In this engaging debut collection of short stories, L. Annette Binder probes the psyches not of heroes, but of monsters, turning the lens of the fairy tale on itself. When I first read the list of story titles, heavy with allusions—Galatea, Nod—I was afraid of finding myself in the well-trod territory of the reinvented Grimm tale. But Binder’s collection is unusual in the way it straddles the divide between fairy tale and normal life. There is no magic, and there are no talking beasts. Instead, Binder's monsters are ordinary people marked by physical and mental deformities: freakish height, the ability to speak dead languages. For them, the realm of the fairy tale is a lonely, isolated one, an internal landscape of beauty set against a reality that is often twisted and bleak.