I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Gulp by Alan Baxter
Published by Author on January 12th, 2021
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Also by this author: The Roo
Strange things happen in The Gulp. The residents have grown used to it. The isolated Australian harbour town of Gulpepper is not like other places. Some maps don’t even show it. And only outsiders use the full name. Everyone who lives there calls it The Gulp. The place has a habit of swallowing people.
A truck driver thinks the stories about The Gulp are made up to scare him. Until he gets there. Teenage siblings try to cover up the death of their mother, but their plans go drastically awry. A rock band invite four backpackers to a party at their house, where things get dangerously out of hand. A young man loses a drug shipment and his boss gives him 48 hours to make good on his mistake. Under the blinking eye of the old lighthouse, a rock fisher makes the strangest catch of his life.
Five novellas. Five descents into darkness. Welcome to The Gulp, where nothing is as it seems.
Here is what I thought
The Gulp consist of 5 novellas in one book that center around the town of Gulpepper aka The Gulp. People who live there call it the Gulp because it has a funny way of swallowing people! I thought this was an okay group of novellas and it was interesting to see some of the characters from the first stories end up in some of the other stories. As with a collection there are always some stories you like more than others.
Out on a Rim – I liked this story but it kind of leaves you hanging at the end and so I was glad to see that you do find out what happens to a certain character when you read another story. This one is about two truckers, one is retiring and the other one is the young guy he is training. The older guy hates Gulpepper and doesn’t want to go there so when they get stuck he stays in the truck but the younger guy thinks he is joking and goes to check out the town, something he might wish he didn’t do.
Mother in Bloom – This story was very weird and probably my least favorite of the group. It’s about a strange thing happening to a mother who dies and how the two teens handle things. I will never be able to think about fungus without thinking of this story!
The Band Played On – There are some strange characters that live in The Gulp and this band is some of them as they look strange and a group of travels find out how strange they are when they are invited to stay at their house. Have people just forgotten ‘stranger danger’ I don’t care if they are a cool band or not! 🙂
48 to Go – This was probably my second least favorite one. This one is about an idiot who takes a girl on a drug run cause he thought he could do his job and have some fun, but then he is robbed and his boss gives him two days to come up with I think it was 60,000 or else. And we know what his boss can do from the first story…lol. What he does to come up with the money is just not right and creepy weird.
Rock Fisher – About a man who goes fishing and finds an egg of some sort and takes it home where really strange things start happening. Where he holds the large egg his skin does strange things and the man eventually goes a bit crazy and it just gets weird. It sort of could be bad for the whole town maybe? See you are left kind of hanging as to what might actually have happened and the author leaves you with a THE END? So I have a feeling there might be another group of strange stories coming.
If I have a favorite I think it might be The Band Played One, but overall it was not a bad reading experience. The author calls it a collection of dark weirdness and that about sums it up! I liked this book a lot better than the other book I read by this author called, The Roo (though I did enjoy the killer roos).
I will check out more from this author.