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The Monster and Other Stories by Stephen…
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The Monster and Other Stories

by Stephen Crane

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Whenever I need to feed illiterate, I read stories from the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. I'd like to think that earlier writers just really liked their thesauri, or maybe in the past people just really liked those Improve Your Vocabulary quizzes, but still, my goodness are there a lot of words I don't know.

The Monster and Other Stories, fitting into that last nineteenth/early twentieth century category has words I don't know. It has the word dude used in a non-surfer way. It has some insidious racism that was probably actually considered as progressive non-racist at the time. It has three stories, one of which I completely forgot after reading it (The Blue Hotel) and I had to open up my kobo last night because I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was. It's a somewhat odd choice for the sandwich filling of this trio of stories. The first (The Monster) and the last (His New Mittens) are set in the same town, are about family, are about children and adults and family and expectations, while The Blue Hotel is all men, all adults, in a hotel out on the plain (Nebraska I think. I suppose I could look it up.). All three stories are like whirlpools though, or tornadoes, or something that spins and spins: we start in close and expand out, more and more people entering the narrative, then spiral back in. It's the natural way that Crane does this, this spiraling, that makes these stories. The initial and final simplicity of them is deceptive; there is a lot happening in each one (even the one I forgot).

But it is a bit dated. And it's very American in that way that it can't seem to envisage anything but what's important here being important. And it took me forever to read the eighty-six pages. But then I got to say Mineola a bunch of times though, since that's where Dover, the publisher, is located. Mineola. Min-eeeeeeeeeeeeeee-ola. Mini-OH-la. It seems like the name of a place where a Stephen Crane story should be located.

I will try to steal Stephen Crane's spiraling out for my own stories. A good piece of writing to help me improve my own.

The Monster and Other Stories by Stephen Crane went on sale February 18, 2015.

I received a copy free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  reluctantm | Aug 17, 2015 |
I received a free kindle copy of The Monster and Other Stories by Stephen Crane, published by Dover Publishing from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

I gave this book of stories five stars. It's a classic. The Monster is the primary story & has dated language & social mores, but still stands the test of time. For a dose of mild horror, I recommend it. ( )
  carolyninjoy | Jun 17, 2015 |
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The story is set in the small, fictional town of Whilomville, New York. An African-American coachman named Henry Johnson, who is employed by the town's physician, Dr. Trescott, becomes horribly disfigured after he saves Trescott's son from a fire. When Henry is branded a monster by the town's residents, Trescott vows to shelter and care for him, resulting in his family's exclusion from the community.… (more)

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