The Sea Beast Takes a Lover

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Feb 2018

Member Reviews

Having read this incredible collection I would love to take a wander round Michael Andreasen's mind…Or maybe not. In doing so I might run the risk of getting drawn into a vortex of wonders and nightmares which merge and separate in such an unimaginable number of alarming, bizarre and mesmerising combinations that I might eventually lose myself.
This is speculative writing on an epic and intimate scale which places the prosaic with the downright outrageous side by side, yet never loses sight of the story and encouraging the reader to really think about the world around them; where they fit in it, as well as all the physical, psychological and moral issues they might have to contend...

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The Sea Beast Takes A Lover is the most imaginative piece of literature I have ever read by some measure. Each story is set in a world we recognise as our own, but each has a strange and surreal element: a teenager loves and is frustrated by his sister, who does not have a head; a man mourns the break down of his marriage after his extra-marital affair, which was discovered when he and his lover were abducted by aliens.

Don't be fooled into thinking you're tucking into a science-fiction collection. Like George Saunders' acclaimed Tenth of December, although the stories have an other-worldlyness about them, this works to reveal truths about the nature of humanity and our...

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The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is a set of short stories and Michael Andreasen's first book. And it is weird. Really weird. Weird like Roald Dahl is weird. If you've read Dahl's stories for adults you know exactly what I mean. For example, there is a story about a girl born without a head reaching puberty. There is another story about a boy who goes nuclear (honestly, I don't know how else to describe it). And a third story is about dropping off elderly people at the bottom of the sea, presumably to solve over-population problems. I really enjoyed the story about the headless girl, Jenny, which is particularly good at drawing you into a totally unrealistic world. But. There...

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One of the most imaginative short story collections I've read. Astonishingly, Andreasen manages to build a new world in each of his short narratives and each of them is as compelling and immersive as the last. Sci-Fi with a sense of humour and real insight into human nature.
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There were many bizarre notions, set in strange landscapes, that were put forward in this motley collection of stories, but the themes that bound them all were firmly placed in our own reality. The links of love and the loss of it, grief and the different coping mechanisms utilised, our connection to each other and to the varied places we call home: these are what this collection is truly about... no matter what the seemingly fantastical focus of each story might otherwise promote. I appreciated how the author went about inviting the reader to really view these everyday concepts by placing them in unknown environs but, ultimately, found these stories a little too bizarre for my personal...

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The file received was a protected pdf file which is not compatible with my Kobo eReader and so is not able to be read and reviewed.
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I don't think I've ever read a short story collection that I enjoyed this much, before. Even the one or two I didn't really like were still solidly written.

If you're happy to accept short stories as snapshots, and don't expect any kind of explanation, AND you love weird speculative fiction, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of this when it's published next year.

Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy.
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A really great and unique collection of short stories. I loved the mix of science fiction, fantasy and fabulism and each story was also thoroughly unique in its own right within the collection. It felt like a completely different perspective or writing style in each entry but they all worked well together, being linked by humour and a clever view of the world around us.
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My interest in this book was limited to the title. I was intrigued. I JUST HAD TO READ IT BUT somewhere in my mind I had this feeling that I was going to be disappointed by what I encounter when I saw the email stating that my request for the book had been approved. I felt giddy with excitement but there was also a hint of sadness - THAT IT'LL BE A BIG-ASS DISAPPOINTMENT.

And let me tell you one thing -

I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO FUCKING WRONG IN MY ENTIRE LIFE (except maybe once, when I was little and thought that if I dug deep enough, I'll find lava ;p)

The writing was surprisingly gripping. It flowed from word to word, sentence to sentence like a river released from a dam. I felt...

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Where do you begin when you even start to contemplate reviewing the 11 short stories by Michael Andreasen is this collection. Words like surreal, absurd, bizarre, fantastical, weird and lunatic immediately come to mind. You are placed in a world that has some elements of reality about it but also a world that occupies the outer reaches of the imaginative mind. You are not sure whether you are in the past, present or future or indeed a combination of the three. A girl without a head and the crating of the old to be despatched to the ocean depths is treated as normal. Religious concepts are played around with and taken to absurdist conclusions.

I fully admit that this may not be to...

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2.5 stars. 

These are unique and well written short stories, just a little too off piste and bizarro for my personal tastes. 

Unsurprisingly there seems to be somewhat of a ‘sea’ theme in the stories I read, which I’m not all that into myself. 

Not exactly what I would call magical realism, I think I would class this collection as more surrealist that anything else. 

I never felt quite rooted enough in the worlds I was reading about, so I never really felt affected by any stories. Would try a novel by this author for sure though.
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An interesting and surreal collection of short stories.  They definitely keep the readers attention, but most of them had sudden abrupt endings.  There was no closure on the story - it made it feel like it was an intro or teaser to another bigger story.  If it was, I would definitely read them, but at the moment am left feeling a bit unsatisfied.
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Wow!  What a wonderful selection of extremely weird and wonderful stories, with touches of humour and horror.  All the stories are fantastic, in every sense of the word.  Highly recommended.
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I loved reading this collection of outrageously weird short stories, a combination of the wry humor of vintage Sedaris and the innovative horror of classic Joyce Carol Oates; if you like Simon Rich shorts but just wish they were longer, this is the book for you!
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What a bravura performance from Andreasen! The stories here are all weirdly wonderful with an inventive energy which positively crackles off the page. Set in strange worlds where a girl can live without a head, where aliens want to understand what it means to be human, where things at the Time Travel Institute can go horribly wrong, and where a love-lorn tentacled sea-beast can desire a ship (while nymphomaniac mermaids hover hopefully with their eyes on the sailors), these stories combine a ferocious imagination with the ability to deliver an emotional kick to the gut. There's real feeling here, and that's what moves these tales on from being fine examples of craft and finish to...

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