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A Cosmology of Monsters

A Novel
Narrated by: Sean Patrick Hopkins
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
Categories: Fiction, Horror
4.5 out of 5 stars (167 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"If John Irving ever wrote a horror novel, it would be something like this. I loved it." (Stephen King)

Noah Turner sees monsters.

His father saw them - and built a shrine to them with The Wandering Dark, an immersive horror experience that the whole family operates.

His practical mother has caught glimpses of terrors but refuses to believe - too focused on keeping the family from falling apart.

And his eldest sister, the dramatic and vulnerable Sydney, won't admit to seeing anything but the beckoning glow of the spotlight...until it swallows her up.

Noah Turner sees monsters. But, unlike his family, Noah chooses to let them in....

©2019 Shaun Hamill (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Shaun Hamill’s A Cosmology of Monsters brilliantly combines the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft with a contemporary story of a family under threat of destruction from supernatural forces. It succeeds because these are good, likeable people that we root for; they could be our neighbors. Horror only works when we care for the people involved, and because we care for the Turners, their nightmare becomes ours. Hamill’s prose is simple, and simply beautiful. If John Irving ever wrote a horror novel, it would be something like this. I loved it, and think you will, too.” (Stephen King)

“A monster stalks a family across generations; a hidden city beckons from beyond perception; trauma and human frailty and loss bear their terrible fangs. . . . A Cosmology of Monsters is as weird and compelling and ambitious a horror novel as you could possibly want.” (Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties)

“Sometimes you read a book and you know it’s special. A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill is just such a book. It’s a book about family, love, loss, obsession . . . and monsters. Unique and wonderful. You won’t read anything like it this year.” (C. J. Tudor, author of The Chalk Man and The Hiding Place)

“Exquisitely written, A Cosmology of Monsters is both beautiful and haunting. Shaun Hamill has crafted the best sort of horror story: one full of love and dread that will have you rethinking your definition of what a monster is.” (Jennifer McMahon, New York Times best-selling author of The Winter People and The Invited

"A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill is beautiful, heartbreaking, offbeat horror. A terrific debut." (Ellen Datlow, editor of The Best Horror of the Year)

"Told with tenderness and brimming with darkness, Hamill’s debut is sure to please readers who have a special literary craving for monsters." (Bradley Sides, The Millions)

"[A] very scary coming-of-age tale that lives in the same space as Stranger Things, Stand by Me, and Stephen King’s It.... The way Hamill weaves his way between the phantasmagorical elements and Noah’s everyday dramas is nimble in a way reminiscent of King.... An accomplished, macabre horror saga and a promising debut from an imaginative new author." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

ELEVATED HORROR

My title is very tongue in cheek at the recent trend of never wanting to call good horror movies "horror." Many may try to call this LITERARY HORROR but it's a horror story all the same. I listen to audiobooks at normal speed and I tore through this in two days. I found myself putting off things that needed doing in order to listen more.

Sean Patrick Hopkins brings this novel to life. He's an excellent narrator and give life to Shaun Hamill's tale of a family touched by something otherworldly, and the price they all have to pay as a result. You care about all the characters and their lives and the story works so well because of how much you care for them. All the metaphors that monsters provide are appropriate here. Where that it was so easy in real life to explain the tragedies we experience in life as the work of monsters.

It's an excellent fall read and especially great for an October/Halloween companion. Let Shaun Hamill's story work its claws into you.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A rare gem in a genre of cliches

I absolutely adored A Cosmology of Monsters. The story of the Turners is both a family drama and a Lovecraftian-inspired horror tale that's full of surprises. Hamill's writing is inspired and crips and Hokpkins's narration is spot on. My only complaint about Cosmology is that I wish the journey had gone on longer. Easily one of my favorite reads of 2019.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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What a Gem! Excellent Storytelling!

I found this through a recommendation on a Reddit group for Horror / "Weird" Fiction. I really didn't know what to expect and I'm so glad I went in without many expectations. This was an absolute delight of fairy tale / horror / family drama that sucked me in and I binged this over two days. I'm bummed there isn't more from this author on Audible but I sincerely hope Mr. Hamill gives us another one soon! It was a surprisingly touching story that is hard to really pin down and the characters will stick with me. I can't recommend it highly enough and the narrator was absolutely perfect. He was a pleasure to listen to and let me feel fully immersed in the story. It's almost October and there couldn't be a better time for this book. Just get it and enjoy!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Dark and Beautiful Story

This is not your average horror story. Shaun Hamill has written a strange, otherworldly novel where monsters and dark magic aren't shoved into the shadows of ambiguity, but they come scratching at the window and are met with curiosity and awe. The dark is invited in, embraced, loved. Haunted houses, Lovecraft weirdness, family heartbreak, and the true reason horror exists (in my opinion): to show that you can't have shadows without the light.

Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Does NOT feel like H. P. Lovecraft Mythos!

The only "Lovecraftian mythos" in this story is one of the premises which just seems to be "very lightly inspired by HPL" and then there's all the Lovecraft name dropping.

I have never been about to put a book down, as many times as I have with this one. Every time because it was soo dragging and boring. But every time I gave it one more chance because it seemed that now it would get a bit exciting and Sean Patrick Hopkins has a good reading voice, but alas it would only get exciting for a very short while and then back to the boring.

First around part four (of seven) did it seem to finally begin the real excitement but then it turned around and got back to boring and by then I was over half way through so I decided to see it through and boy did it feel like a chore.

As others have written there is "music" and it can be a bit offputting, but no where near as offputting as the sheer boredom of the book. Actually it was nice to get a break from the monotony of the story and it gave a feeling of "hey, now something exciting is about to happen... but no..."

Sean Patrick Hopkins Did a very good job with the material he was given and did his to keep me listening.

This is deffinitely one I'm returning for my credit!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Dramatic music ruins the book

Shame on the producers for putting cheesy horror music over what were supposed to be the frightening bits. Cheesy, canned horror music cheapening the prose, pulling the reader out of his or her own imagination, and undermining the voice actor’s fine performance. We read because we have healthy imaginations. Please let us use them, thank you.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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BUY book, AVOID this awful Audio mishap

Lovely, charming book made unbearable by sub-Ed Wood 'scary' music played any time something odd happens. It's like watching a horror film and having someone slug you and scream GET IT??? GET IT?? SCARY!!! WOO! WOO! SCARYY--GET IT??????????

The narrator was fine. Buy the book. The Audiobook...well, as they say, For God's sakes, stay away!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Story!

I loved this story. It is a different type of horror story. I loved the Lovecraft inspired mythos. The music I felt was a good transition to the when the story went to a darker place (creatures, murder, drama, etc.). I felt this story was about two horrors, the one of life and the one of the supernatural/monsters. I enjoyed this and even considering getting a physical copy. If you like mysteries/horror, you will like this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Supernatural drama feat with sound effects for emphasis.

I wanted to like this book I really did. After reading all the comments and reviews I thought it was going to be some profound horror novel that was dark and damning about the human condition. Maybe I didn’t understand because to me it’s a bloody supernatural soap opera, about an family who have pretty awful relationships. To be quite honest the whole book came off as an emotionally distant family reunion story. You know the one I mean when your aunt sits you down when your five and tells you all about their grandmother that they clearly hated. That’s what I mean. It was just dull, with bits of “oh yeah here have some sex scenes with a monster”. Can I get my money and time back?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

Such a unique story, I loved every heartwarming and heartbreaking bit of it. At first I thought the music that played during tense or dramatic parts was strange and unnecessary, but it soon grew on me and added to the excitement and anticipation of the story. Highly recommend for anyone looking for a haunted house style fun, intriguing, spooky escape.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful