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North American Lake Monsters: Stories By Nathan Ballingrud,

  • Title: North American Lake Monsters: Stories
  • Author: Nathan Ballingrud
  • ISBN: 9781618730602
  • Page: 247
  • Format: Paperback
  • Nathan Ballingrud s Shirley Jackson Award winning debut collection is a shattering and luminous experience not to be missed by those who love to explore the darker parts of the human psyche Monsters, real and imagined, external and internal, are the subject They are us and we are them and Ballingrud s intense focus makes these stories incredibly intense and irresistible.Nathan Ballingrud s Shirley Jackson Award winning debut collection is a shattering and luminous experience not to be missed by those who love to explore the darker parts of the human psyche Monsters, real and imagined, external and internal, are the subject They are us and we are them and Ballingrud s intense focus makes these stories incredibly intense and irresistible.These are love stories And also monster stories Sometimes these are monsters in their traditional guises, sometimes they wear the faces of parents, lovers, or ourselves The often working class people in these stories are driven to extremes by love Sometimes, they are ruined sometimes redeemed All are faced with the loneliest corners of themselves and strive to find an escape.Nathan Ballingrud was born in Massachusetts but has spent most of his life in the South He worked as a bartender in New Orleans and New York City and a cook on offshore oil rigs His story The Monsters of Heaven won the inaugural Shirley Jackson Award He lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with his daughter.
    North American Lake Monsters Stories Nathan Ballingrud s Shirley Jackson Award winning debut collection is a shattering and luminous experience not to be missed by those who love to explore the darker parts of the human psyche Monsters

    One thought on “North American Lake Monsters: Stories”

    1. This short story collection is very good if you go in with properly set expectations At least for me, that is But I didn t know what to expect, either, so I kinda winged it until I got the main feels down.Such as Atmosphere This book does atmosphere all kinds of wonderful I ve got the redneck feel I ve got the desolation of New Orleans I ve got the howling wind, the drenched autumn air, the nameless feel of dread in the American South It s fantastic I feel the pressure.Nuance All of the characte [...]

    2. A bleak and uncompromising examination of 21st century masculinity through lenses of dark fantasy, noir, and horror Ballingrud is an important figure in North American letters He deserves a much wider readership.

    3. 4.5 stars A most excellent collection I joined in the group read of this collection with the Literary Horror group over at I have always enjoyed reading a book with other people Sometimes it enlightens me to aspects of the story I may have missed Other times, it helps me to the view the story in a different light altogether.In any case, this collection was superb I was initially drawn to it due to Laird Barron s rave review I won t go through each story separately, but these are the ones that I [...]

    4. I was thinking long and hard about whether to give this 2 or 3 stars I m aware I m in the absolute minority since most reviewers are absolutely in love with this short story collection But no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn t see what was supposedly so special about these stories I m not even questioning if the voices were authentic However, there was no actual horror, I wasn t even grossed out as I apparently was supposed to sometimes The stories are full of awful creatures, sometimes wi [...]

    5. I try to read a short story every day, so I burn through a lot of collections each year This one was special I really looked forward to picking it up each morning because I never knew what to expect Would it be a tale about the aftermath of a werewolf attack A fugitive vampire being harbored by a vengeful teen And, incidentally, probably THE BEST DAMNED VAMPIRE STORY I VE EVER READ A suicidal wife whose husband will not let her die Vile white supremacists flexing their muscles An Arctic expediti [...]

    6. I m surprised of my friends have not read these stories, but perhaps I am aware of the author because he is somewhat local to me I bought this book after hearing him read a disturbing, terrifying excerpt of one of them a few years back but never went back to it I finally did and was not disappointed If you like horror with twinges of the fantastical in the midst of mundane life, these are the stories for you This book won the 2013 Shirley Jackson Award for a single author collection You Go Whe [...]

    7. This is my firs encounter with reading Mr Ballingud s work Yes, the book contains monsters, of all kinds It s really not easy to describe these stories other than amazingly well written and compulsive reading These stories are GRIM hurtful and harmful They reflect the pain that we as people inflict on ourselves and at times on those around us And they stick with you, you find yourself pondering the impact that they have on you, days later All together a masterful collection Be warned, happy endi [...]

    8. Nathan Ballingrud s debut collection is just flat out great At the most cursory glance, many of the tropes of horror are represented Sunbleached is one of the few vampire stories that has left me frightened and completely unnerved with Kaaron Warren s All You Can Do Is Breathe being another His devastating novella The Good Husband features what could be described as a kept zombie Werewolves tear through the opening pages of Wild Acre, a story that I ve read and re read, and will read again A gia [...]

    9. The exceptional quality of the writing aside, what most impressed me about this collection was how the uncanny and the supernatural were used to augment stories that a chronicler of everyday tragedy and misfortune, like William Gay for example, often wrote about At times I felt like I was reading a new approach to horror fiction, and that s a very refreshing prickle to feel across my scalp There s a fantastic idea at the heart of every story too.I think my favourite story is the one that is endu [...]

    10. Holy mother of god This collection is brilliant Lyrical and emotionally powerful, North American Lake Monsters is a must read for all fans of speculative fiction Full review to come.

    11. In writing stories that are firmly entrenched in the horror genre, the temptation is always to dance around the human element for a bit before rushing headlong into the supernatural Glancing at the homo sapiens just long enough to fulfill some literary obligation before full on ogling the monsters It s easy to get caught up in such obvious Big H Horror signposts, as those fantastical elements are what drew most of us to the genre to begin with But that sort of too much of a good thing is what ca [...]

    12. North American Lake Monsters is Nathan Ballingrud s first collection of fiction, and hopefully the first of many to come.A good horror story stays with you long after reading it A great horror story doesn t simply stay with you, it haunts you, and Nathan Ballingrud s fiction does just that He breathes life into rough, blue collar characters and places them in some of the best dark fiction being written today Every single story in this collection is an emotional gut punch The despair that satura [...]

    13. Hmm.Another collection of well written short stories by a relatively unknown horror author Sadly, none of them are really actually scary in the way I hope for from horror, they re scary in that they pit the protagonist against something with which they cannot cope and then track their descent into nothingness and ennui Often the stories just stop, rather than end as well, which is rather jarring.It all feels rather mundane for the large part Spooky ish quasi supernatural things will happen but i [...]

    14. Nathan Ballingrud s first collection gathers eight stories previously published in magazines and themed anthologies easy to have missed plus one original The Good Husband North American Lake Monsters is not a physically demanding book slim, spare and elegant in appearance, not heavy to the heft but here appearances are deceptive Because it is a truly impressive book, one to which attention should be paid The stories carry so lightly a weight of hinterland and incident, of emotional power and imp [...]

    15. 2.5 stars overall.4.5 stars for The Good Husband Two stars for everything else Most of the stories in this collection felt like the same idea, done over and over again with different horror supernatural elements plugged in.

    16. Somewhere on Nathan Ballingrud s computer there must exist a template into which he plugs a handful of variables and the occasional clunky metaphor to create a story It s probably some thing like this insert sad sack human here and possibly a second slightly less sad sack human here , beset by mundane tragedy , who suddenly has an encounter with insert unexplained supernatural phenomenon here , which is the catalyst for either a cathartic experience or further descent into darkness The moral peo [...]

    17. I don t think I can praise this collection of stories enough Ballingrud s NALM blew me away from its dark beginnings with, You Go Where It Takes You, to, The Good Husband, the bizarre and crushing finale, NALM is filled with incredible stories I met Ballingrud very briefly at Readercon before he had to run off to the Shirley Jackson Awards ceremony the novelette, Wild Acre included in NALM was nominated and I wish I d had time and already read the book to discuss some of the stories with him My [...]

    18. One of the best collections I ve read in years Beautifully crafted fiction, stories that ll really affect you and keep you thinking long after you ve finished the book.

    19. Bought this off the Google Play store on a whim after first seeing it on a Book Riot article And I think that cover and the title also did me in.I do admit it wasn t exactly what I thought it would be I kinda expected to be scared silly But it s not that type of horror I guess More of a feeling of dread but not dread That cold chill down your spine like you ve forgotten something horribly important dread Not heavy exactly Or rather not heavy in the sense that the stories read like slice of life [...]

    20. It reminded me of a cross between Close Range and Books of Blood, but I liked both of those better I listened to most of these stories on Halloween looking for a binge of holiday scares, so I had a agenda I might have liked this book better if I d gone in with no expectations It was dark and gritty magical realism than anything else I thought his description and use of metaphor were strong points I would have liked suspense My big gripe is how similar the stories felt Different stuff happens i [...]

    21. Nathan Ballingrud s first collection, North American Lake Monsters, is a slim, mediative volume of dark fiction.I first became aware of Ballingrud s fiction in a piece entitled You Go Where It Takes You, the story of a single mother dealing with the difficulty of direction and success in life and job, and the man she meets, while on shift in a diner I always remembered it for its pathos, its elegance, its very wise understanding on the people within it, and the understated, very real horror that [...]

    22. Plain and simple, if this collection doesn t win the Shirley Jackson Award or the World Fantasy Award for 2013, there really is no f ing justice in the world.I hung on every word in this collection I was enthralled by every story, something I haven t felt since reading M Rickert s Map of Dreams Ballingrud takes some rather standard horror tropes and gives the readers palpable and disturbing reasons to fear them In a lot of stories, the horror speculative element serves as a possible pathway tha [...]

    23. This is a fantastic collection of weird horror fiction short stories.Each story contains a small supernatural element, but for the most part, it s the normal everyday occurrences in the character s lives that are the most disturbing Everyone in the collection is in a desperate situation, and it s a mix of real life human tragedy with just a touch of horror that works so well Most of the stories offer no real resolution, but are left to the reader s interpretation, so don t expect any tidy ending [...]

    24. Horrific but humane The instant parallels Clive Barker and Annie Proulx The terror comes after Ballingrud has hooked you onto the fates of his characters, so that you feel pity for them all the way There s is still, however, a catharsis at the end of each story, though the sheer grit of the setting and characters Ballingrud largely focuses on a marginalised, neglected American underclass will leave you wanting to take a shower after each story But it s telling that empathy is eked out of even th [...]

    25. I read the title story to this collection online and dismissed it for trying too hard on the gruff masculine bullshit I ended up going back to it because I had a lot of reading time and no internet access and it was one of the only things on my Kindle I m very glad I did It turns out Ballingrud is an exceptional writer and these stories make good on the promise of some other stuff I ve been disappointed with lately In particular, it delivers on the hard edged working class masculinity of Laird B [...]

    26. Powerful, heart wrenching collection of weird tales that focus on loss and grief as much as on horror Ballingrud has an exceptional feel for working class and marginalized people and the challenges they face just to get by under normal circumstances There are no sparkly vampires here or hipster werewolves clad in designer leather no shining penthouse apartments or luxurious underground kingdoms staffed by loyal vassals Even the most privileged characters in these stories have to deal with jobs a [...]

    27. Either the best collection of short stories I ve read or very close I like everything about this book which is especially interesting considering it s not the kind of stuff I usually like The stories are a blend of realism somewhere in the tradition of the well made story, even writers like Carver and horror, which is often but not always supernatural What I appreciate especially is how every story is deeply different, but maintains the muscular, lyrical prose and astounding sense of character a [...]

    28. 5 5 for You Go Where It Takes You Perfect magic realism the supernatural element isn t the whole story It gives the characters something to react to and think about, but it s just a moment in Toni s life Who she is, and what she does next, makes this story devastating Ballingrud slices the covering off of the secret dreams of single parents He exposes the way that other people fail to understand the desperation which is never quite soothed by the occasional cute curls, sleeping babies, crayon dr [...]

    29. Really liked these, a lot, a lot The first story, about a single mom who meets a man with something scary in the trunk of his stolen car, is HECTIC The title story, about a recently released convict vacationing with his family felt like it was going to be a little too on the nose but then it ended up in such a lovely place, it was one of my favorites Other favorites The Way Station, about a homeless Katrina survivor who still literally carries his city around inside him, and The Good Husband, ab [...]

    30. At 73%, I m giving up There was perhaps half of two stories that were good in this collection, but the extreme mediocrity of the rest just annoyed me so much I can t give it any than one star This was not at all what I expected There s nothing eerie, creepy or frightening here Just weird stories that miss the mark EDIT went back read the last story after reading some reviews It s the only actually good one

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