Fiction, NetGalley, Short stories, Weird

[Story collection review] Yet Another Slightly Odd Collection of Short Stories The Sea Beast Takes a Lover by Michael Andreasen

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 Brilliant

My 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 Like

I 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.

Things to Do When You're Goth in the Country: and Other Stories   Rockets Versus Gravity

I thank The Penguin Group, Dutton Books and Apollo for giving me a copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion. You can buy the book here at Book Depository and buying using this link supports the blog.

Have you read any odd short story collections lately? Can you recommend any good ones?

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Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile

I’ve seen this book around, and have been tempted to pick it up. Thank you for putting it back onto my radar 😉

3 years ago

It’s official. We are literally book-sisters. I read this one and had similar feelings to you. I’m also not a big fan of short stories but I’m trying to improve that. I just found that I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters and there wasn’t enough in the individual stories for me to be invested in it.
If you get the chance to look at my review, I would love it 🙂

Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

Short story collections are always hit and miss. There are some hidden gems from authors which I love… but there are always those ones leaving you questioning why you wasted your time. Glad there were some good ones in here because this is a weird sounding short story collection.

3 years ago

I’m with you on short story oddity. Why?!? I want to love them, but so many of them just simply baffle me.

3 years ago

I never considered myself a short story fan (apart from when Stephen King does it), but these look super interesting, even for me 😀
I guess short stories would be good as a transition between full length books, or just a “quickie” since i don’t need to commit to a full book…

Stephanie Jane
3 years ago

It’s strange how many short story collections are in themselves strange! I enjoy short stories, but I am struggling to remember a collection that was ordinary!

Laura Thomas
3 years ago

Now, you know I’m a fan of short stories and I do like odd. LOL I’m going to go check these out. I hope they are as fun and entertaining as your review!

Lara @ Words With Lara

I recently finished Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy which I reeeaaally enjoyed! I find that when I normally read short story collections it’s often pretty 50/50 in regards to the ones I like and the ones I find meh, but in Because You Love to Hate Me I definitely enjoyed the majority. If you haven’t read it you definitely should! I like short story collections because they’re easy to read when you have lots going on so I might still check this one out!

Lashaan Balasingam
3 years ago

The sea beast story sounds hilariously beautiful!! Short stories are definitely not easy to write or even to enjoy, but when they are done right… Damn are they mind-blowing. Nice review, Evelina. 🙂

3 years ago

Mermaids who like to read Bronte sisters and Asimov? I need this book! This would not be the first book I get because of you, ha ha, but I also quite enjoy short stories.

Jamie @ The Last Page
Jamie @ The Last Page
3 years ago

Hmm I’ve been looking at this book since I’m a huge fan of short stories but had been hesitating at the same time since it sounded like the stories would border on Bizarro Fiction, which is not a favored literary genre for me. Most short stories I read I don’t usually find that weird, but maybe it’s just the authors that I tend to read. Or maybe I’m the weird one (haha). Lame that this book ended up being a middle of the road kind of book, short story collections can really be a mixed bag sometimes, unfortunately. Great review… Read more »

3 years ago

Wow, this collection sounds odd, haha 😀 While I love short stories, I do feel sceptical getting to them because the story line can sometimes seem to abrupt and absurd, both at the same time. The sea beast one does sound interesting though especially with the allegory it used and lived up to the oddity in good terms. Would check out the two collections you have recommended 🙂