Review: “Not From Around Here” by David J. Schow

2 of 5 stars.

Man vs. Nature plays out in this common set-up: a man moves his wife and daughter out of the bustling city [San Francisco] to enjoy a more peaceful rural life. They even get a dog. However, nature is not the idyll he imagined when a monster descends from the mountains. The tale even includes the cryptic grumpy rural neighbor that all but threatens the man to leave his new rural abode.

Animals and then humans are hurt and killed in the telling of this tale, sparing no punches. A particularly nice scene has the man remember an incident from his early teens in which he was accosted by a bully and then rallied.

More inexplicable are the grumpy neighbor’s motivations for staying cryptic and fatalistically resigned. Also, the overt eroticism of the monster attacks closes in on an engendered allegorical meaning without ever reaching it. Otherwise, the amount of time describing erections and ejaculations amid a monster attack unnecessarily verges on violence porn.

This tale appears in Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters edited by John Langan and Paul Tremblay after originally appearing in Seeing Red. I’ve previously read this author’s “Jerry’s Kids Meet Wormboy”.
 
 
 
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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