Monsterland (North American Lake Monsters) by Nathan Ballingrud
Trade paperback format. Highly recommended. These short stories have a surprising individual impact, often exquisite, sometimes uniquely brutal. For those of you who have been wanting to read Ballingrud's excellent story collection, here it is hiding in plain sight with a new title.
Previously published as North American Lake Monsters. Monsterland is a new anthology TV series from Hulu based on Nathan Ballingrud’s striking, bleak, and luminous debut collection, starring Kaitlyn Dever, Kelly Marie Tran, Jonathan Tucker, and Taylor Schilling, and more.
Ballingrud’s Shirley Jackson Award winning collection of gothic and uncanny stories investigates the loneliest and darkest corners of contemporary American life. Ballingrud’s stories are love stories. They’re also monster stories. Sometimes the monsters collected here are vampires or werewolves. Sometimes they wear the faces of parents, lovers, brothers, ex-wives―or the faces we see in our mirrors.
The people in these stories, ex-cons, single parents, unemployed laborers, kids seduced by extremism, are stranded by life, driven to desperate acts by love and a longing for connection. Sometimes they’re ruined; sometimes redeemed. They are always recognizably, wonderfully, terrifyingly human, even at their most monstrous.