Monstrosities by Jeremy C. Shipp: Frodo’s Review
Summary From Amazon:
A man with clown heads for hands. A city full of shape-shifting worms. A Cinderella story that ends with slaughter. These are just some of the monstrosities you’ll encounter in this horror collection by Bram Stoker Award Nominee Jeremy C. Shipp.
Table of Contents:
The Little Glass Soul
Flesh and Blood
Jeremy C. Shipp is one of my favorite authors and is on the short list for my auto-buy authors. As such it was no surprise that I really enjoyed this collection of short stories as I have all his others. There are 10 short stories in Monstrosities but I will focus on my five favorites, sound good? Let’s get into it!
The Tunnel: This piece is insane and intense. It’s thought provoking with an ending that sums everything up perfectly but is one I never saw coming. It’s frightening because it reveals how far we go to escape our reality no matter what we might lose. In the end our choices will make us who we are, defining us. A simple truth, yes, but an important one.
Worms: Shipp continues one of the darker collections I’ve read by him with Worms. Loss, reality crushing imagination, good intentions proven useless as grief overwhelms all else. While it may not be a long piece it packs plenty of emotion into the story and is extremely powerful.
The Little Glass Soul: With dark and sardonic humor on full display, The Little Glass Soul is a little bit of Cinderella mixed with some Snow White and twisted into a horrifying display of cruelty. The ending is very satisfying and I really liked Shipp’s take on the fairy tale, only he would alter it this way.
Clown Hands: This is the piece that shows off Shipp’s writing style the best. It’s reminiscent of his Attic Clowns stories, which I loved, and shows the darker/twisted inner thoughts of humans being forced to the outside. It reveals that human nature that we would prefer to keep hidden while keeping the humor flowing throughout the story. It’s a bit silly and that’s why it works so well. Loved this one. More clowns please!
Buried: Using smooth transitions and beautiful insight into the human mind, Buried shows how a different perspective can change everything. One person sees a murderer and thinks them unfit to live while that same person might commit crimes just as heinous and view themselves as the righteous one. Who is worthy to live? Is anyone? Or all we all excess? Fantastic story and a superb ending.
Overall I really enjoyed Jeremy C. Shipp’s latest anthology. There were a couple familiar tales for fans of his other work (Googly from Attic Toys and Figs from Here Be Monsters) mixed in with plenty of brand new hilarious and horrific stories. Monstrosities is a darker and edgier collection than Shipp’s previous ones as well as being more thought provoking. Shipp delves into the human mind farther than ever before with great (if creepy) results. You may not want to accept the truth as Shipp sees it, but it is hard to deny its validity. A must read for horror and humor fans. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #130/200