“The Fleshless Man wants to kill me,” his mother said.
Curtis never enjoyed the cool, oppressive atmosphere of his childhood home, and that atmosphere is even worse when he returns as an adult. His mother is dying, and her illness seems to infect everyone around her: Curtis’s brother has developed a nervous habit that might indicate more serious problems; the attending nurse exhibits puzzling, possibly sinister behavior; and Curtis himself suffers from nightmares and uncharacteristic dark thoughts.
It’s as if the house itself wants his mother to die more quickly—and it will achieve that goal however it can.
Even if it must inspire Curtis to imagine harming his own mother.
Even if it must summon the intervention of a strange entity called the Fleshless Man.
This was a very difficult and disturbing book for me to read. It reopened some old wounds and left me visibly shaken and distraught. Mr. Prentiss manages to blur the lines between fiction and reality with this eerie and disquieting tale. At least it did for me.
Anyone who has lost a parent or parents to a slow consuming disease can relate to what Curtis and his brother are going through. Though I must warn you, this book will affect you in ways you didn’t think fiction could. It will twist your emotions into knots and rip your heart out.
The atmosphere Mr. Prentiss creates is desolate, thick and caustic, his prose haunting and visceral. His characters are amazingly life-like and real, the pain, the questions and ultimately the forgiveness between a mother and a son.
If you are not prepared to relive old memories, to relive the pain of the loss of a parent or parents you might want to stay away from this book.
But for me, fiction works best when it affects me emotionally, and this story affected more than most fiction I have ever read. Even though I relived the pain and agony of losing my parents, it also allowed me to cut through this pain and remember all the great times.
“The Fleshless Man” is a tremendous tale and I give it my highest recommendation.