This is one of 100 Limited Edition Hardcover copies on acid free paper. Although uncalled for, this particular copy is also signed and dated 10-13-2013 by RE/Search publisher and editor V. Vale on the front free endpaper.
Illustrated with 20 black and white photographs by Bobby Neel Adams.
A contemporaneous publisher's catalog stated the limitation of 200 copies, but the publisher later stated only 100 were printed.
From the publisher:
Only 100 printed! Beautiful, Evocative Photography. This gorgeous hardback w/ dust jacket limited edition was once described as the "most sickening work of art of the nineteenth century!" Long out of print, Octave Mirbeau's macabre classic (1899) features a corrupt Frenchman and an insatiably cruel Englishwoman who meet and then frequent a fantastic 19th century Chinese garden where torture is practiced as an art form. The fascinating, horrific narrative slithers deep into the human spirit, uncovering murderous proclivities and demented desires. Lavish, loving detail of description. Introduction, biography and bibliography.
The Torture Garden, written by Octave Mirbeau in 1899, is one of the most extreme books ever to be published. Ostensibly dealing with the theme of torture as a refined art form in China, and depicting a dissolute bureaucrat led by an extraordinary woman into the depths of depravity, this is an absolute black humor critique of the values of Western Civilization with its duplicitous rules of social conduct and political power-brokering. A totally contemporary indictment of corruption in government, this work also lays bare the politics of the conservative scientific establishment and the evil inherent in bureaucracy. Additionally, the Colonialist mentality with its brutish institutionalized killings of natives and animals is vividly contrasted with the exquisite tortures of the garden.
"Extraordinary. I loved the illustrations, done with all the sophistication I take for granted from RE/Search, with their strange washed-out light and postures that might be out of some 1930s novel." -- J.G. Ballard