The Sea Beast Takes a Lover

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

I can’t say enough about this weird little gem of a book. An amorous sea beast, a cannibalistic captain, and alien abductees are just a few of the oddities that fill this collection. There are 11 stories and all are vivid, humorous, and paradoxical. Andreasen has written a noteworthy debut, one absolutely worth your consideration. The title story in the collection is my favorite, but I am likely to swoon over an unexpected John Irving reference (there’s also a bear in another story), especially when said reference is The World According to Garp being read by a doomed sailor on a ship being wooed to death by a lovesick kraken. If you like your fiction strange and your stories short, pick up...

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Mind-blowing, short story collection!  Michael Andreasen scores a home run.  Full review to come.  Check back soon for updates.
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With short stories it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what worked and what didn't. I really liked the juxtaposition used (ex. pirates and technology), and the weird horror feel to the whole thing, I'm not sure how other people will react. It's not badly written, and a lot of the stories are great, but some of the 'twists' sort of fall flat.
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Sorry but I couldn't get into the book at all. I tried though, I'm so sorry for my ADD brain.
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Stories set in a world just close enough you recognize it, but far enough that they involve things like alien abductions or a tradition of sending off pods of elderly people to be euthanized and sunk in an undisclosed part of the ocean. Intriguing, with an even mixture of solid reality and glimmering fiction.
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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...

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This collection of short stories combines a modern tone with fabulist settings to explore human loneliness. From a son sending his father to die in some kind of submarine, to a ship in the clutches of a sea beast while mermaids sing, these stories find the mundane in the fantastic. Usually, this works for me. I love Michael Cunningham, for instance, and Kate Bernheimer. Readers of modernist fairy tales like from these authors or from Carmen Maria Machado might like this collection, though I didn't find the same depth of thought and emotional urgency in Andreasen's stories than I do in these other authors. Andreasen is a clever writer, but his prose reads modern in ways that...

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While overall I enjoyed this collection of short stories, I felt like they were also missing something. I think this collection falls into a classic case of trying too hard.

The writing is decent and the imagery isn't over embellished. Each of the stories are pretty different yet seamlessly blend the fantastical with the real world but for me they're missing that thing that grabs you and doesn't let go. Which is sad because some of the premises/plots seemed really cool and original when I was reading about them (especially the titular "The Sea Beast Takes a Lover") but in actually reading them I felt let down by each one. Each one felt like Andreasen was trying...

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Wacky and wonderful stories in this debut collection. The title story is probably my favorite. The others introduce an exploding boy; a group of Saints finding their way together... or separately?; a grade school field trip to the Time Travel Institute. I am reminded of the cleverness of Jim Shepard, the creativity of Kevin Brockmeier, the perspective of Ray Vukcevich, the whimsy of Helen Oyeyemi... and yet Andreasen stands out as a unique voice.
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I received a free e-ARC through First to Read and NetGalley from the publishers at Penguin Random House/Dutton. I was really excited to read this, since Ray Bradbury and Karen Russell have fueled my love for weird short stories. The downside is that the competition is extremely steep.

The Sea Beast Takes A Lover is a collection of short stories that are part science fiction, part literary fiction, and part something else entirely. In Andreasen’s worlds, a giant squid anchors a ship for weeks, desperate to be loved, a girl survives into adulthood without a head, and older generations are crated at the bottom of the sea.

I seem to be in the minority of readers who didn’t enjoy this...

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From the instant I saw the cover, I knew I just HAD to read this book. It had already been on my TBR when I stumbled across it on Netgalley and slammed the request button reflexively. I love bizarro short stories, I love cephalopods, and I love anything with an octopus on the cover.

Unfortunately, these stories just didn't mesh well with me. It wasn't a bad read, it just wasn't anything over-the-top outstanding. If you're interested, I'd say give it a shot regardless. Michael Andreasen is a talented writer and I'm intrigued to see what else he comes out with!
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Gorgeous

This is a wildly entertaining collection, open to enjoyment in whatever fashion suits you.

Do you like to work for your metaphors? Is the local custom of sinking old men into the ocean in sealed containers, and the fanfare that accompanies the event, a metaphor for putting dad in an assisted living facility? Is alien abduction a stand in for a regrettable extra-marital affair? Does an amorous sea beast grasping and slowly sinking a sailing ship really represent an overly obsessive and tiresome lover? Is Andy really ready to explode, or is he going through puberty? Is a headless girl the ultimate special needs child? Can time travelers be more funnymen than Feynman? Darned if I...

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