Tom G.H. Adams, author of the amazing Mycophoria (evil gooey killer fungus fun, you have to read it!) and Wandering in the Witch Wood, reviews Flora & Jim.
"In short, this book is brilliant. Go out and buy it now. But if you want to know more, then read on.
I enjoyed the last of Ms. Gregory’s books, ‘The Town’ and was eager to see where she would go with a story so innocuously titled as ‘Flora and Jim.’
The setting is a frozen, post-apocalyptic landscape similar to that found in the film, Extinction (2015.) There are also similar father-daughter relationship parallels. The other recent story I thought about in this respect was Netflix’s ‘Cargo’ albeit with a much different storyline (no zombies!)
I read the print version and was immediately intrigued by the little pictures at the top of each chapter consisting of numbered pieces of foil – perhaps sweet wrappers? I’m still puzzled by the non-sequential numbers printed on them, and I assume this is not a formatting mistake. Maybe the author wants us to scratch away at our heads long after we’ve finished the book?
The story features two fathers, the first being Jim. The other is called Alfred or ‘the other father’. Jim and Flora are chasing him. Oh, and Alfred has a son with him called ‘Fauna.’ So – Flora and Fauna., or flowers and animals. Are they related somehow? We never quite get to know, we simply understand that there is this all-consuming pursuit. It is revealed that Jim has retrieved Flora from Alfred’s company when Flora trails behind this escaping ‘other father’ and suffers a fit.
I identified with the description of Flora’s seizure as I have personal experience of this with my own father: the notion of the sky falling on the head, a traffic cone smell. Again, this all adds to the authenticity.
This ‘relentless pursuit’ aspect had a feel of Roland Deschaine’s quest chasing the Man in Black (Stephen King’s ‘Dark Tower’ if you’re not familiar.) It’s all-consuming, and we see how Jim’s obsession is gradually eclipsed by that of Flora ..."
Read the full review at tomghadams.com
Who is Tom G.H. Adams?
Tom Adams is an imaginer and audio book narrator drifting between lands of speculative fantasy, horror and bizarro. Visit tomghadams.com for more.