Book Review: Sad Monsters: Growling on the Outside, Crying on the Inside by Frank Lesser

Sad Monsters: Growling on the Outside, Crying on the Inside is a new and very charming book written by Emmy Award-winning author Frank Lesser and illustrated by Willie Real. The book consists of a series of vignettes about monsters and their human problems.

And when I say “human problems”, I mean the very problems that you and I mortal humans face every single day. Like maintaining one’s figure  (you wouldn’t believe how many calories are in a single serving of orphan), questioning one’s existence after 20-year nap. or capturing the heart of that genie of your dreams. Everyone can relate, right? Of course they can. We’re all human. Mostly.

The book is split up into a number of one-shot chapters that rival the variety of monsters in terms of different writing styles, point of view, and modes.  One story might be told as a screenplay while another is in the form of a diary. Lesser spins these stories in so many ways that each one is fresh and gives the monster of the day his or her time in the sun.

My personal favorite moments are Igor’s resume and an upcoming horror film’s screenplay  where overly-friendly humans attack terrified zombies. There’s certainly something for everyone.

I enjoyed Sad Monsters tremendously for its quirky humor and slipping in witty commentary of modern human society through the monsters that it portrays.  It is a great quick-read while on the go or as a bedtime book to take one chunk at a time.

The humor isn’t always laugh out loud but I think that’s the beauty of it and I enjoy the balance of hilarity, wtf moments, and simple silliness. The jokes and dialogue throughout will make you crack so many smiles that those around you will be wondering about your joyous aura. And besides, laughing non-stop will land you in the loony-bin or in the grave. I’m sure there’s a monster that can relate to that sort of tragedy.

The endearing cover might make it seem like a children’s book but it’s more appropriate for teenagers and young adults since many of the issues and references in the book would go over younger reader’s heads. Like the Son of Kong is bringing a class-action lawsuit against Carl Denham for killing his father  King Kong.

Sad Monsters is sure to bring you a smile. There’ nothing like monster-style schadenfreude to liven up your day. And who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love with the Frankenstein next door and realize he’s not so bad after all. He’s just searching for true love and happiness just like we all are.


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