The best way to describe The Imaginary Corpse is ‘wow.’ This is a unique book, the kind that instantly sends your mind reeling, asking how an author came up with such an intriguing, imaginative idea. The world of make believe has been used time and again, but Hayes takes it to a whole new level, giving us this mix between childlike wonderment and the horrors of real life. As readers, we get to balance on the tightrope between the joys of imagination and the scary parts of life that tear these beings away from their magical worlds into the Stillreal. The whole book is a joy to imagine, filled with vivid imagery and larger-than-life characters you can’t help but follow.
Hayes doesn’t just present a fun idea and then play around in it. He hunkers down, giving us a story with intricate depths that show how important imagination is to people and how it can create worlds of its own. Ideas become tangible things in The Imaginary Corpse, given new life in this veritable island of misfit toys. With them comes a whole host of problems. Some are joyful, filled with bright colors and happy times. Others are horrifying monsters ripped from the most intense of nightmares, who stalk around wreaking havoc. Through it all, we get a fascinating perspective on the psychology of imagination and how we use it to cope with the world around us.
Above all, The Imaginary Corpse will set your imagination on fire. I reveled in this brilliant world and couldn’t get enough of the scrappy stuffed triceratops we had the joy of calling a protagonist. It’s a one-of-a-kind book that demands to be read.
The Imaginary Corpse
By Tyler Hayes
Published by Angry Robot
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.