Eleven-year-old Eric King (otherwise known as Doodles given his passion for drawing), loves to visit the amusement park his great-great grandfather created and now run by Eric’s dad. A recent hurricane has damaged the Coney Island park leaving property developers licking their chops at the possibilities—like turning the whole place into condos and apartments.

Eric’s family might lose it all and his parents are not getting along. This leaves Eric with what he feels is the one good thing left in his young life. It’s Monster Club, a role playing game that Eric and his friends created. But now his friends are finding other things to do that seem more grownup. Eric is devastated and suddenly he has no friends thanks to his untimely temper.

This contemporary set-up occurs in the first 30% of the story/ Then, OH MY, the plot dives head first in another direction

Eric finds a vial of magic ink in a box full of other stuff. He draws his favorite monster, Brickman, and POP! the monster appears right next to him in 3-D form. 

His old friends are back and they also draw their favorite beast using the ink, but the increase in monsters wreaks havoc across Coney Island. Whoops, it’s all Eric’s fault. Now the Monster Club must make things right for the monsters, Eric’s family, and the shuttered amusement park.

Monster Club at 335 pages won’t appeal to everyone. The long drawn out climax could have been shortened, but it does set up a sequel. Other than Brickman, keeping the characters and owners straight was a challenge. Darren the bully was one to dislike and appeared more like an escaped criminal. But if you like an action packed story this one might be to your liking. One final note to the parents who always asking me “Any Inappropriate Language? Yes there is quite a bit but nothing in the PG-13 or R rated kind.


Darren Aronofsky is a Coney Island–raised, Academy Award–nominated screenwriter, director, and producer. He is best known for his surreal, high-concept work in films like Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, The Wrestler, and mother!

Ari Handel is a scientist, writer, producer, and storyteller. He and Darren Aronofsky have worked together for more than twenty years on many projects, including The Fountain, Noah, and the National Geographic series One Strange Rock, Welcome to Earth, and Limitless.


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About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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3 Responses to MONSTER CLUB

  1. carolbaldwin says:

    Thorough review. Doesn’t sound like a book for my tastes–but every book isn’t for every reader. Some kids will eat it up!

  2. I like the idea of the magic ink and the kids creating monsters. Thanks for telling me about this one.

  3. This sounds interesting! It’s almost like two stories in one. Enjoyed your review!

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