Seconds of Pleasure: Stories

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Grove Press, 2004 - Fiction - 223 pages
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Neil LaBute is best known for his controversial films In the Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors, and his plays The Mercy Seat and The Shape of Things-which he also adapted for the screen. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and Harper's Bazaar, among others. Now, in his debut collection of stories, he brings to the page his cutting humor and compelling take on the shadowy terrain of the human heart. Seductive and disturbing, the stories in Seconds of Pleasure are not for the faint of heart. Each potent and pithy tale finds men and women exploiting-or at the mercy of-the hidden fault lines that separate them: a woman leaves her family at their vacation home after discovering her husband in a compromising situation in "Time Share"; a middle-aged man obsesses over a scab on the calf of a pretty young girl in "Boo-Boo"; and a vain Hollywood actor gets his comeuppance in "Soft Target." Infused with LaBute's trademark wit and black humor, Seconds of Pleasure unleashes his imagination in stories that offer unflinching insight into our very human shortcomings and impure urges with shocking candor.

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Seconds of pleasure: stories

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The 20 stories that make up LaBute's debut collection all revolve around a moment of pleasure. Sometimes those moments are disastrous: in "Time Share," a man's wife catches him with someone else ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

NEIL LaBUTE (Writer, Director, Playwright) received his Master of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing from New York University and was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at the Royal court Theatre. Films include: In the Company of Men (New York Critics' Circle Award for Best First Feature, Filmmakers' Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival), Your Friends and Neighbors starring Ben Stiller, Nurse Betty starring Renee Zellweger, Possession starring Gwyneth Paltrow, The Shape of Things, a film adaptation of his play by the same title, and the upcoming film Vapor, shooting this fall. Plays include: The Mercy Seat, written and directed by LaBute in Fall 2002 in New York starring Sigourney Weaver and Live Schrieber; The Distance From Here, written by LaBute, which ran at the Almeida Theater in London this Spring and will run in 2004 in New York; The Shape of Things which LaBute wrote and directed for London and New York in 2001; and bash: latter-day plays, which LaBute wrote and directed for New York and London in 1999. Other plays include Filthy Talk For Troubled Times, Lepers, Rounder, and Sangunarians and Sycophants, and Ravages. Adaptations include: Dracula, Woyzeck. LaBute is also the author of several fictional pieces that have been published in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and Playboy among others.

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