Stories from the award-winning director and playwright. “Labute’s smart, edgy offering delivers pleasures well beyond the time frame his title suggests. ”—Booklist
In Seconds of Pleasure, Neil LaBute brings to the page his cutting humor and compelling take on the shadowy terrain of the human heart. Best known for his controversial plays and films, his short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and Playboy. Seductive and provocative, each potent and pithy tale in Seconds of Pleasure finds men and women exploiting—or at the mercy of—the hidden fault lines that separate them: In “Time Share, ” a woman leaves her family at their vacation home after discovering her husband in a compromising situation; 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. ” LaBute infuses Seconds of Pleasure with his trademark wit and black humor and unleashes his imagination in stories that offer unflinching insight into our very human shortcomings and impure urges with shocking candor.
“LaBute’s usual sleazy suspects are prepared to risk family, love, career, and freedom for the momentary satisfaction of their sometimes brutal desires. It will end badly, we know, and that’s what makes each dark tale as irresistible as good gossip. Fallibility and weakness, LaBute has demonstrated once again, have their own allure. ”—Black Book
“Seconds captures in print both the nuanced rhythms of contemporary speech and the pitfalls of dark I-Me-Mine gratification. ”—LA Weekly
“LaBute is a master at crafting shocking situations and nasty characters. ”—Publishers Weekly