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Bloody bonkers in the best possible way. Emphasis on the bloody: nothing like a psychotic giant roo slashing its way through the Aussie outback to get the body count up. Don't dismiss it as a gorefest, though. The plot curls itself around the challenges of Aussie rural life: loneliness, isolation, the importance of community, domestic and alcohol-related violence and more. If you're after a fast-paced, retro-style horror with a fair dinkum serve of Aussie slang, this is The Roo for you!
This book reminds me a lot of a 1970s schlock horror classic come back to life in book form. It wears its influences proudly, like a string of eviscerated entrails draped around the author's smiling deaths head. It's not literature. It's not serious. But it is seriously enjoyable if you just go with the premise.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novella about an Australian outback town which is losing it's inhabitants in horrific ways by a monstrous deranged roo. Being an Australian I loved the Aussie slang and terminology, made me feel right at home. For all non Aussies there's a glossary at the back of the book to explain their meanings. I also enjoyed the foreword explaining how this story came about. That in itself was an entertaining read. This book is also about more than just a crazed killer roo, it is also a social commentary on the issues of domestic violence and a poignant reminder that things need to change.
The story behind this book is covered elsewhere here (TL:DR a very Aussie news article sparks much conversation about a potential story. The writing community harangues Alan until he writes it), but the process was rapid and brilliant. Sadly, I didn't jump on the Harass Alan on Twitter Train early enough to get myself killed off violently in the book, but there was an excellent day when he put the call out to his Facebook group for our favourite Aussie slang, and I was stoked to see at least one of mine within these pages.
"Unkillable roo proceeds to systematically murder entire town" is the briefest way to describe this. It's short, fast, blood-soaked and hugely enjoyable, but it also has some poignant messages about community, domestic violence and looking after ourselves and each other (also metronomic testicles but they were less poignant).
It's also so refreshing to see characters speaking all normal like for once. The Strayan is strong in this one.
Horror isn't typically my genre, but this bloody outback tale of bouncing malice had me thrilled. While the basic idea and hilariously over-the-top Australianisms show that the author has his tongue firmly in his cheek, the story also involves some serious issues--and they're handled with restraint and respect. The new "Razorback", for sure.