“Gil’s All Fright Diner” by A. Lee Martinez – weird but worth it

Gil's All Fright Diner

If you’re looking for something light, fun, and more than a little weird to pass away a long car ride or two, listen to the audiobook version of “Gil’s All Fright Diner” and join two good old boys, crossing the desert in a beat-up pick-up. Earl, the skinny, anxious, vocal one is a vampire. Duke the over-large taciturn guy is a werewolf. Nearly out of gas and in need of food, they stop at Gil’s All Night Diner, only to find themselves involved in the local zombie problem.

After that, it starts to get weird.

A dark irreverence powers the humour in this book as it pokes a stick at the horror genre from the Dark God’s of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos  through to Scott Stewart’s “Legion”. (except the book was 2005 and Legion was 2010 – but you know what I mean).

The cast of characters is broad but familiar, the canny sheriff, the robust, shotgun-toting woman running the Diner, the teen-nymphete with dangerous ambitions, and a cute ghost dog. If you’re still not sure of the kind of book this is,then I have two words for you: Zombie Cows.

If you set this to music and added some dance numbers, you’d have another Rocky Horror Show on your hands.

What made this more than an extended sketch was the characters of Duke and Earl and the relationship between them. It was solid and believable, even taking into account their respective species.

Fred Berman did a fine job with the narration of this tale. The voices of all the characters fit but the voices of Duke and Earl are perfect.

 

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