Daniel Swensen's Reviews > Irregular Creatures

Irregular Creatures by Chuck Wendig
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's review
Nov 14, 2011

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bookshelves: horror, indies
Read from November 14 to 15, 2011

I had a blast reading Chuck's novella, Shotgun Gravy, which I finished in the space of one day. Like most of Wendig's material, it was very readable: full of inventive profanity, bizarre sensory details, and a cheerful, homespun vulgarity that reminds me a bit of early Stephen King.

Irregular Creatures has all those elements, but I found it a little uneven. The book features nine short stories. Of those, four are quite good, three are mildly inexplicable, and two seem downright pointless. When Wendig's on, he's really on, but when he's off, it's equally as evident. The two weakest tales seem to amount to the author pointing at some gruesome stuff and saying "hey, look at this gruesome stuff! Neat, huh? Well, see you around." Which is not inherently bad, but I was hoping for more.

A couple of the stories were no more than a few paragraphs describing a bizarre situation -- no characterization, no resolution, just some brief Lynchian weirdness, and it's on to the next story. Personally, I would have rather seen fewer stories with more meat to them.

That said, Irregular Creatures was still a fun read. If you already know you like Wendig's work, you'll get some enjoyment out of this. If you don't know his work, I don't recommend it for an introduction. Read Shotgun Gravy instead.
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