Author: A. A. Medina
Page Count: 111 pages
Rating: 4 / 5 ✨✨✨✨✨
Dr. Gary Phillips, the resident hematopathologist at Claybrook Medical Center, is a lonely man struggling with the duress of an all work and no play lifestyle.
Burdened with an unhealthy infatuation with his co-worker, a burning disdain for his boss, and an abusive relationship with his grandfather, Gary just can’t catch a break. That is, until a workplace accident ushers in a bizarre, but empowering experience that evokes a new sense of self, forcing repressed memories to surface while encouraging him to pursue his fantasies with unconventional methods.
“There is an urge inside you…”
Wow, this was wild. From the synopsis and title, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect – but that quickly changed thanks to this little book’s fast pacing. Less than 50 pages in, I was both completely disgusted and completely enthralled – I couldn’t stop reading.
Our main character, Gary, is awful. From the book’s summary, I figured I’d get a whiny, basic, boring jerk that I wouldn’t like at all – this was confirmed and then some new adjectives added in for good measure. Despite how much I did not like him, I still liked reading about him, which speaks to Medina’s writing ability. With some books, I’ve hated the main character too much to even continue – with Siphon, I didn’t even consider putting it down. Plus, isn’t it kind of fun to hate someone obnoxious? 😛
Medina’s writing “voice” is strong and fresh, and that voice coupled with the excellent pacing and total roller coaster of a story made this such a fun read. There are moments while reading where you can tell that you’re leading up to something big, and despite how brutal or horrifying the situation became, I was never disappointed or left feeling like I’d missed something.
Quite the opposite, actually – through the story, you’re given bits and pieces that collectively make up a complete whole that isn’t fully explained until close to the end. This is done brilliantly, and I really liked the way everything tied together – the title included!
For full disclosure, I will say that this novella may not be for everyone. If you’re sensitive to violence or explicit descriptions of blood, gore, or sex, you may want to skip this one. It does get very graphic, and very gross! That said, if those things aren’t triggers for you, I’d absolutely recommend it, and really look forward to reading more stuff by the author in the future!
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