Read The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories by Michael Andreasen Online

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Bewitching and playful, with its feet only slightly tethered to the world we know, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover explores hope, love, and loss across a series of surreal landscapes and wild metamorphoses. Just because Jenny was born without a head doesn't mean she isn't still annoying to her older brother, and just because the Man of the Future's carefully planned extramaritBewitching and playful, with its feet only slightly tethered to the world we know, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover explores hope, love, and loss across a series of surreal landscapes and wild metamorphoses. Just because Jenny was born without a head doesn't mean she isn't still annoying to her older brother, and just because the Man of the Future's carefully planned extramarital affair ends in alien abduction and network fame doesn't mean he can't still pine for his absent wife. Romping through the fantastic with big-hearted ease, these stories cut to the core of what it means to navigate family, faith, and longing, whether in the form of a lovesick kraken slowly dragging a ship of sailors into the sea, a small town euthanizing its grandfathers in a time-honored ritual, or a third-grade field trip learning that time travel is even more wondrous--and more perilous--than they might imagine.Andreasen's stories are simultaneously daring and deeply familiar, unfolding in wildly inventive worlds that convey our common yearning for connection and understanding. With a captivating new voice from an incredible author, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover uses the supernatural and extraordinary to expose us at our most human....

Title : The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781101986615
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories Reviews

  • Hannah
    2018-12-27 13:43

    I was beyond excited about this: it sounded so very much up my alley. The biggest strength of this collection is Andreasen’s fascinating use of juxtaposition: pirates with smart phones, doubting saints, death as celebration. His premises are brilliant and his imagination flawless; however, there was something missing for me here. I cannot quite pinpoint what exactly my problem with this collection was. There is nothing wrong with it per se but it did not invoke any strong feelings in me whatsoever.As usual, there were stories that were stronger than others. I particularly enjoyed Rockabye, Rocketboy; a story about a boy about to explode. It’s quiet rumination on compassion and doing what is right really resonated with me. I also really happen to love short stories told from a collective we-perspective. I also adored The Saints in the Parlour: I found it funny and moving and just very clever. On the other end of the spectrum I thought The Man Of The Future fell flat. The main character was unsympathetic and felt slightly lazily constructed. The message of this story stayed muddled for me.Overall, the writing is solid, the premises intriguing. It just was not the slam-dunk I thougt it would be, quite far from it actually. I did include it in my 5-star prediction post and my list of most anticipated releases after all.I received an arc of this book curtesy of NetGalley and Head of Zeus in exchange for an honest review. You can find this review and other thoughts on books on my blog

  • Katy
    2019-01-15 08:28

    When it comes to short stories, I'm picky and hard to impress. A lot has to happen in only a few pages and so many things can go wrong. That being said, I loved this book. It was intelligent. It was original. It was funny and oh so weird. As long as it's done well, I love weird. Bring on the weird. Michael Andreasen manages to make even the most bizarre stories human and relatable, something that isn't easy to accomplish. In Jenny, there's the suffocation felt by Jenny's brother, who is stuck caring for his headless yet very alive sister. He is her eyes and ears and is even forced to chew her food for her. In The Sea Beast Takes a Lover, the crew of a ship is helpless to stop the slow sinking of their ship due to the amorous attentions of a sea monster. It sounds ridiculous, but the story is a little funny, very tense, and I found myself feeling the crew's inevitable defeat. Andreasen manages to say so much with so little and gives great depth to his characters in mere pages. There were a few stories towards the end that I didn't really care for, but that's to be expected. There's always one or two. Fortunately, the book begins with, IMO, its strongest stories. I found myself looking forward to each story ending just so another would begin. Altogether this book is imaginative and strange but wonderfully written. If you're a fan of short stories and love the bizarre, I absolutely recommend this book.*I received an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
    2019-01-11 09:49

    The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is a collection of slightly odd short stories which all share a similar vibe, however, not one I can just pinpoint like that. They are easy to read, quite imaginative and all of them pretty shattering by the end. I am not a huge fan of short stories (as they almost always involve incomprehensible levels of oddity), and maybe that's why I feel like I could have enjoyed this book more. But if you're a fan of short stories, you will probably like The Sea Beast Takes a Lover.Some Of The Stories Are BrilliantMy favorite is probably the one with the sea beast - the one that gave the book its name. Yes, it's literally a sea beast who decided to mate with a ship. And its love and care is currently sinking it. The story is refreshingly witty, colorful and lively, and the ending is simply perfect. Mermaids who like to read Bronte sisters and Asimov. An amorous sea monster. A drowning library. A cannibal admiral (it even rhymes!) And all of that humor in death. The ship is almost an allegory of our current political and economical system, the world nothing more than a sinking wreck, the deck hands eating scraps, the officers still eating good food, and the captain eating... the officers. "All sailors are Christians moonlighting as witch doctors." - had the rest of the stories been as strong as this one, I would have felt much differently about this collection!But Some Of The Other Stories...As it is typical with short stories, they are decidedly odd - as I've already mentioned. Some of them are odder than others. And I feel like this was most of the stories in this collection. Roughly around the middle I just stopped trying and gave up wrapping my mind around some of them. And that's alright - maybe they're just not for me. Hence the 3 stars!Other Books You Might LikeI have, however, read short story collections that I really liked. While they share the oddity, they also carry more significance, in my opinion. Things to do when You're Goth in the Country was truly refreshing, dark and just about weird enough to still be really cool. Meanwhile Rockets Versus Gravity was all interconnected and an absolute play on feels some of the time, and I truly enjoyed it. I thank The Penguin Group, Dutton Books and Apollo for giving me a copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion.Read Post on My Blog | My Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter

  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    2018-12-23 10:31

    3.5 stars Thank you to First to Read and Dutton Books for this ARC ~ to publish Feb 27, 2018.Crazy stories, out of this world, but surprisingly relative to many human emotions. From the death of our elderly - which was my favorite in this collection, reminiscent of Soylent Green - to learning to live with everyday change and the loss of our norms these stories were were told in a rich fantasy. From watching the world of plenty fall apart to riding the waves of a pirate ship this book will give you a wide invitation to your own individual interpretation. Just the book to break up your normal reading pattern and cleanse your pallet, opening up the imaginary sectors of your mind. A new voice in the science fiction world and definitely one to follow.

  • Jillian Doherty
    2019-01-02 06:23

    Wildly imaginative, oddly emotional, bizarrely wonderful, and truly fantastic and unforgettable stories. Other reps have been raving about this, their early reads speak to it's awesome quality too. It has a uniquely clever voice and prose - you don't know where the stories are going but since they feel familiar yet raw, you blindly accept them and feel the emotional human connection.

  • Storyheart
    2018-12-27 05:41

    Wow! What a fabulous, strange and beautiful imagination Michael Andreasen has! I so much enjoyed this collection of entertaining, surreal, humorous and yet oddly touching stories told in fresh, muscular prose. Highly recommended for lovers of the weird.Thank you to Edelweiss for this ARC.

  • Roman Clodia
    2019-01-12 11:40

    What a bravura performance from Andreasen! The stories here are all weirdly wonderful with an inventive energy which positively crackles off the page. Set in strange worlds where a girl can live without a head, where aliens want to understand what it means to be human, where things at the Time Travel Institute can go horribly wrong, and where a love-lorn tentacled sea-beast can desire a ship (while nymphomaniac mermaids hover hopefully with their eyes on the sailors), these stories combine a ferocious imagination with the ability to deliver an emotional kick to the gut. There's real feeling here, and that's what moves these tales on from being fine examples of craft and finish to having humanity and depth. As with any collection, some stories will speak to individual readers more than others (my least favourite were the two dealing with religious faith) but overall this is a fabulous introduction to an exciting writer - a little bit Angela Carter, but really Andreasen has a voice of his own. Thanks to Head of Zeus for an ARC via NetGalley.

  • Jessica
    2019-01-04 05:45

    2.5 stars. These are unique and well written short stories, just a little too off piste and bizarro for my personal tastes. Unsurprisingly there seems to be somewhat of a ‘sea’ theme in the stories I read, which I’m not all that into myself. Not exactly what I would call magical realism, I think I would class this collection as more surrealist that anything else. I never felt quite rooted enough in the worlds I was reading about, so I never really felt affected by any stories. Would try a novel by this author for sure though. Thank you to Netgalley and Head of Zeus for providing an ebook of this ahead of publication for an unedited opinion.

  • Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
    2019-01-05 12:49

    I received a free e-ARC through First to Read and NetGalley from the publishers at Penguin Random House/Dutton. I was really excited to read this, since Ray Bradbury and Karen Russell have fueled my love for weird short stories. The downside is that the competition is extremely steep.The Sea Beast Takes A Lover is a collection of short stories that are part science fiction, part literary fiction, and part something else entirely. In Andreasen’s worlds, a giant squid anchors a ship for weeks, desperate to be loved, a girl survives into adulthood without a head, and older generations are crated at the bottom of the sea.I seem to be in the minority of readers who didn’t enjoy this collection at all. I struggled through it, and not one of the stories really stood out to me. I’m having trouble pinpointing exactly what didn’t work for me overall, but it seems to be more specific failures in each story. The most common one is that many of them lack any sort of plot or closure. “The Sea Beast Takes a Lover”, “Jenny”, and “Andy, Lord of Ruin” are good examples of this. There are jarring (in a good way) juxtapositions: pirates with cell phones and archaic settings with modern slang. They provide interesting snapshots of things–a ship rendered immovable by a sea monster’s affection, a girl without a head, a boy who goes nuclear–but that’s all. They don’t go anywhere. Nothing happens. Make of it what you will.Not that things necessarily have to happen for a book to be good. A story can explore characters or ideas equally well, but there’s no strong sense of that here either. The characters are, by and large, the kind of self-serving and at times outright despicable cutouts that I’m weary of in adult fiction; it’s no wonder so many adults read YA, which is at least full of people I’d want to know. The narrator in “Our Fathers at Sea” blames his father for his illness, the little girl in “He Is the Rainstorm and the Sandstorm, Hallelujah, Hallelujah” actively thinks about killing a baby, and the brother in “Jenny” resents his headless sister for her helplessness. There’s little to no empathy or human connection to be found anywhere, and they’re not even horrible in interesting ways.The first story, “Our Fathers at Sea”, is probably the strongest narratively and emotionally. It at least has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and there’s no small amount of empathy in it–although that empathy comes strictly from the reader and not from the narrator. In part, it seems like a criticism of euthanasia, but I don’t think the story comes down hard on either side of the argument. If there is a message, I think it’s something to do with paying attention to issues like this and not looking away because they make us sad or uncomfortable. The rest of the collection is much less clear. I’m just not sure what I’m supposed to make of it, or of any of the situations presented here. If there’s a moral or a philosophy, it’s well beyond me.It’s mostly downhill from there, with the religiously inclined stories hitting the bottom of the barrel. “The Saints in the Parlor” reminds me of Chuck Palahniuk without the edginess or the insight that occasionally makes Chuck Palahniuk worth paying attention to. “Bodies in Space” is the kind of penis-centric literary fiction that I’d hoped we were moving away from and seems mostly an excuse to describe what boobs look like in zero gravity. (Honestly, if you need more than one paragraph to talk about boobs, I think you should reconsider what genre you’re writing in. Women do it and it’s romance, but if men do it, it’s called literary fiction.) The narrator spends most of the story bemoaning the fact that his wife left him after he cheated on her (and then, inconveniently, was abducted by aliens). He never once pauses to consider what that must have been like for her, and he’s equally disdainful of his mistress. The writing is a little preoccupied with its own cleverness, as if Andreasen had a thesaurus open for each story and picked the most archaic words he could find. I don’t think it’s intentionally pretentious, just an awkward cross between science fiction and literary fiction that ultimately doesn’t do either very well. Absent plot, character, philosophy, or human connection, the stories seem to rely solely on their ability to entertain–assuming readers are entertained by the same kinds of things Andreasen is. It’s not a bad thing for a story collection to do, but it’s a problem if you don’t find a single one of them enjoyable. There’s nothing else to save it.I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.

  • R A I N
    2019-01-06 11:26

    My interest in this book was limited to the title. I was intrigued. I JUST HAD TO READ IT BUT somewhere in my mind I had this feeling that I was going to be disappointed by what I encounter when I saw the email stating that my request for the book had been approved (on Netgalley), I felt giddy with excitement but there was also a hint of sadness – THAT IT’LL BE A BIG-ASS DISAPPOINTMENT.And let me tell you one thing –I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO FUCKING WRONG IN MY ENTIRE LIFE (except maybe once, when I was little and thought that if I dug deep enough, I’ll find lava ;p)The writing was surprisingly gripping. It flowed from word to word, sentence to sentence like a river released from a dam. I felt myself drawn into these stories in spite of myself. It was just as surreal and otherworldly as the title.The author has this rare quality of making the simplest actions seem poignant, It wasn’t done to the extreme though – WHICH I QUITE LIKED. I wonder if there are more like him who can write with such ease? Or at least make it seem like it?It’s amazing how the subtle, tricky emotions never leave the word. That’s the kind of narrative that actually leaves an impression on the reader – one soo faint YET effective. These stories will stay with me forever – even if just the essence of them. But I am NOT FORGETTING THE IMPACT – EVER!The Sea Beast Takes A Lover deals with loss in a remarkable way. Reading these stories felt like being on a ship in the middle of the ocean: a constant splatter of emotions – Always on the surface, but embedded deep into the words as well.Every little thought is presented in a way that i felt like I was right there, in the author’s mind. It felt so effortless. The narrator’s thoughts enters the reader’s mind with a jolt and the distance between him and the reader seems to vanish as soon as he starts speaking.Every story in this book was an odd mix of peace and restlessness and I could not avoid feeling either. There was such an easy originality to it, such that stares right into your face the whole time BUT is subtle in ways that you’ll miss if you do not pay a very close attention.An alien abduction (one of the stories – BODIES IN SPACE) wouldn’t have been this interesting if it wasn’t simultaneously linked to the regret and memory of a man ashamed of his choices. The most impressive quality is the author’s ability to weave important matters – emotions – with the seemingly lifeless ones – providing a freshness to each word and a magical charm to each sentence.As I moved from story to story, my mind was painted with such vivid images in my mind that I was left thoroughly shook. and I AM NOT KIDDING when I say that there aren’t many people who can do that with a literary quality. The details drawn around every little scene were marvelous and breathtaking.The Sea Beast Takes a Lover poses magnificent questions hidden under a cloak of simplicity. This book demands your entire attention BUT AT THE SAME TIME, draws you in ever so stealthily, like a mouse nudging at a piece of cheese and you won’t realize what held power over your attention until AFTER you’ve been thrown out of the MAGICAL (in the most subtle ways) ride. And then, you’ll just sit there, wondering if it really is over because your mind is still haunted by those stories and YOU LIKE IT THAT WAY. It leaves your head full of the remnants once you are done reading it but it gives you the liberty to put in your own thoughts as well –The beautiful union between the words on the pages and the thoughts in your mind will leave you in a gentle exhilaration.

  • Jo
    2019-01-19 12:48

    I don't think I've ever read a short story collection that I enjoyed this much, before. Even the one or two I didn't really like were still solidly written.If you're happy to accept short stories as snapshots, and don't expect any kind of explanation, AND you love weird speculative fiction, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of this when it's published next year.Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy.

  • Jenny Lee
    2018-12-31 10:27

    I received an eARC copy of this from Penguin First to Read. The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is a collection of very unique short stories. The stories topics seem to hint at all types of genres but tends to lean towards science fiction (in my opinion), as most of these stories are just..very out there. Some of the topics this book hits include elders being crated and lowered into the sea, alien abduction, rocket men, jealous children, un-saintly saints, and more. Each story kind of leaves you feeling a little lost and questioning what in the world you just read. The stories average around 15-20 pages a piece, and can be read in a single sitting. I would recommended this book to fans of Chuck Palahniuk , or anyone who enjoys the strange and unusual.

  • Pop Bop
    2019-01-05 05:31

    GorgeousThis is a wildly entertaining collection, open to enjoyment in whatever fashion suits you.Do you like to work for your metaphors? Is the local custom of sinking old men into the ocean in sealed containers, and the fanfare that accompanies the event, a metaphor for putting dad in an assisted living facility? Is alien abduction a stand in for a regrettable extra-marital affair? Does an amorous sea beast grasping and slowly sinking a sailing ship really represent an overly obsessive and tiresome lover? Is Andy really ready to explode, or is he going through puberty? Is a headless girl the ultimate special needs child? Can time travelers be more funnymen than Feynman? Darned if I know, but feel free to discuss the matter amongst yourselves.Or, do you like witty authors who subvert narrative form and toy with story telling conventions? Post-postmodern, with maybe an extra post in there. In each tale we play mix and match with tone, mood, and point of view. Word choices and dialogue drift from formal to archaic to colloquial in order to keep the reader off balance and tease out the artifice and craft behind the writing. It is anarchic and anachronistic, (in one story, literally). Are we being mocked as readers; is the author mocking other authors; is the author confessing his own doubts about his own choices? I don't know. I also don't care because it's all fun and it's all undergirded by a generous sense of humor. I'm glad Andreasen isn't an angry young man, because his angry stories would probably be singularly unnerving.Putting that aside, at the very minimum this is a rich buffet for the lover of elegant one-liners, deadpan throwaway observations, and the bracing or arresting description. His digressions and parentheticals, alone, make the book worthwhile. Andreasen seems to have mastered the tiny telling detail or comment or bit of business that brings everything in a story into sharp relief. If you are a highliter/underliner type, well, you're going to end up with a very marked up book.I like playful. I like elegant. I like an occasional emotional ambush. I like a daring and inventive craftsmen. I liked and admired this book. (Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  • Pamela
    2019-01-03 07:31

    The title story and several others (Our Fathers at Sea, and Rainstorm/Sandstorm, and Blunderbuss) totally captivated me. The others in this collection were all worthy and enchanting and funny. Andreasen's writings are surreal and capture the full gamut of the existence of being. From a lonely sea monster in heat to a time travel experiment which develops a leak. Enjoy a step into the fantastical.

  • Fleet Sparrow
    2019-01-04 13:49

    Every story here was original and fun. I'd say my favorite was Saints in the Parlor.

  • Kelly Lynn Thomas
    2019-01-01 10:33

    Read my full review of this book over on The Ploughshares Blog!The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is the debut short story collection from Michael Andreasen. Through a mix of absurdism, hyperbole, science fiction, history, and fantasy, the author draws a map of washed-up American dreams and fears. His stories chart the plains of abandonment, the futility of love, and vague hopes that never solidify. From the titular lonely sea monster to the King of Retired Amusements to time-traveling third graders, Andreasen’s characters explore this map of disappointment and hardship, learning again and again what we already know but are too afraid to speak aloud: Everything comes to an end. Everything.Read my full review of this book over on The Ploughshares Blog!

  • Feiroz Humayara
    2019-01-15 06:30

    First of all, I loved the writing. It did not seem like it was Andreasen’s debut book because his writing was eloquent, sophisticated. The stories were very detailed and judicious. I loved the first story, Our Fathers at Sea. The story played with our human emotions regarding family, aging, losing our loved ones. This story was beautiful and if I were to rate this one individually, it’d be 5/5. The second one was great as well. This and the last story of the book felt the most sci-fi among all of them. The last one about the perils of time travel was thought provoking, relevant to where our future is headed with overuse of technology. His stories often reminded me of a dystopian world where things appear normal with so many ominous things inconspicuous beneath the surface.Those being said, I had high hopes for the rest of the book. But most of them turned out to be inauspicious. None of the stories were bad or boring. They were all beautifully written as I’ve mentioned before but they made me feel slightly queasy and uncomfortable, which very well might be what the author intended all along. All of the stories got some point across by presenting an extremely f**ed up world. The fact that sexual predators do not care about who they are assaulting or that coming of age and developing urges is not limited to perfectly formed humans. He wrote about our innate tendency to impress and the same old human flaw of getting drunk on power." “Should we pray?” asks Saint Imperious Virgin.“He hears us, even here, even now,” says Saint Prophet to some, Apostate to Others.”This is probably my favorite quote from the book. Reading these two lines made me go wow. Another one of the stories in my opinion,was top notch. He explored family ties in an unorthodox way. His stories came together both from the angle of children growing up and also from parents raising their children.But while his writing presented modern proses and carefully constructed satire, I however did not appreciate his portrayal of women which sometimes seemed borderline misogynistic. I could not look past the fact that his female characters were mostly headless teenagers who can not go past a day without her brother’s help, or adulterers, care givers and whores. I felt like the characters were sacrificed and that the potential of a promising debut novel butchered. It was disappointing. It’s tricky to put one’s finger on it but once you take some time to think about it, it really is quite obvious even though his stories are carefully wrought.Thanks to Dutton Books, Penguin Randomhouse for sending me an ARC of this book for review.

  • Jordan
    2019-01-18 11:22

    I'm generally a fan of weird, but this collection of short stories was too weird for my taste. The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is a collection of stories on the far side of the usual. The stories may touch upon the usual or have familiar elements, but there's always something off. And by 'off,' I don't necessarily mean bad, just simply out of place, like cell phones on an old-timey ship. There's a Twilight Zone vibe to these stories, and my love for that show is what got me interested in this book in the first place.However, in reading, these stories are nothing like The Twilight Zone. The stories are mostly open ended, which can work well, but when combined with the lack of closure that I was feeling here, it just makes me frustrated. The stories mostly lacked a clear sense of purpose, which made it hard for me to really get into the story, and without being in the story enough to really appreciate the oddness, I typically just ended the story with a halfhearted 'meh.' Another reviewer said that these stories 'provide interesting snapshots of things,' and I think that's an apt description. The premise of the stories are interesting, and the sense of world building is well done, but I just didn't connect with any of the stories. Maybe they were too weird, maybe they were too depressing, maybe I just needed to read this around Halloween when I'm more in the mood for weird and incredible. Whatever the case, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover was not for me.*Thanks to Penguin's First to Read for the advance copy of this book.*

  • Elaine Aldred
    2019-01-10 05:40

    Having read this incredible collection I would love to take a wander round Michael Andreasen's mind…Or maybe not. In doing so I might run the risk of getting drawn into a vortex of wonders and nightmares which merge and separate in such an unimaginable number of alarming, bizarre and mesmerising combinations that I might eventually lose myself.This is speculative writing on an epic and intimate scale which places the prosaic with the downright outrageous side by side, yet never loses sight of the story and encouraging the reader to really think about the world around them; where they fit in it, as well as all the physical, psychological and moral issues they might have to contend with on a daily basis.For anyone considering writing in this field, this collection of short stories demonstrates what can be done by taking the everyday and the weird, then crafting them into something which is not only very entertaining, and engaging, but also shifts you through a range of emotions. Andreasen is also a master of luring you into a story, developing great depth to the characters, then keeping you in suspense as to where the narrative is going right to the very end.It is a collection which takes several readings before you gather up all the nuances, but at the same time you're likely to want a reread, just for the pleasure of it. Although I currently have an e-book review copy this is one I will want to have as a hardcopy for my shelves, so I can pull it off and refer to it.The Sea Beast Takes a Lover was courtesy of Apollo via NetGalley.

  • Vishaka Rajan
    2019-01-05 06:28

    This was a very interesting selection of stories but it just didn't do it for me.I think the problem I faced was that the stories didn't have enough of a plot to keep me going. The stories were all very interesting, blending science fiction with literary fiction and mixing up different time points. But the stories were just ... there. Nothing really happened. There was no catalyst, no change, no sense of a build up. The stories fell flat for me because they just seemed like descriptions of a different time and place, rather than any specific event that I could focus on.It was also hard for me to connect with the characters. There was no emotional connection with them, and they felt very two-dimensional. It made it hard for me to want to continue reading the stories when I couldn't care about what was happening for them.I think that this was a collection that was unique in its blend of literary and science fiction. However, the lack of plot in the stories combined with the lack of emotional connection with the characters meant that it fell short for me. I'm giving this a 2/5 stars.For more reviews, visit: www.veereading.wordpress.com

  • Sarah
    2019-01-12 07:25

    I was delighted to read this collection of surrealistic short stories. The tales vary in tone, character, and plot (a nuclear boy, a girl with no head, the title sea monster in love with a ship, and more), the one thing that every story has in common is a visceral sense of humanity. Those driving human forces--loss, lust, fear, greed, selfishness, etc--are so strong that they transcend the surreal trappings, and made each story feel unsettlingly relatable.This is not a book for everyone. I think you need to have a particular affinity for the strange, and a comfort with ambiguity to enjoy this. Several stories read like a small snapshot of something larger, so if you are a reader who needs a traditional and clear beginning, middle, and end to a story, you may be frustrated. I received an advanced digital copy of this book from Penguin's First to Read program, in exchange for an honest review.

  • Kristy
    2019-01-14 06:28

    I think this collection falls into a classic case of trying too hard. The writing is decent, each of the stories are pretty different and seamlessly blend the fantastical with the real world but for me they're missing that thing that grabs you and doesn't let go. Which is sad because some of the premises/plots seemed really cool and original when I was reading about them (especially the titular "The Sea Beast Takes a Lover") but in actually reading them I felt let down by each one. Each one felt like Andreasen was trying too hard to be clever or witty or innovative to really let the cleverness stand for itself. It's not that these short stories are bad; they're just not as good as I had hoped they would be. That said, if you enjoy the slightly darker/twisted side of magical realism you may like these stories more than I did. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free e-ARC in exchange for an unbiased review!

  • Liesl
    2019-01-12 10:22

    I used to avoid short story collections like the plague until I discovered a fondness for tales that are tinged with weirdness, especially those penned by Karen Russell. Judging from the description, I predicted that this book would be right up my alley, but ended up crushingly disappointed. Although a couple of the concepts here are intriguing, most of the stories have no defined structure and abruptly start and end with no real point. Many of the tales also drag on far too long, which made finishing feel like a slog. The title is far and away the best part of this collection.Thanks to the First to Read program for providing me with an ARC of this title.

  • Angela
    2019-01-18 05:23

    2.5. I really wanted to love this debut novel, I was expecting something along the lines of Ben Loory, and while I didn't hate it, it just wasn't my particular cup of tea. The writing itself is imaginative and talented, the stories themselves just came off as a little too weird for me. There were a couple good ones, especially the last - Blunderbuss, but overall they were too disjointed and off the wall for me to get really invested in them.

  • Joan Happel
    2018-12-31 07:47

    4 stars Thank you to Dutton Books for this ARC ~ to publish Feb 27, 2018.Michael Andreasen has written a book of 11 short stories that deal with real-world subjects by a combination of fantasy, adventure and fairy tales. His stories are thought provoking, provocative, quirky and sometimes jarring. Each story was unique, yet they seemed to be tied together by Mr. Andreasen's strong sense of place, his vivid characters and his ability to push the literary boundaries.

  • CJ
    2019-01-01 11:30

    An interesting and surreal collection of short stories. They definitely keep the readers attention, but most of them had sudden abrupt endings. There was no closure on the story - it made it feel like it was an intro or teaser to another bigger story. If it was, I would definitely read them, but at the moment am left feeling a bit unsatisfied.Thank you to Netgallery for an ARC

  • Kirby
    2019-01-05 07:25

    I LOVE the title and the cover of this book. The stories were interesting in the way modern technology meets romantic and Gothic settings. Based on the cover, I was expecting the stories to be a little more fantasy than sci-fi, but that's what I get for judging a book by its cover. Original stories that are great to pick up and put down intermittently.

  • Kerry Pickens
    2018-12-20 09:47

    This was a disappointing book that I received as an ARC to review. There is one story with the same title as the book, which is an interesting title and half way interesting story. It reminds me a bit of Lovecraft, but not in a good way. The rest of the stories are not worth reading.

  • Zoe Elizabeth
    2018-12-27 11:40

    I really loved about half of these stories, and couldn't care about the other half. The stories are haunting, creepy, and will linger in your mind. But some of them are not quite cohesive enough to follow. Thanks to Penguin for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Angel Hench
    2018-12-20 06:28

    Completely enjoyable and magical collection of short stories, from a stalled sea voyage to a time-traveling device with a leak. Crazy little snippets of life that are impossible, but which Michael Andreasen makes seem plausible. I will be seeking out more to read from this author; you should, too.