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Publisher's Summary

The sound hits Guy in some low, forgotten part of his psyche - a part of him that understands the truth about shadows. The part of him that knows the deep, dark truth behind fairy stories and myths.

Guy is about to finish writing his breakthrough online article. He overheard the story by chance in a pub and it’s guaranteed to go viral - all he needs to do is persuade the World’s Unluckiest Man to talk to him. His best friend Larry’s quest for killer clickbait material has led him to a recently appeared shanty town in Glasgow, where he finds some kind of urban voodoo cult. Ex-cop Sam has already come face-to-face with the terrifying force behind both these phenomena, but he’s been trying to put it out of his mind.

When Larry is killed in inexplicably gruesome circumstances, Guy knows he’s also a target. The evidence of malevolent power is suddenly proliferating - but why now? Together, Sam and Guy enter a shadow world of ancient monsters and modern curses, in a battle to figure out the rules of the game and bring them to the light before it’s far too late.

From the best-selling author of the Stone Man series, You See the Monster is for fans of contemporary horror books at their most darkly inventive: a chilling, high-concept fable for our times.

©2021 Luke Smitherd (P)2021 Luke Smitherd

What listeners say about You See the Monster

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A pleasant (horrifying) surprise

According to Audible, I own around 1000 audiobooks here alone, not counting other retailers. That's not quite as self-indulgent as it looks in print, averaging about 2 books a week over the lifetime of my subscription here. I've listened to a LOT of audiobooks, and it takes something special to surprise me and strike me as new or refreshing.

This one did.

Listening to so many audiobooks every month, I'm pretty careful what I'll spend my precious credits on. I'll do just about anything else first, from seeking out story-based podcasts instead to weighing the price of the Kindle-plus-audiobook discounted price against the eleven or so dollars of a credit, and paying outright for lots of $2-3 short stories. So when I choose a new author I know nothing about to sacrifice a credit to, it's a carefully-considered decision. I'm rarely as pleased with the outcome of that gamble as I am right now.

Narration first: I've heard better narrators, but mostly I've heard worse ones. When I realized the audiobook was being narrated by the author, I winced; that sometimes turns out well, but not routinely. However, it was less than a chapter before I forgot that this wasn't being read by a professional narrator. Smitherd reads clearly and well. He's no George Guidall, but his voice is pleasant enough; he's no Jim Dale, but I rarely lost track of who was speaking. The narration is solid, and in places it genuinely benefits from being voiced by the person who imagined what certain characters should sound like in the first place. Overall, I think his reading adds value -- that is, I got more enjoyment from hearing him read it than I would have just from reading it myself.

The story itself, however, really shines. I particularly appreciated its self-reinforcing, self-referential nature. Some of the characters are also writers, and they state within the story rules about writing that the narrative itself follows in a delightful kind of meta-recursion. Even better, rules themselves are an important part of the story, so the narrative following the rules stated within adds another level of meta and another level of recursion. The structure is satisfyingly fractal that way. Best yet, this is done in a way that preserves the story's surprises rather than spoiling them. The craft on display here is startling from an author without a single "traditionally published" book (at least, as of the time the "Author's Afterword" to the Kindle version was written).

I haven't said much about the story itself, and that's partly because this one is very hard to describe or even tease without stealing surprises from the reader. For someone who has already read or heard the story, the blurb does describe it, but for most of the book I was baffled why the description included so little of what the book is actually about. Only in hindsight, knowing what to look for, does it seem accurate; the story itself is so very much better than the description led me to expect. I wanted entertaining and hoped for gripping, but what I got was utterly absorbing. Even the title winds up like this; through much of the story, Smitherd seems to be following the principle of referring to the monsters' effect on the characters, while leaving their actual appearance to the reader's/listener's imagination. But by the time the promise that "You See the Monster" is actually fulfilled without question, it hardly matters -- and you're not entirely sure which monster, or how many, or whether you've maybe been seeing them all along.

I'm so excited to discover an author I needn't hesitate about spending credits on, and I hope you won't hesitate, either.

104 people found this helpful

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Curse of the Demon

This killer novel gave me visions of the movie Night of the Demon (Curse of the Demon in the US) with a technological twist. Also, a very strong message on modern society's addiction to screens and social media. An added bonus was Luke Smitherd's narration.
I Loved it!

Five Stars *****

15 people found this helpful

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I Liked it.

I very much enjoy this mans work. It's always very creative and a good time. I think you do an excellent job narrating too. Keep it up Luke. I'll keep buying them. Smitherd's stories are never quite what I expect and pulls me along in whatever direction they're going, like being fairly drunk and led astray by a mischievous yet well intentioned friend.

10 people found this helpful

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Modern horror novel indeed!

Best book I've read in a while. I am easily bored with slow pacing, but this book was engaging the whole way through. Loved the way modern technology was seamlessly blended into the occult horror setting. Also, Luke Smitherd does a lovely job with the narration.

8 people found this helpful

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I am Smithereen!

As usual Luke Smitherd presents a great story! I am personally a huge fan of his ability to draw the reader/listener into the beauty and so often the horror of real human emotion. His character development is captivating especially as he places them in the most unusual of situations! I do agree with his view on the over use of social media and I appreciate the way he presents it.
Smithereen

7 people found this helpful

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Brilliant, Brilliant, and More Brilliant!!

Congratulations Mr. Smitherd! You have done it again! I would love to say that this is my favorite book of yours, but I love it just as well as everything else you have written! Your narration is, as always, perfectly done! I have long wondered why your fabulous story The Stone Man hasn’t been made into a movie… and I think this one is absolutely suited for the screen as well! I am thrilled to hear there will be a Stone Man 3 and 4! Now I’m off to read the extra chapter you’ve sent to your followers! Thanks for another Amazing Work!!

7 people found this helpful

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Another gem

Another gem from Smitherd. I can’t get enough of this guy’s books. As always, his creativity (in this case it’s the monsters themselves) is top notch. As always, the characters are relatable and likable (except when we’re supposed to hate them). As always, I had to pause the audiobook several times to think things through for myself… “How would I react if I saw a monster?” / “How would that scene with the YouTube video play out in real life?” / “What is the bigger societal message here?” I just love it when a story can entertain me and get me thinking too.
Well done, sir. Looking forward to the next one.

4 people found this helpful

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Another great book!

Listen to all of Luke Smitherd’s books and you will not be disappointed. His stories are unique and thought provoking.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent book

I really like to story, and for someone reading his own work, he does give a great performance. He is the exception to the “avoid self publishing“ rule.

It’s a shame that we can’t take more chances on self published authors to find gems like this since audible hassles you so much when you try to return something.

It’s a great book, a lot of self-promotion at the end, which I guess he needs to do, but it does nock almost a full hour off of the expected length of the work.
In his case, I’d give it a pass because even his self promotion can be entertaining.

4 people found this helpful

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if you liked "the last days of jack sparks..."

this is a weird way to start a review, but when I finished another book, "the last days of jack sparks," all i wanted was another book just like that. which there wasn't. i considered king, katsu, bellingrud, origin of dracula, even Grady hendrix... but, ultimately, none scratched the itch. so now, a couple years later, I see that jack sparks is being made into a big box office movie. directed by Stephen Spielberg? Soderberg? I forget. but that means good things for the writer of that book. really good things. for starters, the writer will almost certainly make lots more money, get much more favorable publishing terms and get them more easily, and his next few releases are guaranteed to enjoy a wide readership among the hugely influential audience that is the entertainment business. now, I dont know if this book—you see the monsters—lends itself to film as well as sparks does, but I dont see why not. and as far as ebing exciting goes, it's all that and a can of coke. its interesting all over, builds to several wild and emotional climaxes, features tons of interesting characters and is peppered with novel ideas throughout. id say this book is everything jack sparks was and then some. it's a modern-day supernatural horror/thriller that involves (but is not overtly about) social media and societal trends at large. and it has soooooo many creepy ideas and scenes. omg, so many. the scene where sam and guy are investigating the new shanty village out in the field (while reviewing barney the dog's instagram feed). or when guy is trying to unscrew the fake outlet cover where his buddy hides his weed while the thing is materializing in the upstairs bedroom. the planning of guy's whole post-revenge sequence (which I obv won't divulge here). the two old ladies in the church. guy's affliction! man, just his affliction alone is skin-crawling! then there's the whole sequence at the BBC taping. the list just goes on and on. it really is brilliant. file under "more good news:" the main characters dont make one idiotic decision after another. the driving evil is vague and changeable. the characters are smart and real and dont fall into ludicrous plot traps because there are none. its so good, in fact, that im actually worried right now that ive done Luke and his book a disservice by comparing it so vehemently to the sparks book. like, maybe I robbed this book of some of its own, and very well deserved, thunder. or that I somehow implied it's too similar and therefore almost redundant to sparks. which it is not. at all. to be clear, the two books are totally unrelated and really quite different. what they do share is a) supernatural forces b) horror elements and c) the setting being modern day england (primarily). beyond that, the nature of the stories, the writing style, the main characters, the resolution, even the evil and the mystery thread are all wholly unique to each other. I could've just as easily compared it to the rivers of London series by ben aaronovitch although this and sparks are both darker/edgier than aaronovitch. nonetheless, here I am wondering if i should go back and rewrite this, sans all the sparks references. hang on. okay. no, i will not. here's why: because, given that sparks is such a successful book, perhaps making reference to it here will draw more readers to this book, something that it richly deserves. in fact, at the end of this audiobook, the author comes on and mentions that not one of his books has ever been properly or officially published whatever that means. if thats true, thats a crime y'all. a real tragedy. and if "the stone man"—which im diving into right now—and luke's other books are as good as this one, he absolutely deserves a wider audience. and a publisher! and a Netflix series. so I guess, Im trying to help this guy achieve those things with my admittedly heavy-handed jack sparks comparisons. so take it from me, if you liked "the last days of jack sparks," you will love, "you see the monster." you will.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Bev carmody
  • 06-19-21

A MUST READ

Well done, brilliant listen, very hard to put it down. Very different to anything I have listened/read before, this seems to be the normal with you xx Already on your reader list, so off to read the deleted part, thanks! Looking forward to listening to more of the StoneMan, can’t wait.
If your on the fence, it’s well worth the credit. So go ahead and grab it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Eivind
  • 06-16-21

Another great book from Smitherd

Great story, great narration and great world building. I really enjoyed this book, would recommend it to anyone whos into weird fiction in general. Not sure Id call it a horror book, but im so desensitized at this point I might be way off there.

4 people found this helpful

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  • TerryF
  • 06-15-21

Brilliant!

I'm still waiting for a book by Luke Smitherd that I don't like.... I hope it's going to be a very long wait. If this is going to be your first foray into the weird and wonderful mind of Mr Smitherd you will not be disappointed, you will however end up listening to everything he has written... enjoy!

I was hooked from the first chapter, I absolutely loved it, listening to the author read the story is wonderful, the monster voices are very creepy.



4 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 09-24-21

Back with a vengeance

I am an avid Smitherd fan, but was disappointed with the Stone men. However, Luke's back to his absolute best! Loved this book from start to finish. The story, the characters, the twists and the Smitherd writing style. In my opinion one of his best books to date (and I've read them all). Let's hope the next two Stone men books are in this vein.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mike
  • 08-03-21

Coventry's own Stephen King

Luke does it again. All his books are great.
I love that he reads them himself too.
Looking forward to Stone Man III

2 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 07-25-21

A change of pace

I'm a long term Smithereen and yet to find a book of his I don't like. I was worried that I wasn't enjoying this one, I found the first few chapters disjointed. But no fear!! true to form the beautifully crafted and delightful flawed characters came to the for and Luke's character driven style stepped up. By the last third I was enthralled and obsessed with trying to put the pieces together before the end. Now off the Branigans for a swift pint.

2 people found this helpful

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  • c
  • 07-25-21

Another great read from Smitherd

Or listen, as I took the audio route.
The only disappointment... it came to an end.
As are all his stories, unusual, original and engrossing. You happily do mundane tasks whilst listening.
The last scene threw me an emotional curveball, I'll say no more, to not spoil the story for you.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. P. J. Whittaker
  • 12-20-21

People can see when you listening to Luke’s books!

My partner says I have a look, a particular facial expression, that means they can tell when I am listening to a Luke Smitherd book! It is a mixture of shock, delight, and awe.

I would say Luke has found his vocation with his writing and narration, he is able to take the listener into another dimension where fantastical things are happening and still entirely real, gripping, dark, and tense.

I have loved all of Luke’s books and continue to look forward to the next.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 11-28-21

Another great book by Luke

Loved it, lots of twists and turns, didn't want the fun to end. Great listen

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kenton
  • 11-05-21

Dark and Spooky

More fab work from Luke, a clever premise, well done. Luke does urban horror very well, and this is no exception.

1 person found this helpful