Dear Creature

Jonathan Case, Author
Jonathan Case. Tor, $15.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3111-3
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-4299-9587-0
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This exuberantly weird comic novel succeeds in fusing ’50s monster movies and the works of William Shakespeare. Grue, the atomic-mutant protagonist, has the body of the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the face of a Smiley button. He and his little crab buddies live by the beach, where they feed on hormone-saturated teenagers until the discovery of pages from the Bard’s work, sealed in floating cola bottles, awakens Grue’s dreams of poetic romance along with a knack for speaking in iambic pentameter. The woman willing to play Juliet to his Romeo is a middle-aged agoraphobe whose nephew is accused of murdering the missing teenagers. Case’s b&w art sometimes stretches reality for humorous effect, but keeps even the strangest scenes from feeling merely grotesque. The script also generates a surprising amount of pathos for the lovers’ doomed passion. Startlingly assured for a debut effort, the book is like Grue himself—unclassifiable but oddly charming. (Oct.)
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