Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Monster Luv!

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

I've been rereading Everlost by Neal Shusterman. There are so many great things about this book, but one thing that really struck me is how much I LUV the monster in this story, The McGill. He's not a good monster. The McGill is nasty and mean and he likes it that way. He works hard to be a terror. Don't worry. Those arent' the things I love.

What I love is that even though he's so repulsive, Shusterman still finds a way to make him likable in a way that you hate to love a villan. I've been trying to pinpoint the aspects of this great monster and what makes him so great. Here's what I've come up with so far.

1) He's written w/ humor, in a way that made me think of this monster as more of a young boy trying to be a bully.

2) The McGill develops a respect for the female protagonist even though he isn't prone to giveing repect to anyone.

3) This is probably my most favoritest part and PARTIAL SPOILERS BELOW:
In Everlost, there are 2 thru-lines that are weaved together nicely. They are shown early in the story and follow through til the end and are tied together by showing the reader how the McGill came into existence.
A. In Everlost, people will sink into the ground if they stand still for too long and will sink to the core of the earth. No one is able to get out of the core of the earth. The souls just sit and wait until the end of time.
B. In Everlost, if you forget what you look like, your appearance will change accordingly. ie: someone who prized their smile might start to develop too many teeth. A bully that used his fists might grow oversized hands etc.

Now, this is the good part:
Toward the end we find out that before the McGill became the McGill, he was just a regular little boy who sank to the middle of the earth. But . . . as he sat there with all the other sunken souls, he imagined himself strong and powerful. Little by little as his body changed accordingly, he grew strong enough to claw his way out. Something that no one else had done before. However, the very thing that gave him the ability to climb out of the depths is the same thing that turned him into something mean, horrible and heartless.

As the McGill grows in fondness for the female protagonist, his features start to change again; only this time he starts to become less horrific.

Isn't that brilliant!!!! So many threads come together and the monster isn't just a monster for monsters sake. He has a past. He has endearing qualities.

I can't think of any other literary monster that has struck a cord in my quite like this one.

How about you? Do you have any monsters/villans that you love to hate or hate to love?


13 comments:

MG Higgins said...

Wow, I'm going to add Everlost to my reading list. Yes, I do have a monster I love! Bartimaeus from Jonathan Stroud's The Bartimaeus Trilogy (although he's not really a scary monster). He's likable for at least one of the reasons you mention--humor. I think another reason he's likable, and why a lot of "monsters" are likable, is his gruff exterior combined with a heart of gold. Interesting post.

Ello said...

Ooooh that sounds good! I'm putting it on my list! I love a good bad guy!

C.R. Evers said...

Hey MG! I"m going to have to put The Bartimaeus Trilogy on my reading list too! sounds great!

Hi Ello! Yep, he's a good, bad one!:0)

PJ Hoover said...

I'll go with The McGill also! You nailed it. He is done really well.

Christina Farley said...

Oh I loved Everlost too! I picked it off the shelf just on a whim and had no idea how awesome it would be!

C.R. Evers said...

Thnx PJ. I knew I wouldn't be the only one who loves the McGill.

Christina, ohhhh! it's always so much fun to pick up a fantastic book w/o knowing how FAB it's going to be! I love when that happens!

Solvang Sherrie said...

This sounds like a good book. I'm adding it to my list!

From your "50 Books" list, it looks like you've been on a Shusterman binge. He must be good!

Bish Denham said...

Wow, I need to read this one. A modern day Beauty and the Beast!

Jacqui said...

I am definitely intrigued. I love Bartimaeus too.

Angela said...

I skipped the spoilers, but I'm going to look for this book!

J.A. Palermo said...

I loved the McGill and Everlost -- loved Unwind even more.

adrienne said...

That sounds like an intriguing bad guy!

Rena said...

Sounds like a great book. I'm more into PBs that anything else, so my idea of a monster is probably a lot different than most. While everyone is loving the Twilight series, the closest I can get to a vampire is Bela Lugosi.