THE DELICATE PREY by Paul Bowles | Kirkus Reviews

The Delicate Prey

Storm Prey


Delicate Prey: And Other Stories


Get this from a library! The delicate prey. [Paul Bowles]

Following The Sheltering Sky, which caused a literary furor and had a popular success as well last spring, this is a collection of short stories in which a rarefied, ""twittering machine"" brutality is coupled with a tactile sense of place and atmosphere for a group of characters in unmercifully close contact. On the circumference, there is always a macabre exterior decoration of giant crabs and spiders, of hot nights and nightmare noises. The Delicate Prey is a masterful creation of a flat desert and an unprecedented torture scene which works its way up through and past insanity. Call at Corazon describes a night journey through a narrow canal during which a man loses his alcoholic wife. In Colombo, a young student, Aileen, directs her hostility at her mother's lover, a woman. In The Fourth Day out from Santa Cruz a lonely sailor establishes his rapport with the crew by torturing a bird; and there is the boy who disrupts a village by his assiduous homosexual acts, a man who acts out a dream in which he kills, a professor whose tongue is cut out, etc. etc. Horrific, unpleasant, sadistic, these stories just avoid the deep end, but are unqualifyingly talented. For a special audience.

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The Delicate Prey · Spyro Gyra

Dreams Beyond Control

℗ 1993 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Author, Composer: Jeremy Wall
Music Publisher: Crosseyed Bear Music Inc.
Music Publisher: Harlem Music, Inc.

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The Delicate Prey - Paul Bowles - First Edition

  • Overview

    Save $24 when you purchase both Paul Bowles volumes.

    Paul Bowles was a composer, writer, and an American expatriate who spent most of the last five decades of his life in Tangier. According The Boston Globe, he was “one of the literary class acts of the twentieth century.” This Library of America volume, containing his stories and travel writings, is one of two volumes in the first annotated edition of Paul Bowles’s work and is a “treasure trove for readers who haven’t explored beyond The Sheltering Sky” (The Seattle Times).

    “All the tales are a variety of detective story,” wrote Bowles of his first collection, The Delicate Prey and Other Stories (1950), “in which the reader is the detective; the mystery is the motivation for the characters’ behavior.” In such stories as “A Distant Episode” and “How Many Midnights,” Bowles pushes human character beyond socially defined limits and maps a transformed (often horribly transformed) reality.

    A master of gothic terror and an acute and at times diabolically funny observer of manners and motives both American and Moroccan, Bowles confirmed his mastery of the short story in such volumes as A Hundred Camels in the Courtyard (1962), The Time of Friendship (1967), Things Gone and Things Still Here (1977), and Midnight Mass (1981), all included here along with a selection of his final stories.

    This volume also contains Up Above the World (1966), a frightening novella set in Latin America in which a trusting American couple are lured into an annihilating trap, and the informed and fascinating travel book Their Heads Are Green and Their Hands Are Blue (1963).

    Daniel Halpern, volume editor, is the editorial director of ECCO, an imprint of HarperCollins, and has published numerous books of poems, including Something Shining. He was Paul Bowles’s neighbor in Tangier in the 1960s, and, with Bowles’s help, founded the literary magazine Antaeus.

    Visit the official Paul Bowles Web site

    Paul Bowles: Collected Stories and Later Writings is kept in print by a gift from the Florence Gould Foundation to the Guardians of American Letters Fund.

  • The Delicate Prey - Penguin Books

    The Delicate Prey and Other Stories
    At Paso Rojo
    Pastor Dowe at Tacaté
    Call at Corazón
    Under the Sky
    Señor Ong and Señor Ha
    The Circular Valley
    The Echo
    The Scorpion
    The Fourth Day Out from Santa Cruz
    Pages from Cold Point
    You Are Not I
    How Many Midnights
    A Thousand Days for Mokhtar
    Tea on the Mountain
    By the Water
    The Delicate Prey
    A Distant Episode

    The stories in The delicate prey by Paul Bowles relate brutal crimes, involving vengeance, cruelty, violence and abandonment, which can only be understood in the context of Arab culture. In the title story, a young unnamed boy becomes the victim of a clan feud. The names of the clans are mentioned, the boys face is covered throughout. The story is shockingly cruel, leaving a lasting impression on the reader. In the second story, a Professor is stripped of his status, and ability to reclaim his status, by cutting out his tongue, and then cruelly humiliated. Again, cruelty etch an unforgettable image of the poor man on the readers' mind, as the victim is made to hop and dance like a bear. The third story is a ghost story, in which the ghost, the Atlájala, acts as a projection screen to show the emotions and thoughts of the person it possesses.