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5+ stars for Monstrous Alterations by Christopher Barzak #fantasy #gothic #monster #bookreview



Title: Monstrous Alterations

Author: Christopher Barzak

Genre: Fantasy Anthology, Fairy tales, Monster Fiction

 

Book Blurb: 

 

In this new collection from Shirley Jackson Award-winning author Christopher Barzak, discover stories where fairy tales, gothic narratives, and classic monster stories are transformed into new wonders. A princess who yearns only for freedom dances her nights away at clubs in defiance of tradition. A young man plots revenge on his murderer from the underworld. Two friends discover a goblin market where they are offered the fruit of forbidden love. On the streets of London, a man destroys a little girl's life in an instant. The caretaker for a woman confined to her room frees her from the circumstances that have bound her. A maid at an inn discovers the powerlessness and power of invisibility. A teenager, locked into Kensington Gardens after closing time, is brought face to face with the reality of a childhood icon. A man is born, grows up, and dies, all within the span of a day. A bank clerk determines to save himself and his friend from the destinies their overbearing fathers have made for them. From the Brothers Grimm to Kafka, Barzak imaginatively traverses the history of the dark and the fantastic and returns with new tales for an ever-changing world. 

 

My Review: 

 

This is a great little compilation that I totally enjoyed. Reviewed each story individually so check out my thoughts!

 

The Party Monster review - Never heard of the story this was based on but that was no problem! The original is explained clearly so any reader will get the story with ease. Takes you in like reading a full novel and sweeps you away. Mind expanding and simply amazing. Would give this story 6 stars if I could.

 

For The Applause of Shadows review - Never understood the original by Poe. Didn't really understand this one either. May need a lot more psych than I took in my teens.  Well written and could draw the reader deeper into the workings of the mind. Didn't really work for me but it was based on something that didn't either. 3.5 stars

 

Eat Me, Drink Me, Love Me review - Not familiar with this story but the recap totally made sense. The writing here is just so enjoyable. The presentation of the Goblins is the best part of this. They are so creatively presented, it is incredible. A brilliant little tale worth 6 stars too!

 

The Trampling review - Very familiar with the original story. An incredible original take on it here.  The story is harsh and steely.  A telling example of how what is here is reflective of life today. Consider how your i-phone is made and read this story. 5 stars

 

The Creeping Women review - Unlike anything I have ever read. Mind altering in its flow.  Didn't know the story. Don't think I need to read the original now.  Truly a creative original that I struggled to get. 4.5 stars

 

Invisible Men review - Love the original story and simply loved this alteration. Excellent writing. This could bring the original to a whole new audience. Just transfixing. 5 stars

 

Dorothy Rising review - If you have read or seen The Wizard of Oz, then you must read this story.  It's a take on Oz like I never considered before. 4.5 stars

 

The Little Boy Who Grew Up review - Creativity is the key to this work. No one would think of a story about Peter Pan from this perspective. I recommend this story to everyone. 6 stars

 

 The 24 Hour Brother review - As a big fan of the Brad Pitt oldie from 08, this story really worked for me. A wow factor here. I kept picturing Pitt in the scenes. Very well written and worth the time to read in depth. 6 stars

 

The Kafka Circus review – This book showed me once more that I have trouble getting Kafka. The great aspect here is the author totally gets Kafka and that makes it a great little read. Since my gf got me to read Kafka originally, I am making her read this story! Very well done. 5 stars

 

This anthology is a really great read I recommend to fans of classic stories with a modern twist.

 

My Rating: 5+ stars

 

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Author Biography:

 

Christopher Barzak is the author of the Crawford Fantasy Award winning novel One for Sorrow which has been made into the Sundance feature film Jamie Marks is Dead. His second novel, The Love We Share Without Knowing, was a finalist for the Nebula Award and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. His third novel, Wonders of the Invisible World, received the Stonewall Honor from the American Library Association and most recently was selected for inclusion on the Human Rights Campaign’s list of books for libraries in LGBTQ welcoming schools. He is also the author of three short story collections: Birds and Birthdays, a collection of surrealist fantasy stories, Before and Afterlives, a collection of supernatural fantasies, which won Best Collection in the 2013 Shirley Jackson Awards, and Monstrous Alterations. His most recent novel, The Gone Away Place, received the inaugural Whippoorwill Award, and was selected for the Choose to Read Ohio program by the State Library of Ohio, the Ohioana Library Association, and the Ohio Center for the Book.

 

Reviewed by: Tiger

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