Monk Punk -Edited by A.J.French
Monk Punk is a collection of 23 stories, edited and collected by A.J. French all themed around monks. Now I can hear your cries, how can you sustain our interest with 23 tales of monks, surely there are but three types of monks, funky, ninjatastic, and those that brew Buckfast. I’ll tell you how they manage it, they fill the book with 23 stories from 23 very talented authors.
I’ll admit I was a bit sceptical when I first got this book to review, there was a feeling of hmmm not really my type of book. But I said I would read it, and I am a man of my word.
After reading the first tale about a monk fighting devilish Tengu’s I was hooked. David J. West’s tale A Fistful of Tengu is a brilliant opener to the anthology, he does justice to the Tengu’s who are probably my favourite monster.
Sometimes anthologies suffer from putting the best story first then filling the book with sub par filler. I can assure you that this is not the case here. A.J. has a keen eye for a well written story, each of the 23 tales here are deserving of a placing in such a fine collection. There is enough variation on both the monk theme and in the story telling, that the book never feels tired. You will want to read the next story and the next.
There are too many tales here to talk about each and everyone, suffice to say that I enjoyed all of the tales presented here. I wouldn’t hesitate recommending any of them.
However some of my personal highlights are
The Brethren of Fire by Zach Black, is a truly spooky tale of fire powered zombie monks, with a rather creepy ending, which shows that Zach has a real talent for writing.
What Is Above, Is Below, by Geoff Neider, a monk and his student must travel to the top of a mountain to perform a ritual to stop the mountain from collapsing onto their monastery. A great tale with a nice twist at the end.
Wonder and Glory – by Adrian Chamberlin, mixes monks with Cthulhu like fishmen. This tales show just why Ade is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors.
The Just One by Willie Meikle, hey what’s not to like about a story where the protagonist is called Jim Mcleod, but in all seriousness, this tale shows just why Willie is a master of a quick short story. Even if he did make me pee my pants.
The anthology also has an excellent introduction from D Harlan Wilson.
Buy this book of about Monks it’s no punk bitch.