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Publisher's Summary

Meet Monster. Meet Judy. Two humans who don't like each other much, but together must fight dragons, fire-breathing felines, trolls, Inuit walrus dogs, and a crazy cat lady - for the future of the universe.

Monster runs a pest-control agency. He's overworked and has domestic troubles - like having the girlfriend from hell.

Judy works the night shift at the local Food Plus Mart. Not the most glamorous life, but Judy is happy. No one bothers her, and if she has to spell things out for the night-manager every now and again, so be it.

But when Judy finds a Yeti in the freezer aisle eating all the Rocky Road, her life collides with Monster's in a rather alarming fashion. Because Monster doesn't catch raccoons; he catches the things that go bump in the night. Things like ogres, trolls, and dragons. Oh, and his girlfriend from Hell? She actually is from Hell.

©2009 A. Lee Martinez (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Martinez pokes at big-picture questions, like the nature of the universe and the meaning of life, with abundant, zany humor in this charming tale." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    256
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    51
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    16

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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    57
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Fun Listen

“Monster” is a fun story with ridiculous characters put in ridiculous positions brought on by mythical (says you) creatures. The characters are likable and the story is well written and fun if not a little ridiculous. High literature it’s not, but if you’re looking for a fun read to make you laugh, smile and generally have a good time I would recommend this book.

The narration was very good.

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Funny Monsters!

I've been a big fan of A Lee Martinez when I discovered Gil's All Fright Diner back in 2007. It was funny and it appealed in the same way that I love Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Robert Asprin. Comic science fiction-fantasy is just awesome, and I'm glad to add A Lee Martinez to my list of favorites.

Monster is a funny human, that changes color every day, and runs a pest control agency. He captures cryptobiologicals, ie. trolls, ogres, yetis, monsters, and has his fair share of domestic troubles with his girlfriend, who is literally from hell. However when Monster answers a call to capture a yeti, he doesn't realise that his life is going to get a lot more complicated when he meets Judy, who seems to have the knack for attracking cryptos.

I liked Monster. The action hits early on, and the laughs are plentiful. The combination of Monster, and his paper gnome sidekick, Chester, are hilarious. Add in Judy, who can't stand the sight of Monster, and it was definitely a amusing adventure. My only disappointment was that I thought Monster might have had a different ending with regard to Monster's love life. Romantic optimism on my part? Yes, most definitely. I doubt there is a sequel in the works, and since I enjoyed every other part of this book it didn't take anything away from my enjoyment of the story.

I started the paperback of Monster, and then 3/4 of the way through switched to the audio. I'm finding that I just don't enjoy paperbacks anymore, and this will likely be the last time I attempt a paperback. It's audio all the way for me from now on. The narration is done by Eric Michael Summerer and for the little that I listened I really enjoyed it. I plan to listen to more books narrated by Eric Michael Summerer to see if I will enjoy his style more.

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Fun and Easy Listen

If you could sum up Monster in three words, what would they be?

Comical, Magical, Fun

Who was your favorite character and why?

Judy was my favorite character because I could relate to her and her feelings about her work, her sister and her life.

Which character – as performed by Eric Michael Summerer – was your favorite?

Monster

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book made me laugh a lot.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The characters were pretty interesting and I could really relate to some of the characters and how they viewed their jobs and lives.

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  • david
  • PORT HUENEME, CA, United States
  • 10-27-13

Tone a little unpowered, but great story

If you could sum up Monster in three words, what would they be?

Creative, fun, unpowered.

What other book might you compare Monster to and why?

Anything by sullivan is sufficiently intricate.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Good voices, wish the tone was a little more energetic, as the story seemed to have a little more power than the narrators opinion.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Bill and Ted meet the labyrinth

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Decent narration, didn't enjoy the story

I got about 40% of the way through this book before stopping reading it. I was listening to it on audiobook and was getting so bored that I was falling asleep while driving...so I kind of had to stop reading it for safety reasons. It is a quirky novel based on the overdone premise of a secret group that traps monsters.

I did listen to this on audiobook and it was decently done. The voice acting was fine and it was easy to distinguish between characters.

Judy works the overnight shift at the Food Mart but one night she finds a Yeti eating the ice cream. When she calls animal control, Monster shows up. Monster is in a arcane branch of animal control and his job it to fight/capture/relocate monsters. Judy gets drawn into the fun and soon Judy and Monster are battling everything monstrous.

Previously I read Gil’s Al Fright Diner by Martinez and enjoyed it. I was excited to read another book by him. The book begins as quirky, over-the-top funny, and somewhat interesting. As the story continued though I just had a lot of trouble staying engaged with it (I fell asleep).

Monster isn’t all that likable; it’s interesting that his skin changes color depending on the day. He’s stuck with a girlfriend, who is literally from hell, that he doesn’t really love and he lives a life he doesn’t care much about. He is all around pretty ho-hum.

Judy is a bit better. She works at a Food Mart and is determined to not forget the strange things she’s seen (normal humans have a tendency to forget monster encounters). So she starts accompanying Monster on his trips to take care of monsters. She’s plucky, but not much more than that.

The best character in the story was a rather loose angel named Gracie, she was hilarious but only in the story for a very short amount of time (at least in the first half of the book).

The plot had yet to be revealed when I stopped reading. Basically Judy and Monster were going from place to place doing their thing. There was a hint that monster activity had increased in recent days. Other than that it was just kind of day to day life. The premise is one that anyone who reads urban fantasy has seen a billion times before...this secret agency controls monsters without normal human suspecting anything.

So it wasn’t that the book was horrible...it just didn’t hold my interest at all. I felt like not much was happening and the characters weren’t people I was interested in reading about. As I said I started nodding off and decided to stop listening to the book. I tried listening to it again later on my drive to work and again started falling asleep...so I decided that enough was enough.

Overall this book wasn’t for me. The humor was a bit too over the top, the characters hard to engage with, the premise is something done many times before, and the plot wandered from one day to another. If you enjoy over the top humor in your urban fantasy and quirky average joe type characters you might be interested in this book. Personally I think Martinez has written much better books.

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just not for me

What disappointed you about Monster?

I can't say this is a terrible book or that the narrator did an awful job. Certainly there are many people who loved and highly recommended it. It's just not something that held my interest, which surprised me. I love horror/comedy and have a twisted, irreverent sense of humor. I think I was hoping for something that was a little more thrilling, like Mark Tufo's "Zombie Fallout" series. I'm not sure if it was the writing or narration but it seemed like the characters in the book had such subdued reactions to everything.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not sure.....maybe Bill the Vampire.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Eric Michael Summerer?

Phil Gigante, Holter Graham, Oliver Wyman or Craig Wasson...there are a number of excellent narrators. Again, I can't say that the book or narrator was awful. It simply wasn't my style.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Monster?

In all honesty, I can't answer this fairly because I couldn't listen longer than an hour without falling asleep.

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Unique

This book started off strong. I loved its uniqueness. It was so bizarre and it kept me chuckling. The narration is very good but the story just seemed to move along a little slowly. Overall, I enjoyed it. I just wish the author would have gotten to point of the story sooner.

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  • Pattie
  • MARINA DEL REY, CA, United States
  • 08-15-13

Uninteresting and poorly written

What disappointed you about Monster?

The story was in cohesive and poorly written.

Would you ever listen to anything by A. Lee Martinez again?

No

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Eric Michael Summerer?

Yes

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment and boredom.

Any additional comments?

None at this time

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Promising, but just misses target

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I feel it could have been if just a few things were changed.Give the main character a better name and by extension the title of the book.Explain what he is, human, elf, oversized dwarf something.

If you’ve listened to books by A. Lee Martinez before, how does this one compare?

First listen

Which character – as performed by Eric Michael Summerer – was your favorite?

No question Chester the paper gnome

Do you think Monster needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Sorry I have no interest in "Monster", would love to hear more about Chester, Judy, and Ed

Any additional comments?

Great ideas were expressed except main character was shallow and misnamed. Can not understand how supporting characters can be so rich and main character so void.

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Awesomtasticnomenal!!!

If you could sum up Monster in three words, what would they be?

A MUST READ!!!!!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Monster. . . the ideal anti-hero with a character depth and revelation of internal struggle. the concept of changing colors uncontrollably to acquire different powers, yet at the whim of the universe, who is conciously controlling destinies to correct a mistake by creating the universe in the first place. . .which initially started with a glowing rock! What ingenuity, creativity, and well written to make things that seem unrelated. . .relate. I am buying all of A. Lee Martinez's books! So far have read three and am overwhelmed at his creativity! He is a literary genius. His subtle nuances that seem to mean nothing . .. means everything!! Foreshadowing, crisis, internal and external conflict, etc!!!

Which character – as performed by Eric Michael Summerer – was your favorite?

Monster!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes!!

Any additional comments?

Keep it coming, Martinez!!

PS. Chris Aeilo and Fred Berman are the best!!!