A Creature Wanting Form

sub-heading:
Fictions

“In these stories, Luke O’Neil tears the heart out of the dying world and makes us give a fuck that it's still beating.”

—Rax King, author of Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer

“Gorgeous, unsettling, infuriating.”

—Kim Kelly, author of Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor

“Rendered with a lyricism that seems to be in awe of the world even as they describe its greatest pains and profound injustices.”

—Megan Nolan, author of Acts of Desperation

“A beautiful disaster.”

—Dave Wedge, New York Times bestselling author and journalist

“One of the few writers who I'll read for the prose alone.”

—Ryan Cooper, editor at The American Prospect and author of How Are You Going to Pay for That?
$20.00

Adding to cart… The item has been added
  • 240 pages
  • Paperback ISBN 9781682193839
  • E-book ISBN 9781682193846

about the book

A Creature Wanting Form is a bleakly funny work of fiction from a journalist widely celebrated for his wry, mordant take on life.

Filtered through the lens of a writer and characters who are horrified by the earth’s looming mortality, and their own, but still compelled to carry on, O’Neil interweaves science fiction, allegory, fables, poetry, and reflections on the deeply grounded indignities of modern life. In these pages, climate catastrophe lurks on the horizon; animals voraciously devour each other; your parents only call to tell you who from home has just died; and you want to go for a swim, but there’s a shark in the pool.

In short, A Creature Wanting Form is a book for anyone trying to survive with a shred of humanity in the bleak alienation of America, 2023.


“I always wanted to know what goes on inside Luke's brain. Then I read this…, and, well, be careful what you wish for.”

—Dan Ozzi, author of Sellout: The Major-Label Feeding Frenzy That Swept Punk, Emo, and Hardcore

About The Author / Editor

Photo courtesy the author Luke O’Neil is the author of the popular political and literary newsletter Welcome to Hell World and the book of the same name. He’s a former writer-at-large for Esquire and longtime contributor to the Boston Globe, The Guardian, and many other newspapers and magazines.

Read An Excerpt

We were sitting in the sulfurous hot spring rubbing the mud they have there on our faces and going like look at me I’m a mud man I’m going to kill your entire family haha and laughing even though it wasn’t that funny. Just to be somewhere else made everything lighter at first. I said the guy at the front desk had told me that there’s a place not far from here where you can dive down between two tectonic plates and you dunked your head under to wash the monster off of you and came back up and said you had to piss real bad. I looked around and said it’s probably fine it already smells weird.

There was some kind of earthquake that was a big thing in the 1700s the guy said and now there’s a hole in the earth and the water that rushed in to fill it is all silvery and there’s one part they call the Cathedral I imagine because if you get down there it probably gets you to start believing in God.

The majesty of creation and so on.

I said the continents drift a little further apart by like one inch every year according to what the guy told me and then I started thinking about how small you are and how very small all of us are and how we’ve been drifting apart too because it’s impossible for humans to think of anything but ourselves. I thought about tectonic plates grinding against one another and it made me think about the pain in my knee which was more real to me than geology.

Are there any sharks down there you asked and I said I don’t know probably. The guy didn’t say anything about sharks one way or the other.

They had shark penis on the menu at the place we went the night before and everyone thought that was pretty funny so you ordered it as a gag but then you had to follow through and eat it because it was honestly very expensive and on top of that you didn’t want to seem too American.

in the media

A Creature Wanting Form

sub-heading:
Fictions

“In these stories, Luke O’Neil tears the heart out of the dying world and makes us give a fuck that it's still beating.”

—Rax King, author of Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer

“Gorgeous, unsettling, infuriating.”

—Kim Kelly, author of Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor

“Rendered with a lyricism that seems to be in awe of the world even as they describe its greatest pains and profound injustices.”

—Megan Nolan, author of Acts of Desperation

“A beautiful disaster.”

—Dave Wedge, New York Times bestselling author and journalist

“One of the few writers who I'll read for the prose alone.”

—Ryan Cooper, editor at The American Prospect and author of How Are You Going to Pay for That?
$20.00

Add to Cart

Adding to cart… The item has been added

about the book

A Creature Wanting Form is a bleakly funny work of fiction from a journalist widely celebrated for his wry, mordant take on life.

Filtered through the lens of a writer and characters who are horrified by the earth’s looming mortality, and their own, but still compelled to carry on, O’Neil interweaves science fiction, allegory, fables, poetry, and reflections on the deeply grounded indignities of modern life. In these pages, climate catastrophe lurks on the horizon; animals voraciously devour each other; your parents only call to tell you who from home has just died; and you want to go for a swim, but there’s a shark in the pool.

In short, A Creature Wanting Form is a book for anyone trying to survive with a shred of humanity in the bleak alienation of America, 2023.


“I always wanted to know what goes on inside Luke's brain. Then I read this…, and, well, be careful what you wish for.”

—Dan Ozzi, author of Sellout: The Major-Label Feeding Frenzy That Swept Punk, Emo, and Hardcore

About The Author / Editor

Photo courtesy the author Luke O’Neil is the author of the popular political and literary newsletter Welcome to Hell World and the book of the same name. He’s a former writer-at-large for Esquire and longtime contributor to the Boston Globe, The Guardian, and many other newspapers and magazines.

Read An Excerpt

We were sitting in the sulfurous hot spring rubbing the mud they have there on our faces and going like look at me I’m a mud man I’m going to kill your entire family haha and laughing even though it wasn’t that funny. Just to be somewhere else made everything lighter at first. I said the guy at the front desk had told me that there’s a place not far from here where you can dive down between two tectonic plates and you dunked your head under to wash the monster off of you and came back up and said you had to piss real bad. I looked around and said it’s probably fine it already smells weird.

There was some kind of earthquake that was a big thing in the 1700s the guy said and now there’s a hole in the earth and the water that rushed in to fill it is all silvery and there’s one part they call the Cathedral I imagine because if you get down there it probably gets you to start believing in God.

The majesty of creation and so on.

I said the continents drift a little further apart by like one inch every year according to what the guy told me and then I started thinking about how small you are and how very small all of us are and how we’ve been drifting apart too because it’s impossible for humans to think of anything but ourselves. I thought about tectonic plates grinding against one another and it made me think about the pain in my knee which was more real to me than geology.

Are there any sharks down there you asked and I said I don’t know probably. The guy didn’t say anything about sharks one way or the other.

They had shark penis on the menu at the place we went the night before and everyone thought that was pretty funny so you ordered it as a gag but then you had to follow through and eat it because it was honestly very expensive and on top of that you didn’t want to seem too American.

in the media