What the Critics Say


"His story cycle “School Bus” is really one of the great pieces of American writing in the twenty first century."--San Francisco Book Review

“Grandbois' prose is wonderful, and he's a robust storyteller at heart.”

--The Rocky Mountain News

“Peter Grandbois is a splendid writer I intend to follow very closely.”

--Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize Winner

“Peter Grandbois writes with uncommon beauty and marvelous care about the deepest complexities of history and heart."

--Laird Hunt, Anisfield Wolf Prize Winner


“Reminiscent of the work of Luis Alberto Urrea and Gabriel García Márquez, this luminous first offering brims with earthy humor and heart.”

--Booklist **Starred Review**


“A mix of surreal and airy vignettes, Grandbois’s collection of “fictions” mythologizes the bizarre in suburban America . . . the precise tales of the middle section (never over three pages each) are the standouts. Taking the quotidian as their subject—including mundane activities such as gardening, plumbing, doing laundry, and cooking—the stories couch workaday sentiments in surreal circumstances that reveal the characters’ layered emotional states. The pieces create a disparate, fragmented view of modern life, with the most effective tapping into themes of malaise.”

--Publisher’s Weekly (**Starred Review**)

“Grandbois’ debut is a joy to read, entertaining, and pleasantly melancholy, like the best of Bradbury.”

--The Boulder Daily Camera

“We have a García Márquez. What’s really wonderful is to make the welcome discovery of a Grandbois.”

--Sacramento News & Review

“A remarkable debut . . .”

--Barnes and Noble Review


“In Peter Grandbois’ ‘hybrid’ memoir the materials of his suburban anomie are cut apart and thrust into arresting and disturbing juxtapositions. Passages of spiky adrenalin play against a melancholic, duende-driven introspection as identity is assembled and re-assembled in a strobe-lit chamber. “ 

--Sven Birkerts, author of The Gutenberg Elegies and My Sky Blue Trades 

“The amazing and masterful thing is the way that Grandbois ties this very personal, family story to the larger narrative of American expansion; it's not overt, but we see clearly how individual pain leads to national empire." 

--The Colorado Springs Independent

“Eerie stories harkening back to the grand old tales of The Twilight Zone will thrill as they entertain…the writing is so good that it goes beyond genre.”

--Foreword Reviews

“Grandbois shows us that the truth is indeed out there, but it’s even farther, darker, and more complicated than we might have first imagined.”

--Los Angeles Review of Books

“Grandbois capably ups the weirdness ante by fixating each story on the mundane, from work and love to the day-to-day minutiae of taking notes and maintaining focus . . . Grandbois has both humanized and revitalized two classic monsters in these stories, and I suspect other monsters will be getting the same attention soon. At least, I hope so.”

- -San Francisco Book Review

Extraordinary characters in ordinary situations prompt wry philosophical speculations about everyday life and longings. . . His clever, sympathetic depiction of the men inside the monsters will appeal to a wide range of readers. (Oct.)

--Publisher’s Weekly

“Peter Grandbois is quickly making a name for himself with his Double Monster features, bringing a wonderful human touch to classic Hollywood monsters. . . a charmingly twisted look at what might’ve come after the credits rolled.”

--San Francisco Book Review

“These books are must haves… Reading these books is like pulling your ’57 Chevy up to a speaker post and staring at a silver screen, the smell of buttered popcorn on the breeze, only to glance at yourself in the rearview mirror and see a monster’s eyes. It might be disconcerting, but it’s a realization worth much more than the price of a movie ticket.”

--Lit Reactor


Grandbois tempers the pathos of his characters’ experiences with gentle humor that acknowledges the absurdity of the stories’ premises. These stories show how fantastical tropes can be perfect touchstones for exploring universal human experiences. (Mar.) 

--Publisher’s Weekly


“This ‘‘Double Monster Feature’’ is the third installment in Wordcraft’s series of fabulist novellas, and includes two stories that take their inspiration from ’50s SF movies, The Quatermass Experiment and The Mole People respectively, transforming the themes and imagery of those films into dark, strange, and ambitious works of literary SF.”

--Locus Online, new and noteworthy, Feb 2015

“Peter Grandbois is quickly building an impressive reputation for what I think of as “humanized horror” . . . It’s insightful storytelling at its most insidious . . . the author is only growing more confident and capable, wielding sci-fi tropes like blades to cut to the heart of our doubts and fears.”

--Glenn Dallas, San Francisco Book Review

In poems that open into a maze of rooms and walls, Peter Grandbois takes on marriage, fatherhood, the ravages of family life. He brings a piercing, dreamlike attention to everything in a packed household that isn’t there: what can’t be said, what shouldn’t be said. At once harrowing and deeply tender, This House That tracks the intensity of living too close to one another, the sense of being trapped inside a solace you once chose. There is physical urgency in these poems—the need to change—and music in the plea for mystery and design, for a home inside the house, for “unuttered lives.”—Joanna Klink


“The essays in Peter Grandbois’s Kissing the Lobster invite us to consider pain, suffering, failure and the role they play in truly knowing the self. Grandbois has the courage to go where lesser writers won’t. As relentless as the competitive fencer he is, he thrusts into the dark corners of the ego and the soul, until finally, like all good essayists, he strikes the light, and we, his willing companions stand exposed and grateful in its illumination. Always on the attack, these essays are smart and necessary.”

--Lee Martin, author of The Mutual UFO Network