The Monstrumologist

by Rick Yancey | Horror |
ISBN: 1416984488 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 9/25/2010
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, September 25, 2010
I found this fair-condition hardcover at a local secondhand store and thought it looked intriguing: a set of "found" journals contain the account of a professional monster-hunter and his young assistant in the late 1800's.

Later: I really enjoyed this book! It presumes that some varieties of mythological monsters really do exist and are studied by a small group of scientists who call themselves monstrumologists. [They deal in creatures that, however fantastical they may appear or behave, are still natural creatures; Dr. Warthrop, young Will's employer, is especially disdainful of attempts to discover supernatural beings such as vampires. Though some books, such as Scott Westerfeld's Peeps, present a natural-history, non-supernatural version of vampires that even Warthrop might believe in!] The story is told by young Will, who, having lost his parents in a singularly awful accident, has taken his father's place as assistant to Warthrop, who tends to treat him like a machine when he isn't ignoring him. (He's not deliberately cruel, just so focused on his work that he doesn't seem capable of normal human interaction; we learn a bit more about his background during the course of this and the following book.) Will doesn't like him - in fact, in his journals he goes to great lengths to repeat that he does NOT love the doctor - yet he seems bound to him, and is unwilling to leave him even to be given a home and schooling more suitable to his age.

This story opens with the presentation of a bizarre corpse to the doctor in the middle of the night - a graverobber has found something so weird that even he can't set it aside. It turns out to be a monstrous creature with gaping jaws in the middle of its torso, a legendary species that came from Africa - so how, asks Warthrop, did this one wind up devouring a body in a New England graveyard?

The answer to that question will lead Warthrop and Will on journeys to scenes of carnage and to halls of despair, and will reveal some very dark secrets indeed. And the cost in lives will be considerable...

I enjoyed the difficult relationship between Will and the doctor, the lovingly-described details of the doctor's investigations, the description of a legendary being as a living creature with its own behaviors and habitats - it almost made me believe such things could exist {wry grin}, the detective work necessary to track down the creatures, and the tactical maneuvers needed to try to contain them before they killed again. The supporting characters included several interesting ones (though it doesn't do to get too attached to anyone but the main characters, as you never know how long they'll survive). And there's a guest appearance by a dashing, disturbing fellow who might just have had an infamous career in Whitechapel, London, a few years later...

Creepy and terrifying, fascinating, darkly humorous, sometimes touching - I want to read more about Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop.

[There's a TV Tropes page for the series, rather brief so far but it may be of interest. And I enjoyed the unabridged-audio version of the book, narrated by Steven Boyer. Oh, and the author has a web site here.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, August 26, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (8/26/2011 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This book's going into the re-started Medicine Chest bookbox (see the forum thread here); next stop, azuki in Florida. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Thursday, January 05, 2012
Oops - I listed this as one of the books I took out of JudySlump612's Medicine Chest Bookbox II, but I forgot to actually journal it.

Now that the box has already(!) arrived at its next destination I've figured it out and am belatedly getting these books onto my bookshelf.

Thanks for including this in the box - this one sounds like fun! I already know I like the way it's illustrated...

Journal Entry 4 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Ooh, here there be monsters, and all manner of repulsive things, not all of them inhuman. I got through this pretty quickly once I (finally) got started: the story sucked me in.

Snap to, Will Henry, we want to know the rest of your story...!
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Hm...Domo-kun has eyes, but otherwise, he's got the right body structure. Wonder who thought him up?!

Journal Entry 5 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Released 6 yrs ago (9/29/2014 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Headed out as a wishlist tag.

I'm so glad you've found this book! t's now yours, for you to do with as you please: keep it, pass it to a friend, or maybe even leave it where someone else can find it!

BookCrossing: making the whole world a library!

Journal Entry 6 by wingHI77wing at Fort Myers, Florida USA on Friday, October 03, 2014
When the cement mixer of life

finally stops turning,
what's stuck together;

stays that way.

Journal Entry 7 by wingHI77wing at Fort Myers, Florida USA on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Released 5 yrs ago (8/25/2015 UTC) at Fort Myers, Florida USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Well! I haven't read this one yet, but by some weird twist, I wound up getting another copy of this set. So I didn't want to hold onto these and let them collect dust.

Of course, it's only too easy to find someone who wants to read it. So off they go! ;)

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