Thursday, May 24, 2012
One of Little's Finest Returns...
THE CIRCLE by Bentley Little (to be released October, 2012 by Cemetery Dance Publications / 137 pp / hc)
Told in three sections, THE CIRCLE is the epitome of a classic Bentley Little story: it's strange, at times darkly funny, and best of all genuinely frightening.
A woman answers a frantic knock at her door. A loin-clothed kid runs in and begins defecating in her bathroom. But instead of a mess, the kid fills the toilet with diamonds. When her husband arrives home, the kid is trapped in the garage, now dropping all kinds of precious stones from his ass. And just when the couple think they'll be rich, the kid begins to spew an endless army of black beetles...
Meanwhile a few blocks away, Frank and his friends muster the nerve to visit the messy backyard of a reputed local witch, intending to ask favors from a sacred shrine they've heard is hidden among the trash...
And finally Gil Marotta, alerted by one of the kids about what just happened at the shrine, decides to investigate only to discover the "witch" is all too real and a petition the neighborhood had signed against her may be the cause of the growing communal chaos.
THE CIRCLE has been one of my favorite Little stories since I first read it back in 2003, where it appeared as part of a four-novella collection from Leisure Books titled FOUR DARK KNIGHTS. The stories' surreal edge and sexual horror have held up well, and is a good place to start if you've never read Little before.
THAT said, Little fans might be disappointed with the book itself: the novella is presented with no forward, introduction, afterword, or any kind of extras. Die-hard collectors may want this, but otherwise it's just a reprint with a new (hard) cover.
(WARNING: This story does for cunnilingus what JAWS did to beach swimming. Seriously...)