Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chuck Wendig's Irregular Creatures

I just finished reading Chuck Wendig's short story collection IRREGULAR CREATURES.

The man has range. He is not a one trick pony. Okay, if that pony's trick was to sprout jet engines out of its ass and fly to the moon and back then maybe.

Reading IRREGULAR CREATURES is kind of like watching a Twilight Zone marathon of nothing but the good episodes. Nine stories of whimsy, absurdity, terror. Some of the stories are stronger than others but they're all good.

Dog-Man and Cat-Bird (A Flying Cat Story) shows us a man in serious need of inspiration, redemption and more than a little responsibility, finding it in the wings of a flying cat.

A Radioactive Monkey and Mister Muh’s Pussy Show are both cautionary tales about wanting what you can't or shouldn't have and to always beware when those things are handed to you a little too easily.

Product Placement, This Guy, Lethe and Mnemosyne play around with memory, sanity and, in the last of the three, a giant chicken.

Do-Overs and Take-Backs and Beware of Owner both focus on children, one completely out of his depth and the other pretty okay with what's going on around him. One of them is fucking scary. I'm sure you can figure out which one.

And then there's The Auction. My favorite of all of them it tells the story of twelve year old Benjamin who goes along with his father to an auction of... well, stuff. Weird stuff. Like mermaids and Bigfoot and dog-hair ice cream. And when Benjamin tries to do the right thing it doesn't quite go as planned.

The Auction is the sort of story that reminds adults of what it's like to be a kid. The wonder of strange things, the idea that the world is maybe a lot more interesting than we've been led to believe. It's a fairy tale for grown-ups without the fairy tale trappings.

All told IRREGULAR CREATURES is an outstanding collection of stories. Pick it up, you won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

Excellent review...I'm still struggling to find the perfect words to describe these stories. So far, whenever I think about them, the only thought I have is, "Mrow?"-damn cat!