This book has been a favorite of mine since it came out way back in 2009. Young Will Henry is an apprentice to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, the Monstrumologist. He assists the doctor in whatever he needs, whether that be bringing him a scone when he's hungry, traveling with him to the sanatorium to hear a dying old man tell a tale, or battling an anthropophagus deep down in its underground lair. What? You find that unreasonable for a 12 year old? Surely not.
Scones are delicious, there's nothing wrong with them.
The old man's tale? Terrible, but really, the best part of the entire book. It's where the title of this blog post came from. A grizzled old sea captain tells a frightful story and then has issues with taking off his boots. I won't say more than that. I will admit, that is a little bad, especially what happens AFTER the boot comes off. (What of the flies? or as I prefer to ask What of the foot boot?!)
And what is an anthropophagus you ask? A cannibalistic monster with no head, eyes in its shoulders and a giant mouth in its belly. Okay, so battling a monster might be rough for a young boy. But really. It could probably be worse... right? Oh, there's more than one monster? There's at least 30 of them? Yeah, okay. That is bad.
This book is so great and a perfect spooky read. Will Henry tells the story of his time spent working with the monstrumologist who took him in after his parents died. There is some gruesome gothic horror and bloody, man-eating monsters, yes, but there is also heart. And they are successful in their defeat of the anthropophagi. But are they the only monsters lurking in New Jerusalem in the late 1890s? Hard to say. Read the book and listen to our episode and tell us what you think about Will Henry and Pellinore Warthrop.
Here's a picture of us whilst recording. We might actually be talking about the foot boot in this very moment!