Four Monster-Approved Booook Picks for Halloween

In today’s Hallowe’en-perfect musing, we wondered: if literature’s classic monsters had a literary appetite, what would they read?


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Liisa Ladouceur’s How To Kill a Vampire: Fangs in Folklore, Film and Fiction (ECW Press)

For centuries, Dracula has had it pretty easy necking with locals, but has learned to keep suspicions and questions of missing people at bay by moving around. But when there’s one Professor Van Helsing, aka vampire expert, the odds are pretty good there are others like him that know what it takes to make Dracula’s next meal his last. It’s why you might find Dracula thirsting on Liisa Ladouceur’s How To Kill a Vampire: Fangs in Folklore, Film and Fiction, an exploration of vampirism, its history and methods on keeping vampires away, despite his blood boiling reactions with every turn of the page. No one messes with Vlad Dracul!

The Wolf Man

Text Me by Corrado Calabrò, translated by Glenni Gunn (Signature Editions)

When it comes to romantic gestures and winning hearts, some write beautiful poetry while others perform grand gestures of admiration. Larry Talbot went the extra mile to save his crush Gwen’s friend from a werewolf attack. Who says romance is dead? Even after successfully killing the werewolf and contracting a pesky case of lycanthrope, Larry’s love for Gwen rages on, despite her preexisting engagement to another man. But the heart wants what the heart wants and in his particularly hopeless romantic moments, The Wolf Man fills his achy heart with an English translation of Corrado Calabrò’s Text Me, an English-Italian bilingual collection of love poems about the the many ways to say “I love you” that take him back to his days as Larry Talbot.    


The Wicked Witch of the West

The Laws of the Skies by Grégoire Courtis’, translated by Rhonda Mullins (Coach House Books)

Not every villain knows what it means to be subtle. Take the Wicked Witch of the West: she’s a power-hungry schemer whose flair for the theatrical translates into keeping an army of enslaved flying monkeys at her disposal. You would think with all that power, getting what she wants would be easier said than done, but when good thankfully triumph over evil (in fiction, at least), a different approach isn’t out of the question when making another attempt at a power grab. It’s why in between developing spells and spying on her enemies through her crystal ball, the Wicked Witch of The West would find Grégoire Courtis’ The Laws of the Skiesso wickedly compelling. The tale of a camping trip gone wrong, this novel has murder and manipulation behind every tree, no matter how well you hide.

Frankenstein’s Creature

J.R. McConvey’s Different Beasts (Goose Lane Editions)

What’s a monster gotta do to make a friend or two around here? Sure, Frankenstein’s Creature is a mashup of different people and parts, but does that make him any less human? The Creature would argue not because he’s still got a human ticker. Actually, he would argue he’s just as human as the villagers that wave torches and pitchforks; and if they can act like monsters and still be human, why can’t the Creature? The hypocrisy! That’s why the Creature would find J.R. McConvey’s Different Beasts right up his beastly alley. Exploring the power dynamics of social relationships, this wild, visceral short story collection will no doubt strike a chord with the Creature, shedding some light on the internal wilderness of being human.* * *Happy Halloween! All four of our monster-approved books are on sale on All Lit Up: How to Kill a Vampire, Text Me, Different Beasts, The Laws of the Skies