I will admit that this is not the type of book I would normally pick up in the store. I have a tendency of judging books by their covers, which is in direct opposition to the old adage admonishing against such behaviour. It isn’t even that the cover of the book is bad, It’s a great cover, in fact, I’d probably thumb through it a little before I ended up buying something else, all the while wishing I had purchased this book. I have a habit of staying in the wonderfully expansive and quite perfectly adequate albeit stagnant pool of classic literature. I do it because there is no way I’ll ever be able to read every single book that ever came out by all the authors I’d wish to read, so I stay there not growing into the realm of new and interesting and wonderful new books.
This book stopped me from doing that. I picked up this book and read the entire thing in one sitting. I hadn’t done that since I read Nathan Englander’s the 27th Man. The book is a collection of short stories written by Teresa Milbrodt an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and English at Western State College of Colorado. The book centers around people who would have been relegated to freak shows in days past but now live their lives in an ordinary world with extraordinary bodies. The First story of the book centers around a woman who is trying to conceive a child; however, she also has a parasitic twin. You can check out the sample of the First Chapter on Amazon.com.
The stories are amazing. Each one is an everyday story about a problem that almost any of us can face, trying to conceive, debt, abusive partners and more all the while telling the stories of freaks, or characters from myths. The writing is concise, straight the point, and doesn’t put on any airs. Often, a problem of writers who have gone through Creative Writing Masters of Fine Arts programs have a problem writing real timeless stories. Milbrodt avoids most of those pitfalls and just writes a good story. I wasn’t particularly fond of all the stories and a few characters seemed not to act in accordance to their written personality but we all have faults. I give this story a 4 out of 5.
Disclosure: I received a promotional copy of this book from NetGalley.com. This has in no way influenced my review and my assessment is my fair and honest opinion. Additionally, some links may contain affiliate marketing links, however as stated previously, I am in no way unfairly biased by these claims and only endorse products (books, movies, and more) that I believe in.