Sunday, June 14, 2015

Book Review: Here Be Monsters!

Soggy boxes, laundry washing rats and the revival of an evil cheese industry are a few of the nonsensical things inside Alan Snow's massive novel Here Be Monsters! 

Snow has created a fanciful world full of monsters more at home on Sesame Street than truly scary creatures. Each kind has it's own quirks and personalities, but it takes teamwork among everyone to resolve the story's conflict. The line drawings sprinkled throughout the book help immensely, giving shape and scale to a jumbled up world.

The only objection I had was a couple uses of "God" as an exclamation. The antagonist Snatcher, also dresses up as a woman but it's all part of his evil scheme, more of a disguise than a statement on sexuality. The ladies of Ratbridge also seem inordinately preoccupied with their buttocks. But even that has a humorous, if slightly crude contribution to the story's resolution.

Despite covering more than 500 pages, the book reads quickly and easily. Chapters are short and the book was difficult to put down between them. I gave the book 4/5 stars on Goodreads. If you like Roald Dahl, then you will feel right at home with the Boxtrolls of Ratbridge. I preferred the book over the movie version.