Last week, I had the pleasure of attending an author event like no other.
Monica Drake, author of The Stud Book, was joined by her Portland writer buddies Chuck Palahniuk and Chelsea Cain for a night of flashing devil horns, glow-in-the-dark beach balls, and R-rated bedtime stories.
Everyone in attendance went home with a signed copy of The Stud Book, which I read over the weekend.
The book jacket had me at “Sarah studies animal behavior at the zoo.”
The Stud Book is a brilliantly written and totally engrossing exploration of breeding, mostly among a group of female friends in Portland, interspersed with fascinating details about animal husbandry.
Dark and absurdist in tone, the things that happen to these characters feel like they could really happen. I love it when an author really goes there. Even scenes I found off-putting (like Georgie’s husband at the bar while she struggles at home with a newborn) paid off in the end.
Generally, I’m weary of books that bounce between narratives about multiple characters. When you like some characters more than others, it’s frustrating to leave them behind for a less interesting storyline. In this book, I got wrapped up in all the characters, eager to see what would happen next.
As a rule, I like novels to have more resolution to their resolution than The Stud Book does. However, I will forgive Drake for this open-endedness because the book was so thought-provoking, I don’t mind filling in the blanks with what I think will happen next.
So smartly written. I look forward to reading more from Drake.