Just read: "Mongrels" by Stephen Graham Jones


I had the privilege of meeting Jones at Necronomicon 2017 in Providence, Rhode Island. Near as I could tell, he's a laid back, cool, experienced author and very (very) dedicated writer and reader. His fiction cuts to the quick, it’s an emotional time bomb and sometimes strange, but never confusing. If I had to assign a texture to his work, I’d say velvet and stone.

I sat down to write a review of this book and all I can come up with is that it comes at you like a studied fighter. Every scene, every section is a revelation and it just keeps coming. The book is an unabashed, funny, bloody, horrifying tale about myths, reality, childhood’s end, cars, family, and love. Told through the eyes of a boy who desperately wants something he can’t easily obtain, the ersatz family’s methods of survival are some of the most entertaining aspects of the book. I found the boy to be an unintentionally unreliable narrator whose misunderstandings about werewolves and life in general evolve over the course of the book. The real gem in this novel is the young boy’s growth and Jones’ narrative techniques.