Every Giant Becomes a Monster is a story of sex, drugs, and music. Not sex, drugs, and rock and roll, alas, but noise music. Our hero (anti) Colson loves music and gives us evocative descriptions that convince me the music would give me an instant headache. Colson is just nineteen, a young man with limited prospects and appeal. He’s very tall and gaunt, with horribly misaligned snuggle teeth. Like many young men his age, is is obsessive, at first with his music (noise) and then with Donna, a bartender who was kind to him.

His obsession with Donna is only enhanced by her marriage to Travis, a drug-dealing, brawling, loud man of whose reckless abuse and feckless infidelity Donna is sick to death–his death, if you please. If Colson can only save her, he can win her and who, at that age, can resist being a savior.

Colson seems a nice enough kid, though he is very skilled at grifting and stealing, and even better at rationalizing it. This gift for rationalization is what probably gets him in the very deep trouble he finds himself.

These are not the most likable people on the block. Nearly everyone is a 40 watt bulb in a 60 watt world. This made it less interesting. I will confess to some sympathy for Colson whose naivety made him easy to lead around. I suppose I should feel some post-mortem sympathy for Travis, PTSD Iraqi marine that he is, but I don’t. He is a violent, abusive cheater who demands fidelity.  I think we are supposed to be horrified and shocked by Donna’s fetish for violent sex, the drunken shooting and hell-raising and even the things that happen in prison, but you know what, that is life.

I didn’t feel shocked or offended. I felt sad. I am sad for Colson who let obsession override his humanity. I am sad about what happened to his life. Sadly, I didn’t really care enough for anyone to feel invested. If people could only have risen out of their roles, just a bit, to be a little more interesting, then maybe I would have cared.

Every Giant Becomes a Monster will be released April 1st. I was provided a egalley by the publisher through NetGalley