RoosterVision: Stephen Graham Jones’s MONGRELS (SST, 2021)

An ongoing series of articles spotlighting movies, music, art, comics, and other assorted media.

…an ongoing series of articles spotlighting movies, music, art, comics, and other assorted media that we at Rooster Republic Press find ourselves enjoying. Once a week, on Thursdays, we will showcase new and old works and, hopefully, help spread the word on great stuff you might otherwise miss out on.

RoosterVision was previously the name of our non-fiction imprint, and since those titles and that line of books are no longer, we have decided to resurrect RoosterVision for the purpose of this showcase. Enjoy!

Today’s installment of “RoosterVision” turns its brief spotlight on Stephen Graham Jones’s MONGRELS. Originally published in 2016 by Morrow/HarperCollins, and given the deluxe treatment in 2021 by Short, Scary Tales Publications (better known as SST). Cover and interior art for the limited hardcover is by Francesco Giani. We love this cover, the striking central image, and especially the title treatment. Life is hard lived on the road, a sentiment thoroughly examined in Jones’s book and captured rather perfectly by Giani.

The book, itself, is tremendous. Jones is the recent recipient of the 2021 Market Twain American Voice in Literature Award for his book, THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS. He could very well have won it for this book, in our opinion. Jones is an insightful, sharp writer and he takes the well-worn tropes of lycanthropy and makes them his own, happily subverting where and when he sees fit to do so. And the interior art in SST’s release is simply gorgeous stuff.

The SST edition also includes Jones’s short, “Discovering America,” and it is a perfect companion piece to the novel. And though the story has no werewolves, much of its thematic elements are present, and it is a wonderful window into how writers can and will return to those thoughts that eat them up inside.

MONGRELS had been in the TBR pile for a long time, and when SST announced their release, it felt like a sign: the time had come to read this book.

We are certainly glad we did. MONGRELS is a thoughtful, tender, and quietly tremendous entry into the werewolf sub-genre of Horror. A must-read novel.

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