Probably Monsters: Ray Cluley
Reviewed By Simon Paul Wilson
I’m writing this review as I finally manage to shake off the evil that is Covid, so please forgive me if I’m a little briefer than usual!
Probably Monsters was my first time to read anything by Ray Cluley, and I definitely think I’ll be coming back for more.
This collection of horrors was a great read, kind of a mixture of dark fiction and literary horror, which is definitely my cup of tea.
Even though there were a couple of tales that didn’t quite hit the mark for me, I still rate this collection highly. The vast majority of the stories within were excellent, and there were six that I absolutely adored.
Let’s talk about that infamous six a little…
All Change was a brilliant opener. There was something about this twisted tale that reminded me of early Clive Barker and his Books of Blood. It really was a cracking way to kick things off, and certainly got me hooked.
The Festering was a disturbingly dark story, which this horror head loved! Papier-mâché masks and odd things in drawers made this quite a tale. It also made me want to listen to Kaiser Chiefs.
At Night, When the Demons Come should definitely be expanded into a full-length novel. This post-apocalyptic yarn of demonic entities had me totally gripped. There are some fantastic scenes of nail-biting tension and gory horror in this one, and I thought it was just a marvellous read.
Shark! Shark! was extremely clever and absolutely hilarious, definitely one of the best of the collection. If you’re into shark movies, you’re gonna love this for sure. Bloody good stuff.
Beachcombing was a heartbreaking way to end the book, but absolutely brilliant. No spoilers from me, but you may want to have some tissues handy when you read this one. Seriously, this was a damn good story and very moving indeed.
And for my sixth personal favourite? That honour has to go to The Death Drive of Rita, nee Carina.
That story just floored me. It’s dark, twisted, and just effing fantastic. Seriously, this story is going to stay with me for a very VERY long time.
Bravo, Mr. Cluley, that was truly amazing writing.
So, to sum things up, I thought this book was great. I highly recommend Probably Monsters to anyone who likes short stories of horror. It’s a cracking collection and has some stuff that is going to haunt your dreams.
Go grab a copy!
There are such things as monsters, and you’ll find many of them here. Be they blood-sucking fiends or shambling dead things, scuttling crawlies, or strange creatures with wings, they’re here within these pages. And some of them, maybe the worst of them, they look like us. They’re people.
Probably Monsters is a collection of 20 dark, disturbing stories by the award-winning Ray Cluley.
You’ve been warned.
Here be monsters.
Simon Paul Wilson
Simon Paul Wilson is a U.K. based writer of horror and science fiction.
He is currently writing a cyberpunk horror trilogy, the first of which is GhostCityGirl and was published by Not A Pipe publishing in 2020.
Click this link for more info: Ghost City Girl
There now follows a list of writers who have influenced his reading tastes and writing style:
James Herbert. Stephen King, Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, China Mieville, Haruki Murakami, Carlton Mellick III, Brian Keene, and Adam Nevill.
Simon lives somewhere in the middle of England with his wonderful family. He likes to listen to post-rock and progressive rock at loud volumes. He also plays a mean air bass.
Follow him on Twitter: @spwzen