first time I started reading it, but so glad I went back and gave it another shot. I dare you to find another story with such a unique premise. Funny stuff.

***** Skin

Short, simple, effective. A family sees a house made of human skin and something is not quite right after that.This is one of those kind of stories that I love to read and strive to write from time to time.

***** The Man in the Passenger Seat

What would you do if you got in your car and a strange man was sitting in the passenger seat? What if he refused to get out? What if he commanded you to drive? Would you do what the character in this story does? I bet you might.
Another fantastic story, very reminiscent of Richard Laymon.

***** Comes the Bad Time

Okay, now Little's just showing off. A gripping, original tale of haunting that sucks you into it's grip and then runs away laughing, teasing, just when it's getting really good. C'mon man...more!

***** Against the Pale Sands

Exquisite weirdness. Alas, at only eight pages, will leave you wanting so much more.

** The Pond

A former hippie realizes he's a sell out who has lost his soul. At least that's what I think it was about. If there was a deeper subtext, it was wasted on me. Yawn.

***** Roommates

This story is wayyy over the top with its silliness and won't be for everybody, but I love this stuff! Makes me glad I'm not looking for a roommate, but I imagine this story aptly illustrates what the process of finding one must feel like.

***** Llama

Pure insanity, and the focus on concrete meaning in numbers and patterns is a fairly accurate representation of the delusional thinking that can occur with schizophrenia or severe OCD. Of course the rest is pure twisted fiction. This story is a bit of a bold experiment, a la Joe Hill's POP ART, and it worked for me.

* Full Moon on Death Row

Okay, I don't like it when Bentley Little tries to write straightforward thriller/supernatural fiction, especially in a western setting. Unlike Joe Lansdale who switch seamlessly back and forth across these genres, Bentley Little should stick with the weird and twisted. This story struck me as so forced and boring I couldn't bring myself to read it all the way through. I skimmed to the end, and it didn't appear to improve.