Irregular Creatures - Chuck Wendig

Genre: Short Stories, Fantasy, Horror
Synopsis:  Contained within are nine stories featuring bizarre beasties, mythological mutants, and overall “irregular creatures” – including flying cats, mermaids, Bigfoot, giant chickens, and mystic hobo hermaphrodites. Horror, fantasy, science-fiction and humor abound in these nine stories.


Review: I ususally struggle somewhat with reviewing a collection of short stories, as there may be one I absolutely loved surrounded by several I really disliked. Do I then give the collection 3 stars, underselling the great story while perhaps giving the lesser ones more credit than I feel they deserve? Fortunately, this whole book was solidly three stars in the best way. Sure, if the whole thing had been five or four stars, that would have been great. But this collection of tales is (mostly) fairly light reading with a good sense of humor woven throughout. While it's nothing outstanding, it was a book I was happy to pick up and read the next story.

My favourites were probably Lethe And Mnemosyne, Dog-Man and Cat-Bird, Product Placement, and This Guy. Two of these (Lethe, and This Guy) were exceptionally short with zero explanation, but they were just so random that I actually got a good laugh out of them. I can't summarise them because so little happens that I would be spoiling the stories. Dog-Man and Cat-Bird is also random (okay, the whole book is pretty random), but it is quite a bit longer and as the first story in the book, it is responsible for setting reader expectations. With a winged-cat defending a family from other, evil winged cats, it left me expecting and unquestioning amusingly-written weirdness, which is pretty much what I got. Product Placement is one of the few that has an explanation, but it isn't any less odd - a man wakes up one day to find all of the familiar brands of the world have ceased to exist, and have been replaced by ones everyone around him seems to be familiar with. He is the only one that has noticed something odd is happening to reality.

The remainder of the stories I wasn't really pushed on - there were bits I liked and bits I didn't, but they were all easy to read. All in all, a good fun collection.

Rating: 3/5 

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