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Delicate Prey: And Other Stories by Paul…

Delicate Prey: And Other Stories (original 1950; edition 2006)

by Paul Bowles

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268470,186 (4.08)7
Exemplary storles that reveal the blzarre, the dlsturblng, the perllous, and the wlse ln other clvlllzatlons -- from one of Amerlca's most lmportant wrlters of the twentleth century.
Title:Delicate Prey: And Other Stories
Authors:Paul Bowles
Info:Harper Perennial (2006), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Read in 2012

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The Delicate Prey and Other Stories by Paul Bowles (1950)



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From the Near, and Middle to the Far East, Asian people may distinguish between insiders and outsiders, a distinction which influences various levels of interpersonal interaction. Family or clan-centred “insider” relationships take precedence over contacts with strangers (i.e., outsiders). Loyalty is exclusively owned to the insider group, while disregard for outsiders can take gruesome forms. Lack of knowledge of this social principle may shock Westerners, who are brought up on very different social and cultural principles, which include friendliness and compassion for strangers.

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.

The three short stories in this mini edition of Penguin Modern Classics are selected from the Collected Stories. The Stories of Paul Bowles. ( )
3 vote edwinbcn | Aug 19, 2013 |
413. The Delicate Prey and other stories, by Paul Bowles (read 2 Mar 1952) I read these stories Mar 2, 1952 and said to myself: "Bowles is an avant garde writer, real sensitive and observant of things most writers don't know exist. In the acuteness of his description he reminds me of Thomas Wolfe. Probably the best story in this book is one called "You are not I", about a crazy girl who went around after an accident stuffing stones in the mouths of the victims. At the end she had decided she had become her sister and her sister was locked up in the asylum. The Delicate Prey, the title story, was a little too strong even for me, though I did like the outcome. This mean man was buried in the desert with only his head sticking out. And left that way--alive. ( )
2 vote Schmerguls | Jan 11, 2011 |
It was in an essay by Gore Vidal that I first encountered the name Paul Bowles many years ago. At the time I was a teenager working in a small used bookstore where a large portion of my meager earnings wound up going right back to the store for books. I asked the proprietor of the store if we had any books by Paul Bowles. She pulled a volume from the shelf behind the counter saying “yes, and it is a first edition”. At the time I could not understand why anyone would buy a hardcover book when a paperback edition of than same book existed, but since there was no paperback copy of the book in the store I put up the big money ($7.50) to purchase this first edition. That was the first first edition I even purchased knowing that it was actually a first edition, and it was a good start to my book collecting mania… These are amazing stories that reminded me in some ways of Poe, but with a stronger sense of horror and the incomprehensibility of different cultures. Highly recommended! ( )
1 vote zenosbooks | Feb 24, 2009 |
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Includes: The delicate prey (Young 244) -- Pages from the point (Young 247).
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