Hrbek premieres new writing

Posted by Julia Leef

At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17 in Davis Auditorium more than 140 students gathered to hear faculty member Greg Hrbek read an excerpt from his soon to be published collection of short stories, "Destroy All Monsters."

Hrbek has written many novels and short stories and has won several awards for his works, including the James Jones First Novel Award and the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction.

Earlier this year he received the U.S. Japan Creative Artists Fellowship and plans to spend several months next year working on a novel while living in Japan.

"Destroy All Monsters" is based on the 1965 Japanese monster movie, "Great Monster War," known in the U.S. as "Godzilla vs. Monster Zero."

The novel tells the stories of the real-life people involved in the making of the movie. The Japanese film was played in the background while he read from his book.

The story is written from the perspectives of six different characters: the director Ishiro Honda, Nick Adams, translator Miriam Schuman, an original character who survived the atomic bomb in Nagasaki, special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya and the mixed viewpoint of Monster Zero and the actor inside the costume, Haruo Nakajima.

The short story portrayed the thoughts and actions of these six people when the camera wasn't rolling. Hrbek took these figures, most of whom were real-life figures, and gave them fictional stories to tell.

Such stories ranged from the director's dinners with the famous Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, to Adams's awkward encounter with Marlon Brando in the men's restroom.

Hrbek described "Destroy All Monsters" as a humorous tale that combines fiction and reality to entertain its readers.

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