If you wish to experience the wonders of the Universe, then learn to travel through yourself…” says Patrick in the Garden of Idols.
This is the story of a young girl’s journey of self-discovery as she battles with illness. A teenager with everything before her, and surrounded by loving family and friends, Muriel must explore the inner depths of her being to learn how to deal with the traumas facing her.
In meeting and facing up to her demons she comes to a self-awareness denied to most of us through our own self-imposed limitations. In the process she discovers hidden talents that she might never otherwise have found.
This light-hearted and entertaining allegory is a voyage of self-discovery that will have the reader on the edge of their seat, and certainly emotionally involved. As the author himself says, “It is a process of development which will leave you wiser than it found you.”
What readers are saying:
‘This book by Martin Slevin was really good, and totally unlike anything I have ever read before. I loved how complete and thoroughly imagined the story here was. This story is unusual in that it doesn’t have a clear straight forward narrative, but instead is a blend of real life and fantasy, with many characters and events being used as an allegory for Muriel’s battle against her illness. It is extremely intelligent, deep and introspective, yet very easy to get swept up in, and lose yourself in. Fortunately though, it’s not convoluted or confusing, even though it could have been! Loved the characters, and thought the whole take on her spiritual and mystical mind journey was really cool. This book makes you think outside the box, and I like the fact it has a sort of “existential” feel to it as well. Loved the ending, even though it was not what I had hoped for or expected, it was real and powerful. The whole thing wraps up well. Recommended for readers of literary fiction” (5 stars) Kaylee Stevens, Goodreads book reviewer.
“Muriel’s Monster” is the first book I have read from this talented author, Martin Slevin, but I hope it won’t be the last! I thought the storyline and plot development to be very well done and thought out. I felt like this level of surreal, metaphorical, world-building complexity could have easily ended up badly, but instead I darn near gobbled the whole book down in one week, (fast for me). Solid writing that is super descriptive, but not so much as to kill the pacing (a tricky balance to achieve I think). I did find the beginning to be a bit slow however, and it did take me some time to really get grounded in this world(s), and understand the various characters and their roles, and what it all meant…but it does soon become clear, and it felt like such a magical, mind-bending experience that is truly unique. Great editing and flow, and an interesting mix of characters along the way makes for an entertaining, and quite profound and emotional read. Although it features a young adult character (Muriel is only 15), it feels and reads much older, so adults will definitely enjoy this one as well.” Sam Ryan for Indie Book Reviewers (4 stars)
“I am somewhat of mixed feelings on this novel, Muriel’s Monster by Martin Slevin. On the one hand it is incredibly well written, with some of the most interesting and compelling characters I have read in a long time, and it’s obvious the author is seriously brilliant. On the other hand, I felt some of the concepts went over my head, and I felt it needed more tension to thrust us along, as for too long things felt too safe, although this changes. The writing is downright beautiful. The narrative prose Slevin uses is literary and lovely, very descriptive and evocative. So I’d say overall this is a good story with an original plot, great world-building with some really unique ideas, great characters, and a surreal, philosophical approach to the story. I can see people really liking it.” Steph Coleman, for Indie Book Reviwers (4 stars)
“This book by Martin Slevin was terrific! Once I started I didn’t want to stop until I had finished the whole thing. It sucks you in from the beginning, and I enjoyed his creative and descriptive narrative and style of writing. The interweaving plotlines were well developed and certainly not predictable, and there were so many aspects to this book that appealed to me on an emotional, creative, intellectual and spiritual level. For a book involving so much “fantasy” it felt very authentic, and not some caricature plot-device I’ve seen over and over, where dreams are the main focus. Here it something entirely different. The two worlds are connected in a way that is so intelligent, weird, sad, dark, deep, tragic, suspenseful and profoundly moving. It is slow to start, but the tension builds throughout, and the ending will definitely leave you with tears! I like how the author wrapped it all up at the end, and explained all the connections, in case there are some (like me) who may have missed something. An interesting read, one that will test the limits of your imagination, and take your mind to new places. I’d love to read more from Martin Slevin in the future I recommend this for fans of literary fiction, suitable for ages 15 through adult.” (5 stars) Megan King, for Indie Book Reviews and Goodreads.
“Muriel’s Monster is great, although I admit, that at first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. The beginning was a bit confusing for me, but as the story revealed itself, I was impressed with the vivid descriptions and original plot-so hard for this genre. I admit at first I was confused as to what was going on, it’s a very complex, and highly intelligent type of book, but the characters were really interesting, and once I got into it I literally could not put it down! Definitely recommend, even if the beginning seems a bit confusing just keep going, because it will all make sense soon, and then totally blow your mind. Near perfect ending too, which is always appreciated.” (4-5 stars) Laura Clake for Goodreads.
“The concept for “Muriel’s Monster” is amazing, very well thought out, brilliantly crafted and executed. The writing was very good, and I have never read anything like this before. Other than a bit of a slowish start, the story flowed well, and I thought many of the ideas presented were pretty amazing. This book covers so, so much and it’s almost as literary and dramatic and philosophical as it is spiritual and enlightening. This is not a quick and easy read by any stretch. Slevin tackles many complex subjects about life, our purpose and the meaning of it all, that it will force you to live outside your comfort zone, and look at things differently. I liked how mind-bending it was and I was sad when it was over. Would like to read more from him someday.” Gillian Hancock (4-5 stars) Goodreads and Indie Book Reviews.
“Wow, what a crazy, imaginative and powerful ride! Trust me when I say you’ve never read anything like this before! It’s deep and profound, and it’s not for someone just looking for a quick and easy fluff read. But if you like nicely thought out, creative and insightful literary fiction that will touch your heart and soul, that is also fun to read, you’ll love this one. It will take you through new ideas and perspectives that you may not have read before. Experiencing life though Muriel’s perspective as she battles her “monster” is as enlightening as it is entertaining, thrilling and heartbreaking. She is a young girl but I think that has great crossover appeal, and is written in a way that adults will enjoy as well. Overall an interesting, surreal novel that pushes the boundaries of literary fiction, I enjoyed the author’s beautiful writing style. I will look for more from Mr Slevin in the future.” Eliza Brown (5 stars) Goodreads.
About the Author
Martin Slevin began his writing career with the Little Girl in theRadiator, a biography of his time spent as the main carer for his mother who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The book won the British Medical Association’s Book of the Year (Chairman’s Choice in 2013).