Thursday, March 19, 2020

Another Mini-Review: The Gobblin' Society by James P. Blaylock

The Gobblin' Society  (Narbondo, #11)
The Gobblin' Society by James P. Blaylock
Subterranean Press
Publication Date: March 31st, 2020
Hardcover. 320 pages

About The Gobblin' Society:

"The story begins with an inheritance. Following a protracted legal battle, Alice St. Ives, Langdon’s wife, has come into full possession of Seaward, the house left to her by her late Uncle Godfrey, a man with a number of bizarre proclivities. Heartened by this good fortune, Alice, Langdon and their surrogate son Finn prepare to take possession of the house. From this point forward, events spin out of control, taking on a madcap logic of their own that is exhilarating and—in typical Blaylock fashion—often quite funny. 

What follows is, in a sense, a tale of two houses. The first, of course, is Seaward, a “rambling, eccentric old house” with it its history, its secrets, its priceless accumulation of volumes of arcane lore. The other is a neighboring house known, for good reasons, as “Gobblin’ Manor,” home base of The Gobblin’ Society, a “culinary establishment” with its own peculiar—and very dark—traditions. In the course of an event filled few days, St. Ives and his cohorts will encounter smuggling, mesmerism, kidnapping, cannibalism and murder. It is, in other words, a typical—and typically eccentric—Langdon St. Ives adventure."

I didn't initially to write this one as a mini-review, but when I started writing my review I realized it was a lot like Hearts of Oak by Eddie Robson where I didn't want to get too detailed about anything. I was really pleasantly surprised by this novella and it has definitely encourage me to check out more from James P. Blaylock. When I first read this book, there were only a few other reviews, all of which also gave the book similar high ratings to me, but now that I've just recently look I noticed it's, er, taken a bit of a nosedive due to a couple reviews, which is surprising to me! That being said, let's dive into my thoughts on this book.

What I liked: This was such a delightfully creepy and entertaining treat! Blaylock really knows how to tell a story that both shocks, excites, intrigues, and also contains some beautiful writing and entertaining dialogue. It's perfectly atmospheric, compelling, and has such a twisted sense of humor to it that I loved. The content is a little bit on the gruesome side due to subject matter and a few, uh, interesting scenes involving an unconventional source of food, and I just found the way the plot was created with this narrative was so well-done and definitely had me hooked. The characters were also surprisingly compelling and I found myself enjoying their personalities and the fact that they were all fairly intelligent about everything and actually questioned some of the strange goings-on.

What I disliked: Not a lot! There were a few spaces where the narrative was slightly dry and dragged, but this was such a minimal issue that it didn't really bother me much at all. I think a certain type of humor is needed to enjoy a book like this, and although I really enjoyed it, I'm including this in this 'dislike' are because it seems like something that might bother a lot of people and seems to be behind a few of the more negative reviews.

Overall, I gave this five stars!

*I received a copy of The Gobblin' Society courtesy of Subterranean Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the novel.*


  1. The cover definitely makes me curious about this book. I'm not sure I've ever read Blaylock!

    1. The cover is 99% of the reason I first wanted to read it, haha!