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Little Monsters

Little Monsters

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I loved Adrienne Brodeur's memoir, Wild Game, and Little Monsters, her new novel, has that same raw authenticity. It’s also one of the most gorgeously artistic novels I’ve ever read, both in that it is artistic in of itself and in that it is about art. Told through gorgeous prose that brings to live these flawed characters and the vivid Cape Cod setting alike, Adrienne Brodeur retells a timeless tale in a modern coat of paint.

Cast the Little Monsters movie or miniseries: Choose your top picks for the main roles, and make a case to the larger group about who would best embodyMeanwhile, his two children – arrogant businessman Ken, and thoughtful, sensitive Abby, a struggling artist on the brink of fame – organise a party for their father, where decades of secrets, childhood trauma and collective repression finally emerge. Their dad Adam, a renown oceanographer, is turning seventy, forced into retirement, feeling pushed out and irrelevant. Little Monsters drew me in first by its cover, second by the synopsis, and lastly by the author's storytelling and beautiful writing style. In particular, therapy sessions between Ken and his psychoanalyst, George, are beautifully illuminated.

But drill down a little and there are unresolved traumas that must be healed and secrets that must come out.

He awoke daily to random words, incoherent thoughts, and fleeting images, convinced that their meaning, though not yet clear, would develop in the gelatin silver process of his mind.

Adrienne Brodeur’s “Little Monsters” is cleverly calculated to push all the buttons for a wide swath of women. There was one very damning piece of evidence that I’d hate the book, though: Miranda Cowley Heller endorsed it. It’s compelling, it has well-drawn characters, it reads quickly, and the societal and political commentary are interestingly and deftly done. The only chapters that I looked forward to were that of Adam’s (the father), as that was the only time I would get a chuckle or two. Ken a successful but ruthless businessman, providing financial support to not only his family, but his sister alike.Tensions rise due to the increasing feeling of rivalry and competition for their fathers approval between the siblings, and climax when a third (half-) sibling enters the playing field with an urgent message to share. He’d vote for the woman, maybe, but he couldn’t stand either of them—the pronouncements, promises, platitudes.

Ken is a successful businessman with political ambitions and a picture-perfect family and Abby is a talented visual artist who depends on her brother’s goodwill, in part because he owns the studio where she lives and works. It would only get worse in the coming months when knuckleheads from around the country descended on Cape Cod for their summer vacations, cars loaded down with bikes, surfboards, and diapered toddlers. Brodeur’s extensive knowledge and respect for the landscape is transcendental; whether or not you are familiar with the famed New England island, you will finish this book with a deeper appreciation for its ecosystem. She is the undercurrent of and catalyst in this cause-and-effect story, whose death at age 30 left Adam a distracted, single father, and Ken and Abby emotionally on their own to cling to each other in a way that might not have been healthy.

Abby and Ken were close when they were growing up until something happened that changed their relationship and it had remained somewhat distant ever since. Having a baby has changed her concept of “family,” and she wants to explore whether to tell the Gardner family this news. It combines themes the familiar themes of jealousy, narcissism, infidelity, pride and a desperate need to be seen by their sole parent, with ones that weren’t present in the original story. And I get that the author may want yo leave it open to interpretation … but I wanted to see how it resolved - or didn’t resolve. As often happened at dusk, a fracas erupted offshore—bluefish, crazed with hunger, thrashed, and arced open-mouthed, having corralled a school of bunkers to the surface.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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