Montague Terrace is a collection of short stories that revolve around a London residential block. Each story is about a different inhabitant of the block, but as the book progresses, the characters and stories get stranger and stranger.
As you read through, you begin to notice things crossing over and intertwining. Characters from previous stories make cameos in the tales of others, and the strangeness of the people starts to look designed, rather than a bizarre coincidence.
The stark contrast of the black and white inks give the book a homely old-fashioned feel, despite the strange content, and the tone of the whole book feels like an appreciative nod to eighties-era 2000AD, which is no bad thing.
However, ultimately, I found the book lacking in something. The ideas are good but they don’t hold together as well as they ought to, feeling more like a bunch of short story ideas retrospectively given a building theme to tie them together, rather than something specifically designed to be an encompassing whole. Montague Terrace is an impressive construction, but it isn’t quite enough to hold all these different lives together.
The stories are overtly surreal, but there’s a Pandora’s Box-effect at play here: having released so many strange characters and ideas in a single volume, it fails to bring everything to a satisfying enough conclusion.