“Monster” is not really a novel and not really a book of short stories, but something in between. It is a set of events that take place as the world (specifically Australia) gradually slips into chaos due to the attack of monstrous creatures from inside the planet, which destroy human society and fight each other and drag history back into some hellish version of the Jurassic Age.
Each story has different characters, although they overlap, a minor character in one sometimes becoming the focus of the next and vice versa. But meanwhile the progress of disintegration continues and the attacks increase.
And this is how this strange hybrid book succeeds. If we consider it a novel, the protagonist is the whole human race, and its story spans the book. If we look at the work as a set of short stories, then each one delineates a character and that person’s reaction to disaster as it approaches and engulfs his or her life.
In true short-story fashion, each tale is individualistic, creative and self contained, yet meshing with the tone of the total work to keep us involved and wanting to read on.
The overall story arc develops nicely on several levels, progressing from the simple problems of teenage relationships into the horrors of battle, survival and the refugee experience, and out the other side to the new set of problems of the post-Apocalyptic world.
A sensitive portrayal of the human race in adversity. Highly recommended for…just about everyone.(5 / 5)