Palm’s Foster Home for Peculiar Stories – CG Salamander – Book Review


PalmsFosterHomeGoodreads blurb: NIGEL THE LAST BRIT IN INDIA

There is chaos and pandemonium in the streets of Madras, and it is up to Nigel (an officer of the Imperial Police) to restore order to the city… only he hasn’t quite learned about India’s Independence. Yet.

GAYATRI AND THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY VEGETABLES

When the newest and most successful religion (Cabbagism) threatens to bring about the destruction of the world, it is up to a melancholic zombie and a collection of rowdy farm animals to save the earth.

ALIENS, DINOSAURS, PORCUPINES

A porcupine, after setting out on a journey away from home, falls in love with an armadillo.

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As if the name of the book weren’t funny enough, the cover and the back blurb is so zany crazy that any curious reader would immediately pick this book up and read it. Since this book is divided into three parts, I am going to review each part separately below.

Book 1 – Nigel, the last Brit in India

Dealing with the escapades and adventures of Nigel, an officer of the Imperial Police just about when India becomes independent, this series of stories forms a lovely introduction to what promises to be quite a bittersweet whimsical and atrociously hilarious book. Starting with how Nigel is almost killed for being ignorant about India gaining her independence, we are introduced to his Indian wife Agni, her brother Daaresh and her ignoramus of a father-in-law. The last story in this series is nothing short of over-the-top craziness as Nigel is drafted into the Secret Service, no less, to complete an important mission.

Book 2 – Gayatri and the Church of the Holy Vegetable

With this story, the author has let loose his already active imagination and weaves together a fairly complicated story where multiple forces, primarily large animate cabbages, connive together to take over the world, with their wonderfully weird theory that only 6% of the human population is the optimum volume of humans that the earth can safely sustain. Standing against their evil plans is a group of zombies led by their ‘prophet’ and ‘deliverer’ Murali who is on an asinine quest of his own. Suffice to say that this story is a riot-fest, quite literally and when all is done and the dust is settled……well I will leave that portion for you to read and figure out yourself.

Book 3 – Aliens, Dinosaurs, Porcupines

To me this was the weakest part of the book itself. While the stories seemed to be multi-layered and probably had more meaning to them than met my eye, I somehow couldn’t quite connect with this portion of the book at all. Continuing in the same vein as the earlier portions, the stories deal with talking animals, plans to take over the world and funnily enough a seemingly normal story with the last one. But then, one thing that I missed in this portion was the lack of a connecting over-arching theme like the first two portions.

Summary

In a nutshell, this book is a quirky, brave attempt by the author whose experience as a digital artist and a ‘storyteller’ in different forms is clearly brought to the fore in this book. In my opinion, this book is quite a brave and an extremely competent attempt at a completely different from of storytelling, albeit in an extremely offbeat and quirky manner. Nevertheless, this book is a good one time read, no two ways about that at all.

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A review copy of this book was provided to me by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review of the same.

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