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Tuesday
Mar272012

Monsters: A Collection of Literary Sightings, Edited by B.J. Hollars

This collection is the (monster) baby of Pressgang, the newest press project of Butler University. Collectively, it proves that we all need something to be afraid of or in awe of: fear is a form of respect. These pieces survey this concept in as many ways as you can imagine, but they fit together in an impressive way. Misfits, scary things, grotesque things: things that remind us of ourselves to the nth degree. In many ways, monsters are our own heightened emotions. In his introduction, B.J. Hollars says, “These stories are alternately scary, silly, and sinister, and oftentimes deeply affecting. Ironically, these stories are also terribly human, as if to remind us that although our outsides may appear different, our insides remain the same.” Perhaps that’s the most frightening thought of all. Brian Baldi will have you identifying with Godzilla. Matt Bell will have you rethinking Red Riding Hood, and the wolf, entirely. These stories will make you aware that we are ever afraid of opposites: socializing and loneliness; we need balance, in everything. In the end, we’re pretty obsessed with what we can’t see: what we can’t understand. And really, Laura van den Berg is right: we want to be chased. –Micah Ling 

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