The Beast You Are: Stories

Morrow. Jul. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780063069961. $30. HORROR
Tremblay returns with another horror story collection, this time gathering 15 tales—some from award-winning anthologies; others, gems previously only available in smaller outlets—all of which will be enjoyed by long-time fans and new readers alike. Showcasing his award-winning brand of psychological horror, which derives its emotional terror from the characters, he reveals a terrible truth and then makes readers watch as the characters confront both the horror itself and their reactions to it. Every story, no matter the specific details, will break readers’ hearts but ultimately leave them with hope. The titular new novella which anchors this volume is a great example, subtly nestled into his A Head Full of Ghosts universe; Tremblay presents an unsettling, anthropomorphic animal story told in free verse—a captivating, visceral, and menacing tale that, while fantastical, is also clearly about humanity right at this moment. Readers will be unable to look away, even as they see themselves in the horror.
VERDICT Yet another not-to-miss release by the popular and critically acclaimed Tremblay (The Pallbearers Club), showcasing a discomfort that is reminiscent of Shirley Jackson but still new and thought-provoking.
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