Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hopeful Monsters” as Want to Read:
Hopeful Monsters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hopeful Monsters

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  102 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
“Hopeful monsters” are genetically abnormal organisms that, nonetheless, adapt and survive in their environments. In these devastating stories, the hopeful monsters in question are those who will not be tethered by familial duty nor bound by the ghosts of their past.

Home becomes fraught, reality a nightmare as Hiromi Goto weaves her characters through tales of domestic cri
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Arsenal Pulp Press (first published March 1st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hopeful Monsters, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hopeful Monsters

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Stuff I Read - Hopeful Monsters by Hiromi Goto Review

I picked this up in preparation for Wiscon '14 where the author will be one of the guests of honor. It's something of a strange thing, this collection, very dark, very concerned with the themes of death and dirth and family and culture. If it was just that I'd be tempted to say that it is typical, but this collection was anything but typical. The stories, ranging from rather mundane tales of picking relatives up at the airport to those featuri
Ben Nash
Most of the stories in this collection stick in the mind. Goto creates strong characters, places, and situations. The horror she finds in some common parts of life becomes that much more visceral for it.

"Tales from the Breast" was the closest to a twist-ending story here, but it was a great one. Funny and a bit terrifying at the same time. Sometimes a person's body can become alien to them, and the portrayal of just how difficult breast-feeding might be worked to heighten that sense.

"Drift" wasn
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
So I'll be honest - while the writer and the reader in me agree that this collection is beautifully, even masterfully written, many of its subtleties are completely lost on me. It's not a collection to sit down and read in a sitting or two - though it was assigned as a reading assignment for a graduate class to be completed in a week. This one takes digesting and contemplation and several re-reads. While I generally appreciate that kind of complexity - I think this collection is missing balance. ...more
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
I was very impressed with this book of stories.

Many of them have twists of fantasy, especially at their ending; but they are rooted in domestic life and family dynamics. Two of the best stories, "Hopeful Monsters" and "Tales From the Breast", deal specifically with the trials of pregnancy and new motherhood. Many of the stories depict cross-cultural marriages between a Japanese and a Westerner; in "Camp Americana", an old, traditional Japanese man struggles to come to terms with his son's Wester
An excellent collection of short stories dealing with themes of family, birth, motherhood and mother-daughter relationships. Using magical realism, Goto, explores life experiences of immigrants and communities that are "othered" America, in particular, Canada.

What I really connected with from this collection of short stories was the realness of the characters' experiences. The mother who is breastfeeding and the physical and emotional pain she experiences as well as the ways that her feelings a
Oct 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Incredibly apt and descriptive prose. Sometimes I found her stories a little too metaphysical or monologue-ish, but more often her choices of words arrested and amazed me. It is worth obtaining this collection for the title story alone. The description of of how her protagonist received bad news will stick with me for a long time.
Jude McLaughlin
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Start with Shirley Jackson's cynicism and sense of horror, mix in the mythic and folkloric qualities of Nalo Hopkinson's work, and add a dash of poetry, and you have Goto's short stories. We got this volume after listening to Goto read from "Tales From the Breast" at WisCon, and the end of the story was not a disappointment. The rest of the stories are just as good, and just as gripping.
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
The title story made me almost throw up. I was like, oh my god, I cannot read this while I eat. THEN I was like, I DON'T HAVE TO FINISH IT AT ALL. I let it gooooo. Some of the other stories were really good, but still a lot of gross body stuff making me uneasy throughout. Bods! Yuck!
Sep 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 21st-century, fiction
Tales of domestic life, almost all from a Japanese woman's perspective. Not written for my demographic.

Stinky Girl stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Other stories I would give the thumbs up to:
Tales from the Breast
Drift (was ok)
Home Stay
From Across a River
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, can-lit
The stories are such a mixed bag - I really enjoyed some of them (including the title one) and others left me completely unimpressed.
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel-studies
Amazingly abnormal (and sometimes scary) short stories that examine a lot of complex themes.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Hit or miss. Some really great stories and some that I didn't quite follow. Overall enjoyable.
Krista Davis
rated it liked it
Oct 22, 2017
rated it liked it
Sep 23, 2013
rated it it was ok
Aug 08, 2012
Corkey sinks
rated it it was amazing
May 27, 2014
Emily Onizuka
rated it it was amazing
Jul 22, 2017
Kaitee Naomi
rated it really liked it
Aug 10, 2014
Christian Hendriks
rated it really liked it
May 27, 2015
rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2017
rated it liked it
Jul 10, 2009
rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2014
rated it really liked it
May 31, 2015
rated it really liked it
Nov 23, 2014
Elliot Hanowski
rated it liked it
May 11, 2016
Wendy Gay
rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2012
rated it really liked it
Nov 23, 2017
rated it liked it
Dec 12, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mojo: Conjure Stories
  • Redwood and Wildfire
  • Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History
  • When Fox is a Thousand
  • The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet and Other Stories
  • Interfictions 2: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing
  • Steam-Powered:  Lesbian Steampunk Stories
  • Beyond: the Queer Sci-Fi & Fantasy Comic Anthology
  • Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction
  • Love Cake
  • Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction
  • Mystic: The Tenth Apprentice
  • Sub Rosa
  • The Ant King: And Other Stories
  • Bending the Landscape: Fantasy
  • Skin Deep Magic
  • Aliens: Recent Encounters
  • The Abominable Charles Christopher, Vol. 1
Hiromi’s first novel, Chorus of Mushrooms (1994), received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in the Caribbean and Canada region and was co-winner of the Canada-Japan Book Award. Her short stories and poetry have been widely published in literary journals and anthologies. Her second novel, The Kappa Child (2001), was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Regional ...more
More about Hiromi Goto

Fiction Deals

  • Daughter of Sand and Stone
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
    $6.24 $1.99
  • The Silver Suitcase
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Burying the Honeysuckle Girls
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ilsa: A Novel
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Into the Free
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Persian Boy (Alexander the Great, #2)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Get It Together, Delilah!
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Mademoiselle Chanel
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette (P.S.)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • If I Ever Get Out of Here
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Chasing Fireflies: A Novel of Discovery
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Woman on the Orient Express
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Isabella: Braveheart of France
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Whiskey Sea
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Bette Davis Club
    $4.49 $1.99
  • A Life Intercepted: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Epitaph
    $9.74 $1.99
  • How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Bergdorf Blondes
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Bendigo Shafter (Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures): A Novel
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Invisible Emmie
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Something Like Family
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Orphan Master's Son
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Sisters One, Two, Three
    $4.99 $1.99
  • This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!
    $15.95 $1.99
  • The Financial Lives of the Poets: A Novel
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Tenth of December: Stories
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Daughters of the Night Sky
    $4.99 $1.99
  • New York
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Yellow Star
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Miramont's Ghost
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Am Livia
    $3.49 $0.99
  • The Play of Death (The Hangman's Daughter, #6)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Requiem for a Dream: A Novel
    $17.99 $1.99
  • I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Eagle Tree
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Helen of Sparta (Helen of Sparta #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Things That Keep Us Here
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Halsey Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Woodlands (Glenbrooke, #7)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Knockoff
    $8.99 $2.99