07 February 2011

Books About Monsters

I am creating a new syllabus for one of my college composition courses next semester, and I'm hoping to focus on Monsters in Literature, or Literature and Monstrosity, or something like that.  I am going to use Frankenstein for sure, and I have some other ideas, but I thought I might pose the question to all of you, since you are all readers.

What are your favorite stories about monsters?  They can be novels or short stories, novellas, or poems.  Also, the monsters can be of any sort: human, non-human, whatever.

Thanks in advance for any responses.

11 comments:

  1. Love Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Carmilla (Sheridan LeFanu),The Were-wolf (by Clemence Housman, a short story I found on Project Gutenberg), The Metamorphosis (a roach is a sort of monster). This sounds like fun!

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  2. @Jenny- Thanks for the ideas. I like Dracula too, but it is a little long for a composition class. Jekyll and Hyde is a great idea, as is Metamorphosis and I'll definitely check out the Were-wolf.

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  3. Dr. Polidori's The Vampyre is a fascinating little short story you can find on Proj. Gut. as well. You might want to look into that one. What I like about the story is you can never be sure if it's really about a vampire or the narrator is just off his rocker.

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  4. Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde are great ideas (and students will zip through the 2nd one--it's fairly short). American Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs may be good modern texts to explore. Great topic choice, 'teach :)

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  5. @ Teacher/Learner: Thanks for the suggestions. American Psycho is a favorite of mine, but I'm not totally sure how I feel about teaching it. I'm definitely looking for a good contemporary book.

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  6. The Picture of Dorian Gray might be a good choice?

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  7. Oh, I second Picture of Dorian Gray! I think that would be a great conversation to be in on. Can I come join your class?

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  8. @ Becky - Yep. Dorian Gray would be fun to teach.

    @ Allie- Of course. Drop in anytime:)

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  9. How about Harry Potter? Voldemort's a monster, and there are a lot of other magical creatures. :)

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  10. these are some sweet choices - it sounds like it'll be a fun class. if you're looking for something more contemporary, kelly link's short stories feature some occasionally monstrous/occasionally sweet characters, and it might be interesting to see how "monstrous figures" appear in her stories as opposed to in, say, jekyll/hyde or frankenstein.

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  11. Beowulf's Grendel was the first to come to mind, then the assorted monsters in The Lord of the Rings.

    Then I was trying to brainstorm and did a search... You might find this link useful: Ten of the best monsters in literature at The Guardian. :)

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