Review: ‘The Garden of Delight’ by Alessandro Manzetti

The Garden of Delight by Alessandro Manzetti
Comet Press (March 2017)
250 pages; $14.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

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 the stories share a similar tone and spirit as they explore human decadance 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 which seemed to fall flat for me. But, if you’re looking for something completely different, you might want to give this offering a try.

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