Review: “Monster” by Kelly Link

2 of 5 stars.

The classic campfire boogeyman story takes on a literal sense as teenaged boys at summer camp share monster stories while earning their overnight badge in the rain-soaked muck an hour’s hike from the cabins. The campers and their cabin leader are colorful and believable hitting all the right eerie points.

The cabin leader wanders off on his cellphone leaving the boys with a too-wet firepit and their tales. Then despite being summer it starts to snow. And a monster from their tales arrives. . .

It’s always unfortunate to have a great tale undermine itself. In this case, after a strong and eerie set-up, the monster-horror show is played for laughs. Blood, gore and laughs. And it’s not funny. The monster is too topical, and nearly hipsterish for a monster. This mockery of a tale also undermines the good it was doing in representing bullying in its subtle manipulations.

This tale appears in Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters edited by John Langan and Paul Tremblay after originally appearing in Noisy Outlaws. I’ve previously read this author’s “I Can See Right Through You”.
[Check out my other reviews here.]

One response to “Review: “Monster” by Kelly Link

  1. Pingback: Short Story Review: “Secret Identity” by Kelly Link | Jaffalogue

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