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The Monstrumologist
By Rick Yancey

Discussed October 2015

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Dramatis Personae

  • Dr. Pellinore Warthrop - Philosopher and monstrumologist
  • Alistair Warthrop - Dr. Warthrop's father and monstrumologist
  • William Henry - Orphan and apprentice / assistant to Dr. Warthrop
  • James Henry (deceased) - William's father and assistant to Dr. Warthrop
  • Erasmus Gray - Graverobber
  • Anthropophagi (various) - Man-eating hominid monsters
  • John Kearns - Monstrumologist and hunter
  • Mrs. Bratton - A putative nurse
  • Dr. Starr - An alienist
  • Captain Varner - Seafarer, slaver, opportunist
  • Constable Morgan - A constable
  • Malachi - Eventually an orphan
  • woman - A Baltimorean tart
  • Anthropophagi Matriarch - The putative 'Big Bad'


  • Did you read the book? Did you read any of it? Did you finish it?
  • Did you enjoy reading the book, if applicable?
  • Have you read any of the other books in the series?
  • Is the relationship between Dr. Warthrop and Will Henry healthy? For either party or both?
  • Is Dr. Warthrop intended to suffer (should 'suffer' be the correct word) from bipolar disorder? If so, is this a good , bad, or neutral representation of bipolar disorder? How would the narrative change if the Doctor did not suffer from bipolar disorder?
  • Does Will Henry's relationship with the Doctor reflect on the Doctor's relationship with his own father? Or on Will Henry's relationship to his father, James?
  • Several times in the narrative, the phrase "You are indispensable to me, Will Henry" or "Your services are indispensable to me, Will Henry" is used. What are the Doctor's feelings towards Will Henry?
  • John Kearns displays an odd morality, at least in the opinion of the one writing these questions; is his morality correct for his chosen profession? How does the book's constant reminders of his use of aliases affect this impression?
  • Was there any LGBTQ content to be found?
  • The Constable, the Doctor, and Mr. Kearns all take very different views about the use of a specific bait in the 'Maori Protocol'; absent from expressing an explicit view is Will Henry. What do you suspect his own opinion of the use of the bait to be? What is your opinion?
  • The style is vaguely reminiscent of Howard Phillip Lovecraft, albeit with a speaking female character, and toned-down prose. Does this seem intentional? Do you regard this as being wholly within the imagination of the question-writer?
  • Following on from the prior question, did you find the style of prose enjoyable to read?
  • Expound on your enjoyment of reading this book, or on the lack thereof - why did you enjoy reading this, or not?
  • If you did enjoy this book, would you read others in the series? Why?
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