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The Fleshless Man

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  26 reviews
“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 nurs
ebook, 154 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Delirium Books (first published October 1st 2012)
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3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  69 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Oct 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: darkfuse-titles
I won this novella from Darkfuse.
Beware, this review has slight spoilers.

To be honest, I'm not sure what to make of this story.
A young man, Curtis, returns home because his mother is dying. He goes back to a house where, when he was growing up, he felt suffocated. This is the house where his brother still lives.
While there, Curtis begins having some dark thoughts and dreams. Thoughts involving his mother's death, his brother, and his partner Lauren. He dreams that his mother's nurse tells his m
Mar 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Three stars, because I liked the style of writing. I will try another title by this author, but this particular one was a little disappointing to me. The pros: good writing, descriptions, and it was easy to feel the emotional impact of the characters. Cons: While I genuinely like ambiguous endings that leave me pondering the possibilities, this one just didn't cover enough for me. I found it more "depressing" than anything, and would have liked it if the titled entity were given a bit more of a ...more
Lisa Reads & Reviews
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it

The Fleshless Man is a creepy novella about monsters inside and outside--monsters in stories and dreams, in sickness, and in people we love, as well as those we should love but don't. Now these monsters aren't the sort that can crush you or tear you apart with sharp incisors. No, the monsters here are decrepit, repulsive, and needy. They slurp and drool as you feed them, and feed them you must, for, like the superstitions of sailors, killing such perversions of nature could threaten our own surv
Todd Russell
This novella follows the strange, somber last days of two adult's dying mother. The story kind of roams all over the place and left me unable to identify with much else other than the sad state of a dying mother, rather than the two brother characters and the weirdness developing in and around them.

The idea behind the summoning of and the hideous entity, The Fleshless Man, didn't shock or disturb me as much as attempted. The story was more depressing than scary, because my focus couldn't turn aw
**A copy of this novella was provided to me for review via Netgalley**

To be honest, 'The Fleshless Man' has left me scratching my head a bit. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it- it was certainly a decently written tale, with some palpably oppressive atmosphere seeping through the pages and a well drawn premise- but it was much too short for me to really get a feel for what was actually happening and the ending was a bit ambiguously abrupt for my liking. Novella’s are always risky in the se
Phil Zimmerman
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella
Norman Prentiss seems dialed into my life. It's a little creepy! I'm onto you Norm!

This novella is the story of Curtis and Glen, two brothers, one who stayed close to home and home that moved away. Curtis has come back to town to assist Glen in the final days of their mothers life. This premise exactly mimics my own life except for the names. I am glad I read this book 6 years after my mother passed or I might not have been able to finish it.

Prentiss expresses so many "horrors" that I felt durin
The Fleshless Man is a story of a man coming back to the home and past he previously escaped. His mother is dying of cancer and his brother, Glen is suffering from the effects of having to bear the brunt of her care. Curtis has his own guilt to deal with, seeing in the flesh what he has previously ignored and avoided. He starts to having nightmares about killing his mother.

The in-home nurse tells a tale of a 'fleshless man'-an evil entity who kills all around him. She has a weird and sinister w
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the thing's I like about a Norman Prentiss story is that I always feel like I am reading about real people. This story about a man returning home to visit his brother and dying mother is another example of his writing skills. The Fleshless Man is a Novella that leaves you wondering what happens next.
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Fans of the author
Shelves: net-galley
I have a feeling this might be a very short review, because it is a very short story. My ebook edition of this was only 66 pages, so it barely qualifies as a novella but is too long for a short story. Reading the synopsis I was fascinated by what this book had to offer. Then I was surprised that it was so short, but still intrigued with the story I started on my way. And that’s about when the confusion set in. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

The writing in this novella is not bad, in fact it c
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, novella, read-2012
The Fleshless Man is a well written novella, portraying an oppressive atmosphere, bordering on claustrophobic, and an intriguing premise. When Curtis comes home to take care of his mother, whose suffering from terminal illness, he finds not only his mother fighting an illness, but his brother as well. Curtis feels guilty over abandoning his brother for so long, and failing to see the illness that has gotten hold of him. But while he spends his days at home, trying to come to terms with his guilt ...more
Kim (Wistfulskimmies Book Reviews)
This is the story of Curtis, Glen and their mother. She is dying from cancer, and Curtis has returned home to be with her in her last days. Things have changed a bit since he left. His brother has lost lots of weight and seems very jittery, and Curtis himself has been having terrible dreams since he returned. The nurse tells of the legend of 'The Fleshless Man' and Curtis' mother is afraid that the 'Fleshless Man' is trying to kill her. Who is he, why is his brother so twitchy and his mother so ...more
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Curtis has not been home to visit his mom in almost two years. His mother was now dying of cancer and he wanted to be by her side. There were many bad memories from his childhood that he would like to forget. Curtis had left to go to college and left Glenn to take care of their mom. Curtis rarely made an effort to call his mom. Their dad died at an early age, leaving mom to raise her two son's. Mom's rules were very strict and stern. Glenn pick up his brother but the ride home was almost silent. ...more
James Campbell
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a short read on my Kobo, that had been waiting to be read for a while. I am glad I finally got to it. It certainly wasn't what I expected, but did it enjoy this short read. It is a very dark, and at times sad story about how 2 brothers are accepting and dealing the impending death of their sick mother. One brother has been gone away from home for a while, and is trying to reconnect with and make amends of sorts with both his brother and mother. At the same time, Mom is having to deal wi ...more
Michael Hughes
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Prentiss is a master of the dark fiction novella, and this book is even more powerful and haunting than his debut Invisible Fences. The story of two brothers, their dying mother, and an enigmatic nurse, the horrors that unfold are those we all must face—the death of a parent, the inexorable progress of terminal disease, painful memories of sibling torments, and the dark thoughts that arise in even the best of us that we try to bury and repress. Add to that a metaphorical monster that just might ...more
Robin Edman
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a story about monsters. Monsters with friends, monsters with families, monsters who just suck up all the life and joy around them without ever seeming to get any benefit of the things they destroy.

The Fleshless Men, they hunger and hate. But being fleshless, they are weak and easy to abuse, which makes them hungrier and justified in their hatred. And if you stay too long among them, you become a little monstrous yourself.
Kevin Lucia
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You'll read this in one sitting. Prentiss writes about how the fears and sicknesses we breed inside us can give birth to something out of nightmares and dreams; how there is a fleshless man inside us all, waiting for the right convergence of guilt and regret to birth itself into the real world. As always, Prentiss writes about what it means to be human, and in this case, about how our weaknesses and fears give birth to monsters.
Samaire Provost
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Leaves a shiver going up your spine.
Just as fracking creepy as everyone told me it'd be.
I loved it ❤
The author writes VERY well, it's a perfect mix of "normal" (if you call Ray Bradbury kinda stuff 'normal') and jaw-dropping creepzoid horror (you know, like Clive Barker or Joe Hill or Joe's daddy Steve's stuff).
I will be looking up more of Mr. Prentiss's works after this.
Nov 09, 2012 rated it liked it
While the plot itself is nothing new, Norman Prentiss is really able to capture the feelings of guilt and depression when a loved one is passing. You can read my full review here at
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: The lovers of Words
I absolutely loved this book... the story creeps into you slowly - timidly I would say - until you come to a realisation ... and yet it's too late to scream. What more would you want from your literature?
Sheri White
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read about it here:

The Fleshless Man
Tony Knighton
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Cool, creepy story.
We can pick our friends, but we can't pick our family.
Like everything by Mr. Prentiss, it reads as though it rolled effortlessly from his fingertips.
Get it!
Trevor Firetog
Fantastic. I read this in one night. This novella is absolutely terrifying and it really stays with you. I can't say much more without giving anything away. You need to read it for yourself.
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Very creepy!
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, e-book, horror
Thanks to Invisible Fences, I added Norman Prentiss to my list of authors to read, no matter what. It was a quiet, deliberate story of disquiet and uncertainty, told in a straightforward, engrossing style. It impressed the hell out of me, and I knew this was a writer to whom I should pay attention.

Had I started with The Fleshless Man, that might not have happened.

The story isn't bad, nor is it not creepy. Like Invisible Fences, it looks at family dynamics and uses that as a starting point for a
Lillian (Inky Insanity)
This was an interesting book. I liked the writing and the story kept me interested, but I’m not sure about the ending yet. It kind of makes me think of a frustrating jigsaw puzzle—all the pieces are here, but only half of it’s been put together. I did enjoy it, though.
Eric Compton
rated it it was amazing
Dec 18, 2015
rated it liked it
Mar 13, 2016
rated it liked it
Jan 16, 2016
Paul Apsley
rated it liked it
Jun 26, 2013
rated it it was ok
Feb 13, 2019
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