The Monstrous

Ellen Datlow et al.

From the best horror editor in the business comes a landmark horror anthology. Take a terrifying journey with literary masters of suspense, visiting a place where the other is somehow one of us. These electrifying tales redefine monsters from mere things that go bump in the night to inexplicable, deadly reflections of our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s a seemingly devoted teacher, an obsessive devotee of swans, or a diner full of evil creatures simply seeking oblivion, the monstrous is always there—and much closer than it appears.

“A Natural History of Autumn” by Jeffrey Ford
“Ashputtle” by Peter Straub
“Giants in the Earth” by Dale Bailey
“The Beginning of the Year Without Summer” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“A Wish From a Bone” by Gemma Files
“The Last, Clean, Bright Summer” by Livia Llewellyn
“The Totals” by Adam-Troy Castro
“The Chill Clutch of the Unseen” by Kim Newman
“Down Among the Dead Men” by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois
“Catching Flies” by Carole Johnstone
“Our Turn Too Will One Day Come” by Brian Hodge
“Grindstone” by Stephen Graham Jones
“Doll Hands” by Adam L. G. Nevill
“How I Met the Ghoul” by Sofia Samatar
“Jenny Come to Play” by Terry Dowling
“Miss Ill-Kept Runt” by Glen Hirshberg
“Chasing Sunset” by A.C. Wise
“The Monster Makers” by Steve Rasnic Tem
“Piano Man” by Christopher Fowler
“Corpsemouth” by John Langan


[STAR] Datlow, horror anthologist extraordinaire, brings together all things monstrous in this excellent reprint anthology of 20 horror stories that explore the ever-widening definition of what makes a monster, with nary a misstep. The varied sources of monstrosity include a very troubled kindergarten teacher, a catering company that puts humans on the menu, and spirit-devouring creatures out of Japanese mythology, all creating distinctive microcosms where monsters reign in many forms. In Gemma Files’s “A Wish from a Bone,” an archeological reality show filming in Sudan uncovers evidence of the Terrible Seven, ancient beings who are bent on destruction and domination. Adam-Troy Castro’s “The Totals” skewers bureaucracy and the daily grind by populating a drinking hole with monsters, who create mayhem, commit murder, and kvetch with their deadly coworkers with the same sense of ennui felt by any office drone. Other standouts by Sofia Samatar, Dale Bailey, and Christopher Fowler round out this atmospheric and frequently terrifying collection. (Oct.)
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Datlow has more backed-up expertise and accumulated assets than almost any other horror/dark/weird editor in the business. It certainly shows in this collection. It’s one of the most monstrous compilations around, and you may find yourself dreaming of its various manifestations for weeks or months afterwards (just not tentacled ones).”

“Hon­estly, every story in this anthol­ogy is excel­lent. It’s really a tes­ta­ment to Datlow’s wealth of expe­ri­ence in the genre, and her mas­ter­ful touch in edit­ing and com­pil­ing the best sto­ries around.”
The Warbler

The Monstrous is one of the best collections of stories I’ve read in recent years. Every story in this collection shines.”
The Book Lover’s Boudoir

“A must-have for every fan of horror. Highly recommended.”
Reclusive Reads

The Monstrous will chill and darken your day in a terrifyingly sweet way. When you begin to read it, you’ll most likely have problems putting it down, because all of the stories are intriguing and they may cause a few moments of unease and distress to readers. Highly recommended!”

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