Growing Things by Paul Tremblay is a collection of horror-like short stories.
I’d call these creepy or horror-adjacent as opposed to full-on shock and gore. They’re more unsettling, rather than full of jump scares.
And sometimes horror-adjacent can be even more disturbing than the blood fests.
Much like North American Lake Monsters, the brilliance of these stories is not necessarily in the supernatural events, but in the human conditions that overshadow them. Human emotions are the growing things here, pervasive weeds that threaten to take over the beautifully manicured yard (did I go too far with the metaphor?).
Favorite Short Stories
My favorite story of the lot is “Our Town’s Monster.” The Monster of the story is indiscriminately murderous. Ultimately, all of the town’s traditions, explanations, and reasonings make no difference. It’s simple nature. The monster is hungry. The townspeople are food. Yum yum yum!
“Notes from the Dog Walkers” is another disturbing story, in which a team of dog walkers leave increasingly concerning field notes in their dog walking log. With each entry, the walkers seem more and more unhinged to the point that you would want to scream, “Who the hell am I letting into my home?! Who are these freaks I’ve entrusted my dog to?!”
When thinking about the division of economic classes, it’s the classic fear of having tp entrust key pieces of your life to hired help, knowing that the money they’re paid doesn’t quite cover the weight of what they’re entrusted with, so you have to go on faith in their good natures, which may or may not always be existant.
If you’re looking for a good short story collection during the spooky Halloween season, Growing Things and Other Stories is a good bet. Go for it and let me know what you think!
Check out my full video review of Growing Things on Booktube.
Growing Things and Other Stories
Published July 2019