Monday, November 07, 2011

The Monster's Corner- Torn Stitches, Shattered Glass by Kevin J Anderson

An all-original anthology from some of today’s best supernatural writers, assembled by Bram Stoker Award winning author Christopher Golden , featuring stories of monsters... from the monsters’ point of view.

The first thing that grabbed me about Monster’s Corner is the striking cover. Just look at it; the monsters are beautifully rendered and they look like monsters should.

MC packs 19 short stories into 380 pages, each telling a unique story from the monster’s POV. I’ll freely admit that I rarely delve into short stories, perhaps a lingering by-product of having been made to analyse them to death in high school, but if the quality I've seen so far continues I think that’s going to be changing.

Two have really stood out for me so far- and I’m not trying to be glib by saying it wasn’t easy to choose. It really wasn’t, and I’m only forcing myself to do so for the practicality of doing a variety of reviews.

The first is Torn Stitches, Shattered Glass by Kevin J Anderson. What a great title too. It’s a pretty straightforward story on the surface, centring around two days in the life of Frankenstein’s monster as the shadow of World War II darkens the small town where he has tried to make a life of sorts for himself. He’s found a kind of acceptance here, keeping to himself and working tirelessly, enjoying the quiet respect of those around him and a distinct lack of pitchfork waving mobs. But as those around him quickly discover, you don’t need to be a monster to be a monster. The blood begins to flow and he’s called to make a choice, and in doing so discovers that it really isn’t a difficult decision though those around him view it differently.

It’s a clever, engaging story, told solely from the monster’s perspective as all of these are, dipping into the original story and hinting at what happened after he killed his creator in a way that anyone can tune into, even if they’re only vaguely familiar with the highlights of Shelley’s original or subsequent Hollywoodisms. Kevin quickly builds up an image of a hulking yet ultimately lonely creature striving for an inner peace that continues to elude it, and plays that off against its brute power and potential for violence.

He’s done a great job with the monster and I’d really like to know what happens next!


Jenni (Juniper's Jungle) said...

I love the idea of the stories all being from the monster's point of view. That cover is rather brilliant.

Mark said...

It is a pretty cool concept, isn't it?

And yeah, the cover's ace. The critter in the bottom left is my favourite.