A Collection by John Llewellyn Probert
HARDCOVER: $30/£15 rrp:
$39.99/ £22.99 [isbn: 978–0–9811597–2–0]
Published: April 2nd, 2010
eBOOK: $5.00 (about £2.00 or €3,50) [isbn: 978–0–9811597–7–5]
Published: April 2nd, 2010
The book that sucks the blood from children
The film that turns people into self-destructive sadomasochistic obsessives
The lunatic asylum that steals souls
The art exhibition of mutilated humanity… where the exhibits are still alive!
[included in British Fantasy Society's 'Long List' for "Best Collection (2010)" award]
John Llewellyn Probert’s latest short story collection — containing 18* delicious selections across 352 delectable pages — mixes the cruel with the carnal, the sadistic with the sexual, the erotic with the outrageous, to bring you tales of a cuckolded husband’s terrible revenge, the television channel where you can pay off your debts but at the worst price imaginable, the man willing to do anything to improve his chances of success with the ladies, a marriage guidance counsellor who goes to bloody extremes to prove her point, the woman who will do anything to keep her family, and a city made entirely from human bone. All of this, and the last Christmas ever, just to make things even more cheery.
Praise for Wicked Delights:
Prolific horror writer [John Llewellyn] Probert (The Faculty of Terror) offers up 18 gruesome, unsettling, and often unnervingly funny tales in his wide-ranging fifth short story collection. In “At Midnight, I Will Steal Your Soul,” a terrifying choir rehearsal in a haunted asylum leads an anxiety-plagued woman to a profound realization. “Two for Dinner” is a heart-pounding tribute to revenge horror films with a gleefully disturbing punch line. “The Mirror of Tears” is a haunting family drama about childhood terror and the sometimes damaging power of love. Vividly creepy images — the pages of a cookbook sucking on a child like leeches, an entire company being reduced to a sculpture of body parts as part of a corporate takeover — are all the more compelling when rendered in Probert’s breezy style. An illuminating and frequently hilarious afterword ends the collection on a gentle note.
— Publishers Weekly
When he’s not penning gruesomely amusing horror tales, [John Llewellyn] Probert writes essays online reviewing some of his favorite slasher flicks, both obscure and famous. In his fifth story collection, his cinematic appetite often manifests in stray movie references and crisp, screenplay-ready narration laced with vivid imagery. The opening story, “At Midnight I Will Steal Your Soul,” for instance, shares its title with a little-known 1964 Brazilian movie and follows a fearful woman’s visit to a psychiatric hospital, where an evil presence waits to claim her soul and body. “Ophelia” recounts the fate of a young woman kidnapped expressly to become a model corpse for a group of unprincipled artists bent on reproducing great paintings. In “Your Help Needed Urgently!,” a deceitful businessman is forced to watch video clips of torture scenes to avoid being exposed. More than once Probert goes absurdly over the top with his story arcs, but his penchant for wily humor and odd narrative twists just as often yields a genre gem.
— Carl Hays, Booklist
It's an immensely entertaining read…
["Two for Dinner"] is so deliriously tongue in cheek and full of witty invention, written with such panache and obvious delight that I found it impossible to read without a smirk of satisfaction taking up residence on my chops. This is the story that best represents the promised Wicked Delights.
[John Llewellyn] Probert gives the readers [in "Mirror of Tears"] some genuinely unsettling moments on the way to a surprise ending…
Probert’s twisted logic [in "Your Help Needed Urgently!"] turns things on their head and provides a gonzo explanation for why this is taking place. Did I like this story? Agree strongly.
His comments [in the "Afterword"] and the insights they provide into his creative process are almost as engaging as the fiction.
A fine collection from a writer who… is a skilled storyteller, one who works at his craft, and is always going to provide fair measure of thrills and chills in a horror mode for the discerning reader.
First of all — this is not a romance book. Look closely at the cover because that picture is gross. Which is perfect because romance books are gross and horror books are great. This is a collection of 18 horror short stories, and while I didn't like them all (I'm looking at you "Ophelia") there are some real gems in here (I'm looking at you "Special Offer" and "Recipe for Disaster"). The stories are varied, entertaining, and sometimes funny. A recommended read.
— 604Heather, a reader
His funny, charming, and odd personality reeks throughout every sentence of his writing — finding a voice that is like no other. Readers may compare his short fiction to Neil Gaiman, Jeremy Shipp, or Clive Barker (on helium)… Another winner from a unique press.
— Dave Simms, Horror World
The delightfully wicked Mr Probert wields his prose like a scalpel. His imagination is impressively warped and gruesome, and yet his tales have an unrepentantly English reticence. There's dark humour here, and unexpected poignancy — indeed, the book is as full of surprises as the man himself. Horror is lucky to have him.
— Ramsey Campbell (author of Just Behind You and Creatures of the Pool)
Praise for Mr. Probert:
John Llewellyn Probert is one of those writers for whom the story is everything. There may be serious concerns at back of his fiction… but if so they are always subordinate to the demands of the story, the need to keep the reader turning pages. First and foremost, Probert is an entertainer… imagination and audacity count for as much if not more than credibility…
[John Llewellyn] Probert clearly possesses considerable skills.
— Cemetery Dance Magazine
John Llewellyn Probert writes with some of the same warped humour as the late Robert Bloch.
— The Zone Review
John Llewellyn Probert is a master of terror; his eloquent prose providing a roller-coaster journey and an education in the art of fear.
Table of Contents
- At Midnight I Will Steal Your Soul
- Special Offer
- Daughter of the City
- The Iconostasis of Imperfections — included in British Fantasy Society's 'Long List' for "Best Short Fiction (2010)" award
- Size Matters
- Recipe for Disaster
- Best Man’s Speech
- The Mirror of Tears
- The Comeback Kid
- Last Christmas
- In Sickness and…
- Two for Dinner
- De Vermis Infestis
- The Dispossessed
- Your Help Needed Urgently!
- The Volkendorf Exhibition
- Some Must Suffer