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He Who Fights With Monsters
He Who Fights With Monsters
2.01M Views 37945 Favorites 329 Chapters 6 Chapters/Week 2912 Readers
4.7 (560 ratings)
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Book I now available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, Audible and as paperback:
All chapters following book I are available here, but only the first story arc from book I is available here due to Kindle Unlimited requirements.

Jason wakes up in a mysterious world of magic and monsters. He’ll face off against cannibals, cultists, wizards, monsters, and that’s just the first day. He’s going to need courage, he’s going to need wit and he’s going to need some magic powers of his own. But first, he’s going to need pants.

Follow Jason as he makes a place for himself in a world that is strange, yet sometimes strangely familiar. He’ll meet crime lords and aristocrats, gods and monsters on his path from would-be victim to heroic adventurer. At least, he tries to be heroic. It’s hard to be a good man when all your powers are evil.

Release schedule is 5 chapters per week, Monday-Friday (US Time, evenings).

Please note: I am Australian and this story is written in Australian English, so there will be less of the letter Z and more of the letter U.

This web novel is also available at

Charismatic Protagonist Comedic Undertone Cunning Protagonist Game Elements Gods Guilds Interdimensional Travel Male Protagonist Monsters Transported into Another World Weak to Strong
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    • 5 stars 76% (19)
    • 4 stars 8% (2)
    • 3 stars 12% (3)
    • 2 stars 4% (1)
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      Status: chapter 67
      Sep 24, 2019

      I was at first sceptical when starting HWFWM, any yet Shirtaloon sucked me in all the same. The author has used the isekai, LitRGP tropes effectively and has distinguished the story as its own entity unbeholden to such tropes alone. Shirtaloon has crafted his own world, system and brilliant characters that keep me wanting more and more. That is another thing, with the rate of chapter releases his readers become enthralled with the writing and dedication of the author. I cannot recall a single chapter being wasted or disappointing, and so in this way Shirtaloon has done near everything right to deserve 5 stars from me so far. 

      The style is easy to read, the story possesses character depth, and the prose conveys emotion very well. This story is far from the usual quality of writing I have found from Web serials; give it a read!

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      18 Likes · Like Permalink
      Status: c201
      Jul 1, 2020

      The story is good. Very good even. The frequent insert of politics and other f**kery, however, is not. Oh and let's not forget the rampant atheism going in and out which he likes to toss in with the rest of his not-even-a-little-hidden social/political opinions. Usually in the form of... ANOTHER RANT!!! Even his philosophical tangents end up taking on a political vibe/nature. I could almost swear he's being paid by some organization to spread their propaganda. 

      If I want to read a story, I'll read a story. If I want to read a political memo, I'll read a political memo. I will not, however, read both. That and its starting to become saturated with less interesting plot arcs as time goes on. I won't claim they are filler because that's a little disingenuous but I will allow that they are getting a little filler-y.

      It also hurts the author that it's quite obvious where he swings in the political climate because he makes no attempts to be subtle in any way. What is it with people and being unable to drop the politics? So yeah, f**k you author. And f**k this story. Get off your f**king soapbox. You're not special. You're like any other millennial screaming out about something everyone else is screaming out about and just like them, you're just spouting what someone else is spouting without actually researching/knowing anything concrete. I'm sure you're proud of yourself too and think you're quite the intellectual don't you? Probably haven't even researched half of the sh*t you like to go ranting about. 

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      17 Likes · Like Permalink
      Status: chapter 179: the person i decided...
      Jun 16, 2020

      I was liking the unique aspects of the story at the beginning as well as the authors good writing style. As I read on I began to understand that the MC is someone who goes off on rants and tangents of philosophy that the other characters usually jot down to his character being someone who feels alone and isolated from being in another world. 

      This novel being number 1 in cunning protagonist I assumed he would come out of spouting nonsense eventually. He does not. I am not so easily dissuaded from reading at this point as I am past 100 chapters of reading. I start to skip his dumb rants that are supposed to deepen the bonds of the characters he is talking to or have them look at their life from a new perspective. 

      I won't say any spoilers but I stopped reading at 179 because of some tsundere girl he knows who takes every chance to physically or mentally harm him she can, when he is the one helping her.

      Overall a very good story and writing style, marred by paragraphs of I'm important listen to everything I say rants from MC, characters mysteriously liking a very obnoxious MC, and a very ungrateful tstudere who no doubt gets together with the MC after beating him up for no reason repeatedly. 

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      13 Likes · Like Permalink
      Status: c50
      Jun 28, 2020

      This is the most obnoxious MC I've ever read. He just goes on and on, ranting about this and that millennial topic of interest, all the while being protected by thick as f**k plot armor.

      He doesn't just offend, he god damn burns to cinders the spoiled brat noble with words and everyone around him praises him for that while nothing bad happens to him.

      The first arc (cultists) was nice because the MC was aloof and goofy, though really f**king stupid, but then he makes a 180 and turns into a master manipulator. He offends whoever he meets (including a God who could just smite him on a whim) and has reddit r/atheism-level of hate for religion.

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      11 Likes · Like Permalink
      Status: chapter 200: Full Circle
      Nov 14, 2019

      ch 100: legwork

      I very much like this novel and highly recommend it.

      > The writing is mature and relaxed, which comes in handy to reflect the way the MC and most of the cast talk and act, but it's not casual to the point of veering into poor grammar or childish mistakes. The author's very aware his own style and there's even some meta commentary on regional mannerisms and stuff like that.

      > MC is very well-developed and even has some complexities to his character, which is rare on webnovels. Some of the things he says might seem like teenage ramblings sometimes, but the author seems to acknowledge that fact, promptly chastising his own MC or making it so he reflects on those ramblings later on. He very much looks like a real person in this regard, with some contradictions and many flaws, but with much more humanity when compared to most webnovels' MCs. It's almost endearing seeing him struggling to adapt to his new reality and at the same time trying to record everything so that he can show how this life to his estranged family back on Earth. Very nice.

      > Supporting cast are also well-developed, albeit not as much as the MC (which is all in all completely understandable). The cast is not huge so far, but there are lots of flavorful characters, each with its own unique composition. And fortunetely, the author's consistent enough that you can remind who's who by simple details like how he talks, what he dislikes or how he interacts with other characters, even when said character's been absent for a dozen chapters or so. It's also nice that there are few moronic characters, and there isn't anyone so far whose existence is dependant only on his relationship with the MC.

      > Worldbuilding is being done slowly, but surely. I like the way things are developing and it's very clear that the author has everything planned out in regard to the big picture. The world seems alive, with lots of things happening very much regardless of what the MC or main cast think or does and there are lots of little details that are interesting and very welcome. Although the story's very focused on the MC and main cast and the city where they're currently living, here and there you get this notion that they're only very very very small characters in a vast world they have absolutely no way to influence. At least for now, that is.

      > Lastly, the supernatural system the author came up with is fascinating and truly a masterwork on his part. So far it's very thoroughly explained, with clear rules and boundaries, but remains extremely flexible and adaptable, perfect for some GM fiats and things like that. I'm impressed.

      === Update ===

      ch 200: Full Circle

      So, 100 chapters after my first assessment, I think it's high time for some updates. And I had to knock down one star from my earlier review, 4 stars instead of 5, mainly due to the loss of dynamism on the story build up. It's been staggeringly slow, with lots of lost opportunities for plot development and character growth - the whole Reaper Trials in particular were such a huge disappointment, I can't begin to fathom why they even existed in the first place. No one learned anything, no advancements to the plot were achieved, no one got out of that better or worse than they were before, no nothing. Nada. A waste of time. And following that, more time wasting in a far off city somewhere that doesn't even manage to make for a decent world building intermission. More and more, the story seems to focus on filler content instead of actual story, like that sewer monster thing, whose fight should only be implied at the end of one chapter rather than taking up almost 2 whole chapters.

      Another thing that had a major influence on my perception of the novel's a particular incident in the course of the story that dealt with domestic violence and abuse, that the author felt compelled to address not once, not twice, but maybe 4 times in a very heavy-handed and preachy manner that ended up having ramifications down the line, when author preemptively justified himself for politically incorrect things happening... and he did so in a kinda failed diagetic way, that really didn't sound at all natural or even appropriate.

      Also, on the topic of naturality of characters, it's quite noticeable that more and more characters are starting to sound same-y, some almost exact copies of Jason himself, our MC, and others just losing their own uniqueness in favor of a more millennial speech pattern. On that note, giving a character some off-handed snark to spew (as is the case with most of the ever-increasing cast of characters) is hardly considered character building.

      That being said, the novel is still very good and deserving of those 4 stars, so I recommend it. Not as enthusiastically as before, but you should check it out.

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      10 Likes · Like Permalink
      Status: c116
      Dec 2, 2019

      This novel has almost exclusively 5* reviews, a large wordcound and frequent updates. It's great, read it.

      I will try to write this to give an Idea of what to expect. The most important thing to me is warning about things you might not like, so keep in mind that I loved every second of the three days it took me too catch up so this is a 'this might be things some people don't like' but even if every one of the following points is a miss for you this is Still a good read.

      It's an isekai with a game system/Chinese style cultivation system (don't worry its subtle, no sects and meditating for days it's just the best way to describe the system).

      Beware, quirky character as in Australian, must be weird down tgere^^ this is the only deal warning he might get on your nerves, try it first and if it's a close call assume it gets better:)

      There is as of yet no harem even remotely in sight. The main character is strong and good in a fight but far from overpowered especially against higher cultivation ranks.

      In the beginning he does stupid stuff but please give it some time he will still do stupid things but he does notice it and learn from it.

      After some time social games and manipulation become an important thing, but the mc's quirky character makes this very enjoyable for me so I would advise if you like manipulation, read it for sure, if not I would still give it a try.

      Same thing goes for philosophy, it will happen and play a role in the story so make of that what you want but do give it a try as I can assure you the author and MC did not yet try to change my world view nor did they get too smart-ass about it so even if you don't like it you can read through it to enjoy the rest of the story.

      Tldr: isekai, cultivation, game system, no harem, not op but strong MC, manipulation, great humor, great story, good fights very good grammar and spelling.

      8/8 m8

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      9 Likes · Like Permalink
      Status: c90
      Jul 30, 2019

      Loving this so far. The protagonist seems both likable and realistic, and although it's very early, the premise thus far is incredibly interesting. 

      The detailed explanations of the system give the sense that this is well thought out, and the world and other characters seem fleshed out, vibrant and 3 dimensional. 

      Gary is the best! 

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      9 Likes · Like Permalink
      Status: c258
      Sep 20, 2019

      Overall, the story is very well written, and worth reading.

      The MC is humorous, relatively hard working, and in general is just a man who is very far from home and dealing with the hand he has been dealt.

      The side characters all have a decent amount interesting aspects to them and, aside from Bert (nothing against any of them, it's fun to see where they show up), aren't really copied repeatedly.

      [ Updated for c134]

      The story is still going on strong. And the twists keep it interesting. Most of them aren't anything major, just in a slightly different direction than expected.

      [ Updated for c180]

      Honestly, this is still one of the best stories I've read in the last few years.

      [ Updated for c258 ]

      As of the end of volume 1 (chapter 258), this is still an amazing read. Overall, the passing of the story seems great, and I'm looking forward to volume 2.

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      8 Likes · Like Permalink
      Status: Chapter 210
      Aug 9, 2019

      There are a lot of books written of this site. A lot of them are good even. But this book is a GREAT book, it's one of the few books I'd be actually upset for if it were to be dropped. How the Author manages to release chapter so consistently and yet make each one interesting and engaging I'll never know.

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      8 Likes · Like Permalink
      Status: chapter 200: full circle
      Apr 7, 2020

      This story reads like a good D&D campaign: Realistic characters, well developed world, great action and dark plots. 

      It's like an Isekai, but without all the tropes that ruin the concept. Buildup is great and the payoff hits hard.

      You won't regret picking this up

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      5 Likes · Like Permalink
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