Tough Travelling“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created by Nathan at Review Barn where participants make a new list each week based on The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. This hilarious little book cheerfully pokes fun at the most prevalent tropes in fantasy. All are welcome to take part, and there is a link up over at his site. Join in any time!

This week’s trope is MONSTERS:

MONSTERS are likely to lie in waste areas, caves, and old ruined cities. You can usually detect their presence by smell.

I love this trope! It’s a gold-mine for a classic lit. lover like myself. Let the monster mash begin!

BeowulfGrendel – Beowulf by Unknown AuthorGrendel’s exact appearance is never actually described in Beowulf and it’s the subject of a pretty heated scholarly debate. What we do know about him is that he’s descended from Cain (the first murderer) and that he’s associated with darkness. Everyone fears him except Beowulf himself, and honestly I don’t blame them. Grendel is murderous and frankly quite creepy, especially when you consider the fact that he inspired another very famous monster: Tolkien’s Gollum. And guess what – he lives in a cave!
StephenKingIt-thumb-300xauto-31331Pennywise – It by Stephen KingWas there anyone who read this book and wasn’t even a little bit weirded out by clowns afterwards? Clowns are not supposed to bite people’s arms off, okay?! All he wanted was a balloon!!!! I really don’t like clowns, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Pennywise the dancing clown is the sole contributor. Thanks a lot, Stephen King. Dwells primarily in wasted areas like sewers.
223900Frankenstein’s Monster – Frankenstein by Mary ShelleyThis is it boys and girls, the number one most iconic monster in all of literature. Shelley write that his skin is translucent yellow such that you can see his organs beneath; he also has watery, glowing eyes, and black lips. Honestly I feel bad for the guy – he didn’t ask for any of this and it’s not his fault that society rejects him at every turn. Of course, he does kill a crap load of people, so…definitely still a monster.
24213The Jabberwock – Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis CarrollThe Jabberwock is one of my favourites! The term Jabberwock comes from Carroll’s nonsense poem “The Jabberwocky” which he wrote for Through the Looking Glass, and it describes a monster who catches and eats children. The Jabberwock has leathery wings and scales in most artistic representations of him. Fun fact: “The Jabberwocky” poem is actually the piece that introduced the word “chortle” (on of my favourite words!) into the English language.


    • Rabindranauth

    • 8 years ago

    Good call on Frankenstein’s Monster! I love that your list is largely classics 😀 And am I the only person on the planet that hasn’t read It as yet?

    1. Thanks man! Hmmm…yes, I think you may be the last to read it, haha. For once I’m not the last one on a bandwagon – hurrah!! 😉

  1. I almost went the direction you did and pick classics. But then I thought everyone would and backed off. And it turns out, no one did but you, so it would have been OK.

    Cool list, and you even proved yourself by not calling the monster Frankenstein. Well done.

    1. That’s what you get for second-guessing yourself! Hahaha, thanks. If there’s one thing I know about, it’s classic literature.

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    • 8 years ago

    I like you choice to feature classics!! Some great picks 🙂

    1. Thanks, Lisa! Can’t wait to see what you came up with. 🙂

  2. You chose some great classics!

    1. Thanks Tabitha! I almost went with all classics but decided on Pennywise at the last second…he’s just too creepy to exclude.

    • bookwraiths

    • 8 years ago

    God, how did I completely overlook all these classic literary monsters?
    Who knows, but this is a great list. 🙂

    1. If it helps, these books are at the front of my mind because I’m studying English, haha!

    • Heather Morris

    • 8 years ago

    I cannot believe I forgot Grendel. Great list!

    1. GRENDEL! Such a great monster, amirite? Anything that skulks around at night like that is bound to be a major-level creep.

  3. Love the inclusion of classics! “IT” is a classic unto itself, but I’m afraid I couldn’t finish it. I don’t know why, but King’s older stuff and I don’t seem to get along, I got halfway through and just couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm to continue. It was a while ago though, back when I was probably a lot less patient with my books, so one of these days I’ll have to try again!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. Thanks! I think you’re right, “It” really is a classic…and again, it really is hard to get through. The second half gets pretty weird very quickly. I didn’t feel comfortable in the shower – or around spiders – for weeks. And I’ll never look at clowns the same way again.

    • Lynn Williams

    • 8 years ago

    How on earth did I forget Pennywise! Drat. Beowulf is such a good choice but I haven’t read it so thought I’d better not. I was also going to put Frankenstein so glad to see he made your list – I made reference to it in my title.
    Lynn 😀

    1. Your titles are pure gold, Lynn. I feel like you’d be very good at word games! Pennywise is the creepiest monster ever. ALL GEORGIE WANTED WAS A BALLOON, DAMNIT!

    • Tammy Sparks

    • 8 years ago

    I can’t believe it didn’t have a single Stephen King book on my list! Good call with IT. I do love the classics angle you took. Beowulf!

    1. Stephen King is one of the few horror greats that I’ve read, so I had to include him this week! Beowulf is the best. 🙂

  4. Stephen King’s novels are an absolute haven for this week’s topic! I love that both you and Nathan included a character from Alice in Wonderland on your lists, although the Jabberwock makes a bit more sense than the White Rabbit. LOL

    1. Hahaha, glad you see it my way Carmel. 😉 And of course, Stephen King is a gold mine for any horror-style tropes. A scary, scary gold mine.

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