The Monsters We Deserve
'Do monsters always stay in the book where they were born? Are they content to live out their lives on paper, and never step foot into the real world?'
The Villa Diodati, on the shore of Lake Geneva, 1816: the Year without Summer. As Byron, Polidori, and Mr and Mrs Shelley shelter from the unexpected weather, old ghost stories are read and new ghost stories imagined. B...more
This is a novel, and it isn’t a novel. This is a literary essay, and it isn’t a literary essay. It’s a book about how books are written (and how monsters are born.) It sounds like a odd combination doesn’t it? It works though, strangely enough.
It’s about a horror writer who is undertaking some soul searching. He’s fed up of writing stories that simply ...more
This is a very strange little book. I put in a request for it because essentially of the themes that the description said it dealt with, of Mary Shelley, and Frankenstein; of the thought processes that go into imagination, into creation, into reading and writing. And it certainly is about that, but just not in a way I’d expected or imagined. Our author or at least an author (still not sure whether this is meant to be the autho ...more
It's also very ”stream of conciousness” in tone, which was where the majority of my disconnect began. Generally this style can be hit or miss for me, and this book wasn't much different.
I really struggled with this one, to the point where I'm not even s ...more
I don’t know how to review this. The Monsters We Deserve is alike Sedgwick’s other works in that there is a deep, philosophical, subtle message beneath the beautiful writing-but I’m not sure I fully got it.
The Monsters We Deserve follows an unnamed author who is spending time high in the mountains attempting to write a novel. While there, ...more
3.5 out of 5 stars!
I met Marcus in 2014 after the release of his work She Is Not Invisible. Wondering what his writing style was like almost four years after meeting him, I can honestly say that The Monsters We Deserve is a strange but very creepy book. Tying back into the classic Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, an author away on a break in the French Alps starts experiencing some paranormal activity to him during writing process for a new novel. Th ...more
Review to come. Ironically, I felt that although this book's main plot was dissecting and ripping apart what the author deems a "shoddy piece of work" - Frankenstein - I feel like his own book is the problem here.
This was such a fresh take on horror and I was so excited. I've really been let down by this one.
The narrator broods on the role of monsters and horror in our culture while dissecting Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. He hates the book, for he sees it as badly written and plagued with unwelcome biases. And yet, what starts to immerse throughout the narrative may change his point of view significantly.
About two pages into this book, I came across a quote that I wanted to leave in my review and put a post-it on the page; about five pages later, I put another post-it. This kept happening and now my book is full of bright orange post-it notes of wonderful quotes and I want to use them all. But alas, I'd probably end up quoting the whole bloody book.
But this is definitely one of my favourites:
Yet every writer worth a good-god damn knows this too, for it is graven into each of us: no o ...more
I received a copy of this book from the publisher on Netgalley.
I was really excited to read and review this one as I’ve just read another of Marcus’s short stories called ‘Killing The Dead’.
The Monsters We Deserve is a absolutely stunning book as I now own a hardback edition which is full of beautiful black and white illustrations which help add atmosphere to the novel.
The main protagonist of the novel is Marcus Sedgwick himself as he ...more
It’s an impressive talent, to be able to make me dislike a book from the first page. Even from the beginning, it is evident how desperately the author is trying to seem deep, to the point of sounding almost incoherent. The things discussed thro ...more
The book that made me want to actually read Frankenstein for myself.
Something else: it has always struck me as troubling that the words in books are printed in black and white, when life is anything but. The binary colour of words on a page give the sense of simplicity and clarity. But life doesn’t work like that. And neither should a good story. A good story ought to leave a little grey behind, I think.
The Monste ...more
So, going into this book I had literally no clue what to expect only that it was supernatural fiction, and I only know that because it was one of the books featured on the supernatural panel at the NYALitFest.
Whilst the genre on Goodreads categorises this as a horror, I wouldn't particularly ...more
I loved the writing style, the narrative choices and the way it made me think about Frankenstein and the relationship between book, author and reader.
While you don't have to have read Frankenstein to follow the book you should be aware that it will spoil it, if you haven't.
I have to admit that I didn’t really know what expect from The Monsters We Deserve. It’s a book that’s hard to classify or put into a genre. And I guess Sedgwick intended that all along - for in the book he wants to distance himself away from the horror genre, but I guess that’s the closest thing it could be classed as.
"I am suddenly aware of the space of the house; the air it occupies and which occupies it, of the hanging weight of it, high up here at five thousand feet, and the empty night rising out of the ground as dusk arrives in the mountains, and down in the gorge, ringing chasms throat roaring water into fathomless depths, unseen by Mortals and all but the bravest of beasts, while I sit and converse with a woman long dead."
The synopsis and cover of this book were very intriguing to me, so I had to pick ...more
I have a hard time choosing between 3 or 4 stars. I'm in a good mood though, so I'll let the 3,5 turn into a 4. (Mostly because I'm impre ...more
The chapters are short, some almost like poetry. Every word fits, and it is a very spherical story. It gave me chills even in this heatwave, and I found myself wishing I could've read it during winter, snow falling outside as I read it, with a cup of hot tea in a cabin in the woods.
Sedgwick doesn't only create a story, but a finished product with this book. It's dark, spoo ...more
Isolated, snowy backdrops are built up with depressive language and builds a picture of fear and second guessing what you see out of the corner of your eye.
The layout of the book is especially beautiful and leads to quick reading with the black pages and a few dark, simple illustrations here and there.
A story about living with what we create and a look into the story of Frankenstein and i ...more