Tag Archives: Carole Johnstone

The Monstrous edited by Ellen Datlow

Overview
Image result for the monstrous ellen datlow book cover

Title: The Monstrous
Author: Ellen Datlow, Jeffrey Ford, Peter Straub, Dale Bailey, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Gemma Files, Livia Llewellyn, Adam-Troy Castro, Kim Newman, Jack Dann, Gardner Dozois, Carole Johnstone, Brian Hodge, Stephen Graham Jones, Adam L. G. Nevill, Sofia Samatar, Terry Dowling, Glen Hirshberg, A.C. Wise, Steve Rasnic Tem, Christopher Fowler & John Langan
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror, Short story collections
Dates read: 8th January – 3rd June 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: “I supppose I do,” I reply.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Horror’s most acclaimed editor reveals twenty riveting tales of the Other gone wrong. Monsters who suffer from heartbreak, betrayal, ungrateful kids, and unpaid overtime. Creatures of darkness that struggle to adapt to modern living. Ordinary folks who find themselves inexplicably transformed. 88 But if you dare, come a bit closer and discover the most terrifying of beings – those who are living under your own skin and peering out from behind your eyes.

Thoughts

This collection is brilliant. It is dark, creepy and intense. It is fun. It gave me goose bumps. And it is filled with monsters who come in ALL shapes and sizes. And I mean ALL. A wonderful, fantastic and seriously enjoyable collection filled with the things that go bump in the night. The things that you really hope aren’t hiding under your bed.

Although this anthology sits in my horror shelf, it isn’t really all that scary. Sure, there are multiple moments of discomfort throughout. But they’re that, you have to think a little too much, or consider the many moments of confusion throughout this story that you really don’t necessarily want to think too much about. And, honestly, it’s not the things that jump out and yell BOO that make me love horror. It’s that underlying discomfort that makes you look at your own life that I am quickly becoming obsessed with.

I absolutely adored this collection. It was filled with some familiar names and new ones. Each and every story made me stop and really think about what the storyline was saying. And even now, when I have still finished the whole collection… I am still thinking about some of the stories that I read.

<- Run, Rabbit, RunA Natural History of Autumn ->

Image source: Amazon

Catching Flies by Carole Johnstone

Overview
Image result for the monstrous ellen datlow book cover

Title: Catching Flies
Author: Carole Johnstone
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: FamilyHorror
Dates read: 26th April 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: And then she stopped.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Her Mum is gone and she has to protect her little brother. But from what? You’ll never be comfortable ‘catching flies’ again.

Thoughts

This was a seriously creepy story. I mean, I knew it was going to be fairly uncomfortable, because all of the short stories in The Monstrous collection kind of are. But, it’s all written in the voice of a little girl…. I think I kind of hoped it would be a little less… insanely intense. And uncomfortable. And gruesome.

The little girl in this story is not the only one who has been told “close your mouth, or the flies will get in”. I am probably now never going to say that myself… this story made that an especially creepy way to think about / talk about such a thing. And, I’m pretty sure I was still missing something in the storyline. Mostly, there is just a horrible darkness of flies and death and mystery. It is truly horrible.

The part of this story that I love the most is that the girl who tells this story is a big sister. And she will do pretty much anything to protect her younger brother. Including sacrifice herself. It’s definitely something that I feel towards my younger sister…. That need to protect her. Against pretty much everything.

<- Down Among the DeadOur Turn Too Will One Day Come ->

Image source: Amazon