Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
I'm sat here with my mouth open wondering what the heck just happened.
Yep this one has that power.
I'm not sure how to describe the central plot so I won't bother trying - but never, ever in my life have I met such a bunch of completely screwed up characters. For different reasons, for a myriad of choices they have made, for whatever reasons come to light during the reading of this one, these guys are SCREWED.
In "Delicate Monsters" Stephanie Kuehn once more takes on mental illness as a central theme, giving us a character piece that pulls no punches and peels layer after layer away from her main protagonists until they are laid bare before us - with a terrifically practical touch to the prose, she tells it how it is, there is no attempt to necessarily give us redeeming features, although there is a kind of redemptive feel throughout.
I find this author unique in her ambience - this is now my third novel from her (Complicity and Charm and Strange having come before it) and with each one she has stopped me in my tracks for very different reasons. I've come out the other side of all her novels feeling emotionally wrung out and completely mentally exhausted - in the very best way possible. Because these are stories where you feel all the feelings.
The writing is sublime, dark and unrelenting but utterly delicious, I am hard put to explain why that is, it just simply IS.
Delicate Monsters is a powerhouse of a novel, with an ending that will shock you and drive you utterly crazy and a beginning and a middle that do much the same thing. What just happened? You tell me. Whatever it was it was completely brilliant.