This is a review of the anthology “Green Monkey Dreams” by Isobelle Carmody. It is a collection of short stories. I have been trying to get my hands on a copy of this book for a long time, so I was so glad to find an ebook copy on Kobo!
I will give a mini review for each short story.
PART I: The High Path
The Glory Days
Set in a dystopian world, life is very different to what we know today.
Rian lives in the city of Freedom. She is asked to be an agent, to infiltrate another city: Glory. It is rumoured that they have been stockpiling old weapons, and weapons are illegal in this new world.
It is up to Rian to find out what’s been going on. Many adult agents have gone to Glory. None have returned. It is hoped that as a child, Rian will succeed where they did not.
Dark, with themes of religion, Armageddon and love, this is a powerful short story.
A young boy is alone in a crumbling city. His only friend has perished. Taken and eaten by the jibbering Carnies, stupid and carnivorous humans driven mad by the Red Dust.
Will the boy ever find another like him to call friend? Or is he destined to be alone forever.
Touching and sad.
Again, the world is a different place. A bleak place. The world has fallen into disarray. Factions warred against factions until there was almost nothing left.
There is a man. An old man waiting to die so he can escape “The Beast”- an affliction that has plagued his family for years and years.
A frightening and somewhat depressing short story.
The Lemming Factor
An interesting retelling of the much adapted tale “The Pied Piper”.
PART II: The Way of The Beast
The Monster Game
A story of the depression. A tale of hunger and fantasy.
Stories can help you escape from real life. They can protect you from the ugliness in the world. But what happens when a story is shattered?
Very moving and a bit sad.
Matthew likes to ride to the bay, to stare out at the water and forget about his troubles. He feels he doesn’t belong. Not at home with his mother and brother. But on the bay he is at peace.
Here at the bay he finds new friends. Will his belonging come at an expensive price?
The Witch Seed
A girl travels back to her old neighbourhood to find answers (and a friend). She travels back in time through memories and fills us in on a story about her, her mother, her demanding grandmother, and a sad story of the occupants of next door.
Seek No More
Noah is a strange boy. He’s lived in Glastenbury, an orphanage for as long as he can remember.
He likes hanging out in the cemetery. He’s been picked on and bullied. Dare he hope for a happy ending?
Ragnar has a friend called William. He calls her Princess and has sworn himself to her. Ragnar doesn’t believe William (he’s believed to be touched in the head) but sometimes his tale is so wondrous, it can be hard not to get caught up.
A new friend comes along. Worried that William will be made fun of, Ragnar is wary and stand-offish, but this newcomer is kind.
I liked this one 🙂
PART III: The Worldroad
Long Live The Giant
Forever is an old lady. She tells us a story so unlikely and strange that it would be easy to believe it was a lie.
But her story may make you think.
This one reminds me a little of the movie Prometheus.
The Pumpkin Eater
What does it mean to be a princess? Is it watered silk, glass slippers, princes, castles and kisses? What happens after the “happily ever after”?
A story about a princess who waits for her prince.
The Red Shoes
Amerie lives with her father. Her mother left them a long time ago. Her father thinks that Amerie doesn’t remember her. But she does.
She remembers a thin woman with feathers entwined in her dark tumbling hair.
But why did her mother leave? And why won’t Amerie’s father talk about her?
I liked this one 🙂
Do you believe in magic?
Gerhardt is in Las Vegas with his brother’s translator. An attractive, intriguing woman. Bizarre things begin happening after they spot a strange pair of foreigners. But their explanation of events is too weird for words.
Green Monkey Dreams
Jilia has a collection of dreams about- you guessed it- green monkeys.
A weird short story that propels you along.
All in all I enjoyed this eclectic collection of short stories. I adore Isobelle Carmody’s other works, and knew I would like her shorter works. I am glad I now own this book!