Review: “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” by Jim Shepard

3 of 5 stars.

The creature from the title and movie of the same name narrates this brief melancholic tale of a run-in with humans in the Amazon basin. Having already lived for hundreds of millions of years and outsurviving the rest of his kind, the unnamed predator thinks in terms of eons befitting the primordial sublayers of his home swamp.

Humans are a mystery to the creature but their similar form catches his attention. However, he also likes his peace which they are disturbing. The female of their party awakens dormant desires in him that he can barely comprehend.

This story, albeit from the creature’s POV, doesn’t provide much in the way of new insights toward either the creature or the human condition. However, the descriptions of the swamp through the eyes of a denizen are evocative.

This tale is included in Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters edited by John Langan and Paul Tremblay after first appearing in Love and Hydrogen: New and Selected Stories (Vintage).
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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