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This World is Full of Monsters

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An alien invasion comes to one man’s doorstep in the form of a story-creature, followed by death and rebirth in a transformed Earth. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied. An alien invasion comes to one man’s doorstep in the form of a story-creature, followed by death and rebirth in a transformed Earth. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


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An alien invasion comes to one man’s doorstep in the form of a story-creature, followed by death and rebirth in a transformed Earth. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied. An alien invasion comes to one man’s doorstep in the form of a story-creature, followed by death and rebirth in a transformed Earth. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

30 review for This World is Full of Monsters

  1. 5 out of 5

    karen

    But still the story-creature revealed Itself to me, until I understood that now It covered every surface, every space, and even though I thought I had been alone down in the basement among the rat-things and the other things I wanted very much to be rats and weren’t…I had not been alone. The story-creature had always been there, silent beside me, breathing beneath me, waiting for me to wake to its presence, to understand where I really was. But I would never understand. How could I? I had not un But still the story-creature revealed Itself to me, until I understood that now It covered every surface, every space, and even though I thought I had been alone down in the basement among the rat-things and the other things I wanted very much to be rats and weren’t…I had not been alone. The story-creature had always been there, silent beside me, breathing beneath me, waiting for me to wake to its presence, to understand where I really was. But I would never understand. How could I? I had not understood the story to begin with. i have no idea what i just read, and it made me feel a little dumb, yet i enjoyed it. review to come (?) read it for yourself here: https://www.tor.com/2017/11/08/this-w...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    The story that meant the end arrived late one night. A tiny story, covered in green fur or lichen, shaky on its legs. It fit in the palm of my hand. I stared at the story for a long time, trying to understand. The story had large eyes that could see in the dark, and sharp teeth. It purred, and the purr grew louder and louder: a beautiful flower bud opening and opening until I was filled up. I heard the thrush and pull of the darkness, grown so mighty inside my head. I grew weary. The story of a st The story that meant the end arrived late one night. A tiny story, covered in green fur or lichen, shaky on its legs. It fit in the palm of my hand. I stared at the story for a long time, trying to understand. The story had large eyes that could see in the dark, and sharp teeth. It purred, and the purr grew louder and louder: a beautiful flower bud opening and opening until I was filled up. I heard the thrush and pull of the darkness, grown so mighty inside my head. I grew weary. The story of a story’s creation in the unmistakable weird style of Vandermeer: beautiful, mesmerizing, lyrical and nightmarish at the same time. Simply brilliant! Same for the artwork. One the best on Tor.com. Here’s the link for it: https://www.tor.com/2017/11/08/this-w...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    I had not been alone. The story-creature had always been there, silent beside me, breathing beneath me, waiting for me to wake to its presence, to understand where I really was. But I would never understand. How could I? I had not understood the story to begin with. Read it free here: https://www.tor.com/2017/11/08/this-w... I had not been alone. The story-creature had always been there, silent beside me, breathing beneath me, waiting for me to wake to its presence, to understand where I really was. But I would never understand. How could I? I had not understood the story to begin with. Read it free here: https://www.tor.com/2017/11/08/this-w...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    Probably my least favorite of any work by VanderMeer I've read so far. I'm disappointed. The prose is gorgeous and poetic and I am sure that with a little digging a lot of metaphors and deep meanings could be unearth, but to be honest, I just don't feel inclined to try... This short story is the inner monologue of a human who gets attacked and taken over by some unknown entity that causes him to mutate and transform over and over again, as the world ends and his memories of his old life slowly fad Probably my least favorite of any work by VanderMeer I've read so far. I'm disappointed. The prose is gorgeous and poetic and I am sure that with a little digging a lot of metaphors and deep meanings could be unearth, but to be honest, I just don't feel inclined to try... This short story is the inner monologue of a human who gets attacked and taken over by some unknown entity that causes him to mutate and transform over and over again, as the world ends and his memories of his old life slowly fade. Some people have interpreted it as linked to the "Southern Reach" trilogy, which I finished a few weeks ago: personally, I don't see the connection at all. Well-written but kind of a bummer.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katie Gallagher

    Read this review and others on my blog! This week I returned once more to Tor to look at another piece of short fiction. I was especially intrigued to read a story by Jeff VanderMeer, since he’s actually been on my radar for a while as one of the editors of The Weird . Side note that his wife, Ann VanderMeer, also edited The Weird, as well as some of the other Tor stories I’ve read for Short Tuesday thus far, plus edited this story as well, which adds a whole different layer of interesting Read this review and others on my blog! This week I returned once more to Tor to look at another piece of short fiction. I was especially intrigued to read a story by Jeff VanderMeer, since he’s actually been on my radar for a while as one of the editors of The Weird . Side note that his wife, Ann VanderMeer, also edited The Weird, as well as some of the other Tor stories I’ve read for Short Tuesday thus far, plus edited this story as well, which adds a whole different layer of interesting. You can read the short story for free here… I’ll be honest—I’m a bit flummoxed by this story! It documents one man’s interactions with an alien force that has engulfed the Earth; the narrative focuses more on the MC’s discovery of the world and the realization of what is happening than on any kind of plot. The aliens are of the parasitic variety, rather than laser gun toting sort, and the focus throughout is on the natural progression of the parasite—what happens to Earth’s flora and fauna, as well as how the parasite (called the “story-creature”) physically and mentally manifests itself in the MC. And while I stood there in the shadows of the moonless night, beyond the street lamps, beyond the circling moths and with the nighthawks gliding silent overhead…while I stood there and pleaded, the story-creature sprouted out of the top of my skull in a riot of wildflowers, goldenrod, and coarse weeds. There are many instances throughout where it’s difficult to get a sense of what’s happening, which adds to the story in my opinion. With a kind of Lovecraftian flair, the MC is presented with beings and creatures that don’t really make sense, and all he can do is relay what’s happening as best he can based on his human capacities. At the same time he is uncovering truths about himself; contact with the alien parasite has changed him in irreparable, unexpected ways. I think this is the kind of story that really needs a few reads. The prose has such a driving momentum that you kind of can’t help reading onward, even as your brain is trying to parse what’s happening, so I felt like there was quite a lot I was missing. Even so, I like to think that there would be so many unknowns in the event of actual extraterrestrial contact that this story conveys that uncertain feeling exceedingly well. Who knows—maybe I’ll read through it again sometime and see how the story hits me a second time around.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

    Wonderfully strange Such a bizarre, wonderful story than requires more than one reading to fully appreciate the created worlds, beautiful language, and characters.

  7. 5 out of 5

    daisy

    CAWPILE rating: 5/10 STAR rating: ★★★ Read on Tor.com here. Me, reading this short story: Me, after reading this short story: REVIEW: There's a lot to unpack here, especially considering this story's length, but I'm not quite sure where to begin. The writing is beautiful, but that's to be expected because Jeff Vandermeer's writing is always beautiful. A lot of elements reminded me of the Southern Reach trilogy but it was also very different from those books. I finished it around an hour ago and I'm CAWPILE rating: 5/10 STAR rating: ★★★ Read on Tor.com here. Me, reading this short story: Me, after reading this short story: REVIEW: There's a lot to unpack here, especially considering this story's length, but I'm not quite sure where to begin. The writing is beautiful, but that's to be expected because Jeff Vandermeer's writing is always beautiful. A lot of elements reminded me of the Southern Reach trilogy but it was also very different from those books. I finished it around an hour ago and I'm still thinking about it; I'm probably going to be thinking about it for a very long while yet. I don't even know if I enjoyed reading this short story exactly, but it was definitely an Experience.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alec Lyons

    Beautiful and strange. The story of The Story weaves, twists and blooms within - and owing to - the beautiful fluidity of the flowering and haunting prose. An absolute stunning pallet cleanser, bursting with vibrancy of a harrowed world beyond humanity as we know it, but not bereft of it, serving as an ode to memory, new beginnings and reconciliation to profound loss in the face of utter alienation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Just a short story, but couldn't finish it. I just didn't appreciate the style of writing. Too odd for me. No star rating. Just a short story, but couldn't finish it. I just didn't appreciate the style of writing. Too odd for me. No star rating.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tim Pendry

    Jeff Vandermeer is quite definitely a writer of the weird. This is one of those cases where I admire the writer greatly while not being 'simpatico' with the underlying thought processes for Vandermeer is very much a child of his time, worrying about the anthropocene and the natural. This work (which I experienced alongside the equally remarkable 'Secret Life') positions, like 'Secret Life', the human in the context of the alien where the alien is the more natural force. Indeed, his alien worlds a Jeff Vandermeer is quite definitely a writer of the weird. This is one of those cases where I admire the writer greatly while not being 'simpatico' with the underlying thought processes for Vandermeer is very much a child of his time, worrying about the anthropocene and the natural. This work (which I experienced alongside the equally remarkable 'Secret Life') positions, like 'Secret Life', the human in the context of the alien where the alien is the more natural force. Indeed, his alien worlds are really expositions of the power of the natural to overcome the human. From this perspective, Vandermeer is not a trans-humanist writer (at least in these two stories) but rather a writer of the post-human where the displacement of humanity into the alien-natural is a consummation devoutly to be wished for - not at all my view since I don't like human self-hatred. One might compare this implicit negativity towards his own species - the despair perhaps of the intellectual in a world he no longer controls - with the very different and more overt conservative pessimism of Ligotti. One is a green, the other a nihilist. Sometimes I don't see the difference. These are two sides of the same despairing class - one sinking into the despond of the occult and meaningless and the other sidling into a green preference for anything living that is not human. Both seem to prefer the company of the alien. Having said that and prejudices aside, both stories are very finely written, taking enormous risks with narrative and the suspension of disbelief and managing to get away with it because the worlds being drawn have a coherence that pulls you in as the narrative unfolds. 'Secret Life' does not follow a simple narrative trajectory. The setting is an office block whose initial caricatured corporatism is brother to Ballard's High Rise and sister to Ligotti's corporate tales of sinister meaningless doings behind the doors of the offices of 'managers'. But it rapidly moves on from there into high weird fantasy as individuals come to terms with the appropriation of the human by the alien-natural, becoming integrated with nature in some cases as the corporate structure becomes the jungle. The influence of Ballard is clear enough. 'This World is Full of Monsters' takes another approach. Here the alien-natural is truly alien but is an alien invading the world of man through bending time and space in monstrous evolutionary adaptations of familiar biological forms. It is the unnatural natural. This novella has more in common with Lovecraft than with Ballard (though the influence is there) but the tone is still very different. There is none of Lovecraft's cold detachment. Vandermeer is engaged with his alien worlds and sympathetic to them. He wants to make them real for us. The narrator goes through terrors and horrors that are presented ultimately as a rebirth into something new and post-human, in tune with 'creation' (in pre-scientific parlance) or with 'nature' (if nature is taken to be all possible evolved forms). The writing in 'Secret Life' is simple and readable. In 'The World is Full of Monsters', it is more lush and allusive although the tale hooks you despite the jump starts from one state of being to another. And yet it is not over-literary though some will find it 'difficult'. The narrator is not the detached observer of H G Wells' 'War of the Worlds' (ironically doing precisely what he says the Martians have dispassionately done to us before the invasion) but an emotional being trying to cope with radical horrible changes that could be mistaken for madness. Jeff Vandermeer is a fine writer and I was happy to ignore what I consider to be the negativity of wanting 'nature', perhaps existence itself, to conquer and transform humanity. I prefer things to be the other way around but I know that is now unfashionable amongst depressed liberal intellectuals.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Skylar Phelps

    A striking example of modern weird fiction. Beautiful, elegant, spectacular and more than anything, strange. You’re either going to love it or hate it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Petry

    Damn I loved this. So much going on that I felt I understood on a deep and strange level that's hard to articulate. Certainly open to interpretation and probably not gonna be for everyone. Still, wow. Trying to makes sense of a world as it changes in grotesque and incomprehensible ways right under your feet. I know that feeling. Damn I loved this. So much going on that I felt I understood on a deep and strange level that's hard to articulate. Certainly open to interpretation and probably not gonna be for everyone. Still, wow. Trying to makes sense of a world as it changes in grotesque and incomprehensible ways right under your feet. I know that feeling.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lukasz

    This short story is available for free on Tor.com website. The story is written in poetic and a bit flowery way. VanderMeer imagination is awe-inspiring. On the other hand, there’s not much plot here and it’s a problem I had with Borne as well. While it was pleasant to read the story and try to imagine all the weird stuff, I can’t help but notice it feels a bit empty inside. Sure, deep allegories and hidden meaning can be found here if you try hard enough and want to find them. The same is truth This short story is available for free on Tor.com website. The story is written in poetic and a bit flowery way. VanderMeer imagination is awe-inspiring. On the other hand, there’s not much plot here and it’s a problem I had with Borne as well. While it was pleasant to read the story and try to imagine all the weird stuff, I can’t help but notice it feels a bit empty inside. Sure, deep allegories and hidden meaning can be found here if you try hard enough and want to find them. The same is truth for almost everything, though. I like reading VanderMeer but after finishing his texts I feel somewhat ambiguous about them. This one is short and free. Go, give it a try and see if it speaks to you.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Crawford

    3.5 Stars Bizarre, but I think I’m coming to really like Vandermeer’s style. This book is heavy on the metaphorical end, so be prepared. I think I understood the author’s message, so I’ll give you my best stab at it. If you’ve read it, we can compare notes. The book takes place in a world where humans who might be resistant to “change”, through a transformative power (hello Annihilation) that remains obscure, sleep beneath the ground for a hundred years and wake to find the world completely transf 3.5 Stars Bizarre, but I think I’m coming to really like Vandermeer’s style. This book is heavy on the metaphorical end, so be prepared. I think I understood the author’s message, so I’ll give you my best stab at it. If you’ve read it, we can compare notes. The book takes place in a world where humans who might be resistant to “change”, through a transformative power (hello Annihilation) that remains obscure, sleep beneath the ground for a hundred years and wake to find the world completely transformed. Everyone and everything have been absorbed seamlessly into nature, but not our familiar wildlife, an alien thing. Then our protagonist struggles with his desire for what was lost, and a resistance to change, before falling into the ocean as a one-eyed something, before he is slung by the ocean into space to terraform other planets. Humanity is part of nature, but we have risen to the place of nature’s keepers by virtue of our intelligence and the power we have to transform our world around us. This book seems to ask the question, what then is our place? We have effectively removed ourselves from this living, breathing thing (Mother Nature) and barely brush it when we pause to watch a beetle crawl or a bird fly. These things are marginal to us. Should they be? I enjoyed the surreal ride. I haven’t understood it as well as I could, but maybe future rereads will lend to that growing understanding.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This is exactly the type of weird, surreal story I've come to expect from Jeff VanderMeer. The writing was absolutely beautiful, the imagery was vivid and visceral, and the story was bizarre but intriguing. I listened to the audio version and the narration was excellent. It was a quick, strange listen and the narrator really brought the creatures to life. This is exactly the type of weird, surreal story I've come to expect from Jeff VanderMeer. The writing was absolutely beautiful, the imagery was vivid and visceral, and the story was bizarre but intriguing. I listened to the audio version and the narration was excellent. It was a quick, strange listen and the narrator really brought the creatures to life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Imagine if Ernest Hemingway wrote gothic lit. Now imagine he got possessed by the Mind Flayer from Stranger Things and wrote about his experiences. That’s what this story is. It started off really flowery and captivating and then quickly became confusing and hard to follow with all its obscure stream of consciousness ramblings. DNF at 72% [[note: reading update was supposed to be 25%, not page 25]]

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ane

    For sure an odd one, honestly I didn't care too much for it but I'm still willing to try this author's other works. For sure an odd one, honestly I didn't care too much for it but I'm still willing to try this author's other works.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    A writer finds a letter on his doorstep which is the beginning of an invasion by otherwordly creatures starting with a story-creature. Filled with evocative images and a very strong sense of surrealism and wonder. It is life and death and transformation and becoming and growing and all sorts of wonderful and terrifying things.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    Vandermeer's best work since Ambergris, or possibly ever; a fevered fugue of parasitism, transfiguration, memory, loss and solace. At times I understood it as a metaphor for the writer's life, or else for the slow corruption of our noosphere by processes we use without understanding, or maybe for heaven. More than any of them, I think it may be about that old standby, the cycle of life. But most of all, it's simply itself. If A Voyage to Arcturus gave less impression of being written in green bi Vandermeer's best work since Ambergris, or possibly ever; a fevered fugue of parasitism, transfiguration, memory, loss and solace. At times I understood it as a metaphor for the writer's life, or else for the slow corruption of our noosphere by processes we use without understanding, or maybe for heaven. More than any of them, I think it may be about that old standby, the cycle of life. But most of all, it's simply itself. If A Voyage to Arcturus gave less impression of being written in green biro, it would be this haunting and compelling. And on top of all that, it's free on Tor.com.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marco

    People on goodreads seems to like this story quite a lot... but it really did not work for me. I am not a big fan of oneiric stories with a very thin and hard to follow plot, where things happen almost at random. I had a similar reaction when I read Lovecraft's dreamland stories, where at least the plot is a little bit easier to see and follow. Some other readers saw deep allegories and hidden meaning in what was happening, but I failed to do so, and I had an hard time to get to the end of it. People on goodreads seems to like this story quite a lot... but it really did not work for me. I am not a big fan of oneiric stories with a very thin and hard to follow plot, where things happen almost at random. I had a similar reaction when I read Lovecraft's dreamland stories, where at least the plot is a little bit easier to see and follow. Some other readers saw deep allegories and hidden meaning in what was happening, but I failed to do so, and I had an hard time to get to the end of it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Utterly delightful, kind of gross (surreal body horror); essentially a "what happened during the Area X stories, not being coy about it." Works really well as a tie-in / explanation / revisiting the world. It also works on a standalone metaphorical level about the power of stories* philosophically interesting as well! good for thinking. *meaning the power of stories to eat your face and change (view spoiler)[or terraform (hide spoiler)] the world Utterly delightful, kind of gross (surreal body horror); essentially a "what happened during the Area X stories, not being coy about it." Works really well as a tie-in / explanation / revisiting the world. It also works on a standalone metaphorical level about the power of stories* philosophically interesting as well! good for thinking. *meaning the power of stories to eat your face and change (view spoiler)[or terraform (hide spoiler)] the world

  22. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Everything VanderMeer rights is a singularly beautiful and hallucinogenic experience. It feels less like reading and more like falling through books. This World is Full of Monsters is dark fable poetry in action.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Badseedgirl

    I don't get it. I don't understand it, and I'm not sure I liked it all that much. The visuals are stunning and I suppose if I just accepted this as a sort of stream of consciousness, Weird Fiction, picture book, it is a little easier to swallow. And I'm sorry, I get the feeling people give this kind of story a high rating because to admit they had no idea what the hell was going on is to admit they are not as smart, or well read, or a literate as other readers. I am 46 years old. Way to old to tr I don't get it. I don't understand it, and I'm not sure I liked it all that much. The visuals are stunning and I suppose if I just accepted this as a sort of stream of consciousness, Weird Fiction, picture book, it is a little easier to swallow. And I'm sorry, I get the feeling people give this kind of story a high rating because to admit they had no idea what the hell was going on is to admit they are not as smart, or well read, or a literate as other readers. I am 46 years old. Way to old to try and fool myself or anyone else. I did not get it. I did not like it. I think I'll try some of Mr. VanderMeer's steampunk instead.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Richter

    Jeff walks outside and adds stuff to his body. At least that is what I got from this extremely weird, short tale.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Can't settle on a rating for this. It started off well but ended up being a bit too vague and abstract for my liking. Maybe one day I'll finally give Annihilation a go... Can't settle on a rating for this. It started off well but ended up being a bit too vague and abstract for my liking. Maybe one day I'll finally give Annihilation a go...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie (aka WW)

    I’m not sure I understood much of this story, but I think I would be more worried if I had. As with his Area X trilogy, Jeff VanderMeer takes the reader on an adventure that is organic and abstract, but that ultimately celebrates life. I enjoyed it on some level, but it wasn’t an easy read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amit

    1. “But still the story-creature revealed Itself to me, until I understood that now It covered every surface, every space, and even though I thought I had been alone down in the basement among the rat-things and the other things I wanted very much to be rats and weren’t…I had not been alone. The story-creature had always been there, silent beside me, breathing beneath me, waiting for me to wake to its presence, to understand where I really was. But I would never understand. How could I? I had no 1. “But still the story-creature revealed Itself to me, until I understood that now It covered every surface, every space, and even though I thought I had been alone down in the basement among the rat-things and the other things I wanted very much to be rats and weren’t…I had not been alone. The story-creature had always been there, silent beside me, breathing beneath me, waiting for me to wake to its presence, to understand where I really was. But I would never understand. How could I? I had not understood the story to begin with.”... 2. “The memories had become a burden I did not want to suffer, for new memories, like thought bubbles, burst inside my head every night and I would dream and nightmare so vivid that I could barely call what I did sleep, in my thrashing and muttering and shaking. So that even though it seemed my skin absorbed some sort of nutrition from the heavy air or the weird sun, still I felt weary forever and horizons became a kind of torture, whether near or far.”... Strangest and Weirdest tale that I ever read in recent time. In speaking honestly I really don’t know what to make out with it still though I really enjoyed the read... It starts with a story that itself invaded a man who was a writer. Who loved to write. Anyway the story took hold of him. At first it (the story) capture in tiny space and then it grows gradually. I don’t know but the way the author wrote make me read it more... Still now while writing this review I just could make up my mind about what to write! Anyway the story became of his part, it took his body. At first he did know that what’s happening to him but he didn’t stop it and let it grow. The story consume his whole self. His mind, his brain everything. It was because of this ‘story’ that he finally find out later that he has a brother, has a family, wife and daughter. But they disappear while he was asleep for 100 years. Well there’s more incident to come after then. Where he felt guilty, but the ‘story’ didn’t give him a chance to re-emerge. In the end it take his life away... From me 5 out of 5...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andreia

    Wildly audacious. Not for everyone.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Max

    This short story messed me up. Seriously, I couldn't sleep last night. While I felt the post-humanism of the thing is presented as positive and even sublime, it filled me with a lot of dread. As with a lot of the trippy "New Weird" genre works, this story made my mind dwell on the questionable reliability of my own senses and consciousness, and how so much of my sense of self is part of a delicate, easily warped biological process. Where does my humanity start or end? How different is it if I sud This short story messed me up. Seriously, I couldn't sleep last night. While I felt the post-humanism of the thing is presented as positive and even sublime, it filled me with a lot of dread. As with a lot of the trippy "New Weird" genre works, this story made my mind dwell on the questionable reliability of my own senses and consciousness, and how so much of my sense of self is part of a delicate, easily warped biological process. Where does my humanity start or end? How different is it if I suddenly start seeing in different light spectrums? What if my memory was more perfect or less, or shared with another conscious entity? If my senses and lifespan expanded tenfold, and my body became that of a floral argonaut, how long does the Me I know last? While Vandermeer's prose is strong as ever the alienness of the earth that he creates is so challenging and strange that the reading of the story follows in kind. It was hard, and many parts of it did not bring me joy. It's not something you'll necessarily love reading in the moment, but holy cow will it stick with you.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Janelle Dazzlepants

    This is simultaneously the most nauseating and poetic thing I’ve ever bloody read. I can’t even begin to fathom how Jeff Vandermeer writes something like this (with loads of drugs, I’m assuming) because it’s so completely and utterly insane. It’s a story about monsters, but it’s so much more than that. You’ll feel stupid while you’re reading it, but you’ll take something away regardless - and I feel like that “something” will vary from reader to reader. For me, this was a story about the smallne This is simultaneously the most nauseating and poetic thing I’ve ever bloody read. I can’t even begin to fathom how Jeff Vandermeer writes something like this (with loads of drugs, I’m assuming) because it’s so completely and utterly insane. It’s a story about monsters, but it’s so much more than that. You’ll feel stupid while you’re reading it, but you’ll take something away regardless - and I feel like that “something” will vary from reader to reader. For me, this was a story about the smallness of humans, and the power, size, and tenacity of earth. The earth will reclaim itself after humans are done with it, and it will move away from the individualistic chatter of humans to a harmonious collective. There are also themes in here about acceptance, death, rebirth, and returning to the soil - or is it the galaxy? Like I said, you’ll feel stupid as hell but at the same time you’ll find something to connect with in this story. Just be sure not to eat while reading it.

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