Destroy All Monsters, and Other Stories


Destroy All Monsters, and Other Stories

Greg Hrbek

The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction Series

192 pages


September 2011


$14.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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September 2011


$14.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Greg Hrbek’s Destroy All Monsters, and Other Stories is a collection that explores what it means to be human—and inhuman. These ten stories have won an array of honors—and whether set in the historical past or in a speculative future, each is wildly imaginative and shockingly real.

In “Sagittarius,” selected for The Best American Short Stories, a mother and father search a dark forest for their missing newborn, who is either a child with profound birth defects or a miraculous creature. In “False Positive,” a ghostly girl visits her biological father ten years after being aborted in utero. In “Bereavement,” a marriage is falling apart following a child’s accidental death, but a combination of myth and technology provides hope for a second life. Fantastic, horrific, painfully familiar, these stories are the work of a consummate storyteller.

Author Bio

Greg Hrbek is the author of The Hindenburg Crashes Nightly, which won the James Jones First Novel Award. His short stories have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Conjunctions, and Black Warrior Review and have been short-listed for the O. Henry Prize and the Bridport Prize. He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.


“Each story in this spellbinding collection hovers on the threshold of the impossible, the place where our most basic fears and desires as mothers and fathers and children get turned into something so new and startling the sight of it can change you forever. These are dark stories, but at the heart of their darkness there is perfect, irresistible radiance.” —Kathryn Davis, author of The Thin Place

"Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Hrbek's first collection subtly and masterfully merges the everyday and the mythic, poetic, futuristic, and seemingly impossible."—Jonathan Fullmer, Booklist

"Mr. Hrbek's writing is often lovely and sparse—almost poetic."—Michael Adelberg, New York Journal of Books

"Hrbek . . . is a master at voices. He brings the reader into the universe of his troubled characters, whose imagined "monsters" and elaborate constructions of reality may not be so different from one's own. He is a writer to watch."—Sue Russell, Library Journal

"Hrbek's writing is crisp and often lyrical, and these stories complement each other nicely. . . . Destroy All Monsters is most definitely worth the read."—Necessary Fiction Blog

"Reading Destroy All Monsters is an eye-opening experience about human beings, especially parents and children. Despite odd creatures and curiosities, the reader must find deeper meanings and locate the monsters to confront who or what they are exactly."—Joshua Myers, Curled Up with a Good Book

Table of Contents

Tomorrow People  
False Positive   
Green World 
Destroy All Monsters
Sleeper Wave 
The Cliffs at Marpi
General Grant (2004-)



One of Library Journal’s 2011 Top Ten Short Story Collections