Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance: A Novel (Hardcover)
"Exquisite and adventurous" —Bustle, "11 New Fiction Books You Need"
"Told with brains and heart" —Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment
"Bristles with charm and curiosity" —Winston Groom, New York Times bestselling author of Forrest Gump
"A wholly original and superbly crafted work of art, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a masterpiece of the imagination." —Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times bestselling author of The Life List and Sweet Forgiveness
"Charlotte's Web for grown-ups who, like Weylyn Grey, have their own stories of being different, feared, brave, and loved." —Mo Daviau, author of Every Anxious Wave
Finding magic in the ordinary.
In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.
Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.
That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.
There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.
2018 Ohioana Book Award finalist
Book of the Month Club pick for October 2017
About the Author
Ruth Emmie Lang was born in Glasgow, Scotland and has the red hair to prove it. When she was four years old, she immigrated to Ohio where she has lived ever since. She has since lost her Scottish accent, but still has the hair. Ruth currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband and dreams of someday owning a little house in the woods where she can write more books. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is her first novel.
"This tale feels comfortable and familiar, imitating Lewis Carroll’s casual, everyday description of magic and starring a sympathetic, mature boy with Peter Pan-like abilities. Original and imaginative, especially in its multifaceted exploration of one extraordinary person, Lang’s novel is a lovely and fascinating feat of magical realism." —Booklist
"This enchanting title mixes magical realism with romance, humor, and adventure, delighting readers who enjoy strong fantasy populated with quirky characters and events." —Library Journal
"Weylyn Grey is enchanting.... Each bittersweet story shows our capacity to accept people who are different." —Real Simple magazine
"This exquisite and adventurous book will remind you of classic fantasies that you read as a child." —Bustle
"Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by debut author Ruth Emmie Lang will grab you by the hand and thrust you into a world complete with animal whisperers, supernatural occurrences, and people who search their whole lives to find what’s right in front of them." —Book Reporter
"Ruth Emmie Lang's debut glitters with the glow of fireflies, explodes with the force of fantastically strange events and warms with the love of a man who has so much possibility contained within him it overflows in miraculous ways. Skeptics who shun magic on page one of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance will be converts by the end." —Shelf Awareness
"I read this book on the first of September and it has stayed with me all month. The story is whimsical and gorgeous. The writing is just beautiful. And it made me smile the entire time." —Kate Krug, Book Riot
"This wonderful, whimsical, warm-hearted novel is filled with subtle and not-so-subtle nods to the books I loved as a child.... Reading this book is so comfortable and uplifting, you almost feel as if you could conjure a herd of fireflies to get through a power outage, or a field of daffodils to celebrate a loved one’s birthday. Beasts is exactly the book I needed right now, and it made me so happy I wanted to howl at the moon." —Steph Opitz, Book of the Month judge
"Ruth Emmie Lang's prose has the earthy warmth of a campfire story, best enjoyed in the woods and under the stars. Her contemporary spin on the American folktale, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance, bristles with charm and curiosity, and its oddball hero, Weylyn Grey, will make you want to follow him into the forest.”—Winston Groom, New York Times bestselling author of Forrest Gump
"A wholly original and superbly crafted work of art, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a masterpiece of the imagination. Intelligent, witty, and brave, Ruth Emmie Lang takes us on an uplifting and unforgettable adventure of love, magic, friendship and fate. An extraordinary work of fiction by a truly gifted author. "— Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times bestselling author of The Life List and Sweet Forgiveness
"Ruth Emmie Lang dazzles with her inventive and magical debut. Told with brains and heart, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance introduces a protagonist who is both mythical and relatable. Weylyn Grey leaves a lasting impression on everyone he meets, and he will on readers too."—Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment and I'll See You in Paris
"Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a brilliant button on the coat of American magical realism. Think Charlotte's Web for grown-ups who, like Weylyn Grey, have their own stories of being different, feared, brave, and loved." —Mo Daviau, author of Every Anxious Wave