Friday, April 28, 2017

The Garden of Delight - by Alessandro Manzetti

3 of 5 Stars     Review copy

The Garden of Delight is a sexually charged compilation of stories from Alessandro Manzetti.  Most have been previously published, but a few of the tales are new to this collection.

All of the stories share a similar tone and spirit as they explore human decadence through the centuries.  When it comes to sexual relations, nothing is off limits.

Another familiar theme in these works is cannibalism; several stories are set in an apocalyptic future where the She-Pope organizes exhibitions that would embarrass the leaders of ancient Rome.  And then there's the future ultra-violent district Paris Sud 5.

To give you an idea of what you're in for in Garden of Delights here's a taste of the cannibalism.  His passion, to reach the attic of the grand palace of the senses, soon became mine.  I tried it out on myself, the first time, tasting a small piece of my right thigh, dug out with difficulty using a prison soup spoon.  Walter lit a small fire in the laundry, and we roasted those few bleeding ounces on a skewer made for the occasion.  We tasted my flesh as two connoisseurs who had just landed in the best restaurant on Mars, sitting in front of a succulent, phosphorescent, alien steak.  I had the impression of chewing pork cooked with almonds.  Walter said that I had a really good flavor, and to watch my back from now on, because killing and eating me was going to become an obsession for him. I was really delicious.

There were stories in this collection which I really enjoyed and others that just seemed to fall flat for me.  It is for that reason I can't give The Garden of Delight my whole-hearted recommendation.  But, if you're looking for something completely different, you might want to give this offering a try.

The Garden of Delight is published by Comet Press and is available in both paperback and e-book formats.

From the author's bio - Alessandro Manzetti is a Bram Stoker Award-winning author, an editor, and translator of horror fiction and dark poetry, his work has been published extensively in Italian, including novels, short and long fiction, poetry, essays, and collections.  His stories and poems have appeared in Italian, USA, and UK magazines.

He has translated works by Ramsey Campbell, Richard Laymon, Poppy Z. Brite, Edward Lee, Graham Masterton, Gary Braunbeck, Gene O’Neill, Lisa Morton, and Lucy Snyder. He is an Active Member and part of the Board of Trustees of the Horror Writers Association.

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