Book Reviews

Growing Things and Other Stories – Paul Tremblay

A thrilling new collection from the award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World bringing his short stories to the UK for the first time. Unearth nineteen tales of suspense and literary horror, including a new story from the world of A Head Full of Ghosts, that offer a terrifying glimpse into Tremblay’s fantastically fertile imagination.

See a school class haunted by a life-changing video, the forces at work on four men fleeing the pawn shop they robbed at gunpoint, the meth addict kidnapping her daughter as the town is terrorized by a giant monster, or the woman facing all the ghosts who scare her most in a Choose Your Own Adventure.

Intricate, humane, ingenious and chilling, embrace the Growing Things.

Stories included:

Growing Things
Swim Wants to Know If It’s as Bad as Swim Thinks
Something About Birds
The Getaway
Nineteen Snapshots of Dennisport
Where We All Will Be
The Teacher
Notes for “The Barn in the Wild”
Our Town’s Monster
A Haunted House Is a Wheel upon Which Some Are Broken
It Won’t Go Away
Notes from the Dog Walkers
Further Questions for the Somnambulist
The Ice Tower
The Society of the Monsterhood
Her Red Right Hand
It’s Against the Law to Feed the Ducks
The Thirteenth Temple

While I did enjoy a few of this eclectic collection of horror tropes, this book ended up being way too boring and non-thrilling for someone who identifies as a Constant Reader.

“There’s a monster in the swamp. It eats cats and dogs; small, unwanted children, you know the type; and the occasional beautiful woman. Only rarely, so far, once a century, will it devour the angry torch-wielding villagers—your potential neighbors.”

There is quite a bit of re-imagining old stories, completed with the nostalgia of the movies like “The Thing” brought, a lot of satire and a lot of conceptual monsters like The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

Rating this book is a challenge. If one rates it according to the quality of the prose, the richness of the narrative and the depth of the characters, the review is a lowly one start.

However, if one examines the book purely as a specimen of horror in the late 2010’s, this book has sort of an ugly charm, weak in dialogue and pretty aweful.

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