From the critically acclaimed author of The Preservationist and The Book of Samson, Monster, 1959 is an extraordinary tale of 1950s America---flawed, conflicted, and poised to enter the most culturally upended decade of the century.
The United States government has been testing the long-term effects of high-level radiation on a few select islands in the South Pacific. Their efforts have produced killer plants, mole people, and a forty-foot creature named K. Covered in fur and feathers, gifted with unusable butterfly wings and the mental capacity of a goldfish, K. is an evolutionary experiment gone very awry. Although he has no real understanding of his world, he knows when he’s hungry, and he knows to follow the drumbeats that lead him, every time, to the tree where a woman is offered to him as a sacrifice by the natives. When a group of American hunters stumble across the island, it’s bound to get interesting, especially when the natives offer up the guide’s beautiful wife to K. Not to be outdone, the Americans manage to capture him. Back in the States, they start a traveling show. The main attraction: K.