This Young Monster

Charlie Fox

French paperback with flaps, 280 pages
Published 22 February 2017 (UK) | 6 June 2018 (US)

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This Young Monster is a hallucinatory celebration of artists who raise hell, transform their bodies, anger their elders and show their audience dark, disturbing things. What does it mean to be a freak? Why might we be wise to think of the present as a time of monstrosity? And how does the concept of the monster irradiate our thinking about queerness, disability, children and adolescents? From Twin Peaks to Leigh Bowery, Harmony Korine to Alice in Wonderland, This Young Monster gets high on a whole range of riotous art as its voice and form shape-shift, all in the name of dealing with the strange wonders of what Nabokov once called ‘monsterhood’. Ready or not, here they come…

‘My friend Bruce Hainley had told me about a new book coming out called “This Young Monster,” by Charlie Fox, but I had forgotten all about it until the publisher Fitzcarraldo Editions in London sent me this beautifully designed French-flap-style paperback original. Good God, where did this wise-beyond-his-years 25-year-old critic’s voice come from? His breath of proudly putrefied air is really something to behold. Finally, a new Parker Tyler is on the scene. Yep. Mr. Fox is the real thing.’
John Waters, New York Times

This Young Monster is a hybrid animal in its own right, suturing biographical essays with stranger things: a “dumb fan letter” to the Beast, a meandering confession from Alice, bombed out after her many years in Wonderland…. There’s not enough of this sort of playfulness and frank enthusiasm in art criticism.’
Olivia Laing, New Statesman

‘Surreal and provocative, This Young Monster is both a poignant portrayal of life on the margins, and a joyful salute to a group of people who embraced their misfit status to lead beautifully unconventional lives.’
— Lucy Watson, Financial Times

‘A Rimbaud-like moonbeam in written form.’
 —  Bruce Hainley, author of Under the Sign of [sic]

‘Charlie Fox writes about scary and fabulous monsters, but he really writes about culture, which is the monster’s best and only escape. He is a dazzling writer, unbelievably erudite, and this book is a pleasure to read. Fox’s essays spin out across galaxies of knowledge. Domesticating the difficult, he invites us as his readers to become monsters as well.’
 — Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick

‘A performance as original and audacious as any of the characters within – it crackles off the page, roaring and clawing its way into the world, powered by a brilliant vagabond electricity.’
— Chloe Aridjis, author of Book of Clouds

‘Charlie Fox is a ferociously gifted critic, whose prose, like a punk Walter Pater’s, attains pure flame. Fox’s sentences, never “matchy-matchy”, clash with orthodoxy; I love how extravagantly he leaps between different cultural climes, and how intemperately – and with what impressive erudition! – he pledges allegiance to perversity. Take This Young Monster with you to a desert island; his bons mots will supply you with all the protein you need.’
— Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Humiliation

‘Charlie Fox has a cardsharp’s diamond-eye for cataloguing the shapeshifting face of the sublime. His essays slither through skins over the warm flesh where so many mythic worlds and realities connect, from that of Twin Peaks to Diane Arbus, Fassbinder to Columbine, which somehow in their amassment ventriloquise a tender, enchanted end­notes for our black present. Put on this mask and breathe.’
— Blake Butler, author of 300,000,000

‘Central to the book is the corporeal home in which we find ourselves, the alien feelings that occur in an obstinate body and the forms of expression born of this contradiction. Fox writes as a surrealist conversationalist. At times the reader is invited to perform a role, somewhere between ventriloquist and historian, talking yourself into a beast.’
 — Tank Magazine

‘[This Young Monster] is a paean to the queer transformative power of art.’
 — Mònica Tomàs White, Totally Dublin

Charlie Fox is a writer who lives in London. He was born in 1991. His work has appeared in many publications including frieze, Cabinet, Sight & Sound, ArtReview, The Wire and The White Review.