The Rutting Season

Published by:

ISBN: 0-9768531-1-6 (all editions)
Edition size: 400 numbered26 lettered
MSRP: $40.00$250.00

Bloodletting Press (BLP) is one of the most exciting independent publishers on the block today. The owner, Larry Roberts, is an artist unto himself when it comes to the amazing metal traycases he concocts for his lettered productions. As a bonus, BLP's books are highly affordable. In a business sector where a lettered book could easily retail for $500+, $250 is a downright bargain.

How does BLP's latest lettered incarnation, Brian Keene's The Rutting Season, fair? Pretty darn decent. However, I do have some issues with the book itself, as it is a rather plain production. First and foremost, as with American Gods, the lettered and numbered editions look to be identical. Some immediately identifiable shortcomings are:

Without a numbered edition with which to compare, I'm unsure about the binding and board materials. What you are, essentially, purchasing with a lettered BLP book is the letter (obviously) and the fantastic metal traycase. Don't get me wrong - if I had paid $190 more without a commensurate accompanying traycase, I would've been extremely upset. However, even this has to be tempered with the knowledge that BLP is an independent in every sense of the word, so I'm sure their publishing resources are relatively limited.

And that traycase is really something.

You want pictures? We got pictures!

- L E T T E R E D -

This is what BLP calls a "metal band" that fits around the traycase pipes. It contains a word puzzle (as does the back of the traycase).

As you can see, the band edges turn inward just ever-so-slightly in order to attach to the pipes.

The traycase in its fully glory. It is almost completely metal and has a significant amount of heft to it.

The metal band removed.

The bottom, revealing the hollow tubes. BLP says that the pipes can be played.

The side. The lettering is silk-screened in metallic gold ink.

The first door unhinged. Notice that the right door is designed to open first, then the left.

Both doors opened, revealing the faux goat fur lining. Also note the cloth lining on the doors themselves which also help to protect the book.

These two pips are actually magnets.

A close-up of the fur, which cushions the book. It really does feel, well, sensual.

And the back of the traycase. How many words can you spot?

The front dustjacket illustration by Caniglia. Hey, I need to get a girl like that!

The dustjacket spine.

And the dustjacket back. Whoa. Looks like someone went comma-crazy when composing that synopsis.

The dustjacket flaps. Very plain, no?

And here we have the book itself with its foil stamping.

The book spine, continuing the stamping. The back of the book has none, so I didn't take a picture of it.

The front endpapers. Again, pretty plain. Interesting shade of green, though.

The limitation page, which looks to be generic for both numbered and lettered editions. I wouldn't show this to the kiddies.

The copyright page. Sorry for the odd angle, but it was only way I could've shot it with just two hands.

The first interior illustration (not counting the limitation page).

And the second illustration by Caniglia.

A random page. Notice the location of the page number.

A bonus pic of me trying to "solve" the traycase word puzzle. I'm sure I missed a few.