The Melancholy of Anatomy

Shelley Jackson

With a shocking weirdness in the vein of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and the movie Being John Malkovich, this collection of stories often grossed me out and made me laugh out loud at the same time. Each story focuses on a different bodily substance, but they’re all monstrously huge and completely out of their natural element. Sperm grow to the size of bison and have a tendency toward aggressiveness. The underground pipes of London menstruate once a month and must be swabbed out by women hoisting gigantic tampons. Bundles of nerves are fashioned into spontaneously combusting clothing. Swapping phlegm is a courteous gesture of friendship, while molding it into interesting shapes is a form of intercourse. At just 192 pages, this is a quick, fun read with touches of creepy drama to keep the whole thing off-kilter. Highly recommended.