- Paperback: 130 pages
- Publisher: Alan Baxter (28 January 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0980578264
- ISBN-13: 978-0980578263
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.8 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 150 g
- Customer Reviews: 1 customer review
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
6,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1580 in Horror (Books)
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The Roo Paperback – 28 Jan 2020
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"Trust me, you've never read anything like this. Deranged, delirious, diabolical, it just begs to be a film, and when it is, I'll be first in line to see it. The Roo is a f*cking riot." - Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of Kin and Sour Candy
"...all I can say is ...wow! Yes it's a bizarre concept, and of course there's a grindhouse feel to it. Lots of macabre violence and insanity, but at the core this book is about the people, not the crazy Roo, and deals with some heavy emotional issues. It's at times heartbreaking, terrifying and even hilarious. Alan has written a unique novella that will no doubt stay with you long after you've read it! You're in for a ride." - Michael Evan, Fantasy Focus
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I was interested in reading this book mostly as a bit of a joke but also because I thought it would be pretty un-Australian of me not to, and strewth! It was a bloody good yarn! (Emphasis on the bloody!) That’s 4.5 blood soaked stars from me!
When this novella begins, Morgan Creek, a small outback town, has 400 people but won’t for much longer if Skippy, who’s gone to the dark side, has any say in the matter.
“The roo’s mouth opened with a soft grunt. Its eyes glowed fiery orange. John startled, realised it wasn’t reflected streetlight, but the beast’s eyes had seemed to ignite with a kind of internal flame, bathing its face in a glow like a campfire. It grunted again, guttural.”
I started making notes of all of the characters’ names and snippets of information about each of them, then quickly realised the futility of this. After all, so few were destined to survive to tell the tale.
With so many bone crunching, blood spattered, insides are now your outsides kills in this story it was difficult to choose a favourite. However I was quite partial to the visual that accompanied reading that someone’s “head burst like a ripe fruit.” While Morgan Creek remains drought affected at the end of the story its red dirt has certainly copped a drenching of the blood of its recently sliced and diced.
The Death Toll: 28 (26 of those can be directly attributed to the rampaging roo). This doesn’t include the people only mentioned as missing. If I didn’t witness the kill myself or stumble over the remains, I haven’t counted it.
‘The Roo’ is not all splattery fun though. Real issues affecting Australians are also addressed, from the devastation that accompanies drought to domestic violence and death by suicide.
If you’re not a native Aussie you may find some of our slang incomprehensible. I had actually expected to find more slang than I did but for those of you who can’t tell the difference between ‘yeah nah’ and ‘nah yeah’, there’s a handy glossary at the end of the book.
Once Upon a Nitpick: A fair few typos have managed to sidestep the proofreading process, especially near the beginning. One character’s surname also changes between chapters 2 and 4.
Content warnings are included in my Goodreads review.
There’s definitely room for a sequel. Hopefully coming soon to a Kindle near you …
🇦🇺 Drop Bears: Not So Cuddly After All
🇦🇺 Wombat and the Cubes of Doom
🇦🇺 Stone the Crows vs. The Flamin’ Galahs.
Although it started off as a spate of Twitter shenanigans, Baxter wound up really delivering the goods with this one. It’s a really simple premise and the cover tells you everything you need to know. If you haven’t already figured it out by now, this one’s a splendid bit of Evil Kangaroo mayhem.
While that’s the down-and-dirty gist of this particular novella, Baxter does use the (no doubt to non-Aussies, silly) premise to speak on some serious, weightier issues, most notably that of domestic violence, toxic masculinity, and the ways those forces can destroy not just interpersonal relationships but can actually spill out and poison the surrounding community, particularly those small, isolated communities as found in the Outback. The Roo is a call for men to do better and to be better.
It’s also wonderfully, beautifully gory as all get out. Baxter wastes absolutely no time cluing readers in on the kind of book they’re getting here. This is some grade-A monster horror, and it’s a wild time. If you’re not familiar with Roger the Buff Kangaroo, take a moment and Google him. Now picture an alpha male kangaroo that’s even bigger, evil, and incredibly bloodthirsty, one that rips limbs off men, stomps them to death, tears off heads, and so on. That’s the roo at the center of all this, and his prime targets are names you’ll likely be familiar with if you’re connected to the horror book review community, including yours truly! Yes, dear readers, I get to die at the hands of a kangaroo! (Many, many thanks, Alan!)
The Roo is fantastic bit of fun and a truly splendid way to kill an hour or two. It’s quick, it’s violent, and it’s funny. If you liked the Kevin Bacon flick, Tremors, you’ll love The Roo!