Ask a bookseller

Ask a Bookseller: ‘Pest’ by Michael Cisco

Ask a Bookseller Podcast

Stefen Holtrey of Brilliant Books in Traverse City, Mich., has a title for readers who love to be surprised by something experimental and new.

He’s a big fan of Michael Cisco, whose work is generally classified as weird or speculative fiction but whose novels vary wildly in style. A philosophical writer who tends toward a horror lens, his work regularly defies genres in ways Holtrey finds delightful.

A book cover
"Pest" by Michael Cisco.

“He’s very experimental. Each one of his books are completely different experiences,” says Holtrey.

Cisco’s new novel “Pest” focuses on a man who transforms into a yak.

Before he was turned into a yak, he was an architect, working for a cult trying to build a piece of architecture to welcome some unseen celestial being into the world. The book goes back and forth between the viewpoint of the main character as the yak and as the architect.

“It’s a phantasmagoric ride through this transformation,” says Holtrey. “When he’s embodied in the yak, it’s some of the coolest writing that I’ve ever read that really puts you in an alien body. I was really interested in just the ways he senses and experiences the world.”

Volume Button
Now Listening To Livestream
MPR News logo
On Air
MPR News