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Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters Paperback – September 6, 2011
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The stories represent a wide range of writing styles and themes from a variety of authors. The stories are well organized by theme or concept. In the first section we are treated some very interesting stories told from the pov of the creatures of classic horror; Godzilla's attempts to overcome his "addiction" to destroying cities, the bride of Frankenstein dealing with life as a freak and the creature from the Black Lagoon retelling the movie from his vantage point.
From there the stories move toward the eerie, creepy and some downright odd and bizarre selections from some great contemporary horror writers such as Robert McCammon and Clive Barker.
Personally, a few of the stories were not to my taste. A couple seemed to make little sense or just have nothing to them. However, for the most part, I found this a worthwhile read with enough diversity to appeal to all tastes and maybe even provide an opportunity to discover a writer you haven't read before.
I really like the format of the book: there are four sections with very poignant introductions titled "It Came and We Knew It," "It Came, We Could Not Stop It," "It Came For Us," and "It Came From Us." I had favorites from each section, however, my absolute favorite story in the collection is "Not From Around Here." It has some great imagery and a very satisfying end, although dark, mysterious, and far from happy.
I also really enjoyed "Among Their Bright Eyes," "Rawhead Rex," "Monster," and "The Deep End." What I like about this collection is that these creatures are not sympathetic characters, they're quite brutal, and the stories really explore what it means to be monstrous. I've never read anything like these stories before and "Rawhead Rex" is, by far, the most brutal monster I've ever encountered in horror fiction.
I have a pretty vivid imagination, however, I would've never dreamed up some of the creatures presented in this book. It was difficult to wrap my head around most of them and I ended most stories with so many questions, a sense of awe, and a lot of food for thought!
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves the horror genre and isn't faint of heart. I'm so taken with it that I bought a copy (the one I read was from the library).