I picked up this book at Forbidden Planet on my jaunt up to London to support the Grimbold Publishing team, so to that extent I am declaring an interest. That said, I don’t know Jason personally and my opinions of the book are entirely my own.
When a bank worker takes a wrong turn in life and on the road, he finds himself trapped in a remote village hiding from the police. Before he can find his freedom, he has to find himself, and it’s not just about escaping, it’s about settling up. Because everybody settles up in the end.
This intriguing story could be characterised as Psycho (the opening sequence, anyway – this isn’t horror) meets Groundhog Day. The protagonist, tired of trudging through life where he constantly sees others more dishonest and less deserving achieve their aims, decides to rob the bank where he has worked his way up to Assistant Manager over a number of years. On the way to the airport, however, his car breaks down and he finds himself rushing to the nearest village to try and find someone who can help him so he can catch his flight.
Things don’t quite work out that way… While he finds a village handily close, trying to find someone who can fix the car so he can be on his way again, proves to be unexpectedly difficult. And then the car disappears… I really enjoyed this story. It’s quirky, otherworldly feel is perfectly realised. Whittle does a good job of balancing the characterisation, pacing and narrative tension so that this novella works really well. I often find novellas unsatisfactory because just as I am getting into the swing of the story, they abruptly come to an end.
This isn’t the case with Escaping Firgo, as I was well aware of the approaching climax and found the ending appropriate and satisfying. Since I have finished reading it, I find myself thinking about it, and wondering what I’d do if I found myself in the same situation.
This little gem is recommended for anyone who enjoys reading, well told, quirky stories.
I don’t tend to read a lot of short stories but I do like the sound of a little gem.
I really enjoyed this one, Lynn:). I’d love to get your take on it.
I do enjoy short stories and this one sounds like a keeper! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Sarah. xo
You’re welcome, Bette – I hope you give it a go, I think you’d really enjoy it.
I have to admit I chuckled a bit when I got to ‘And then the car disappears.’ Nothing went as planned for this guy, lol. This story actually sounds like it would make a cool movie. Great review!
Thank you! Yes – he is definitely having a very bad day! And you’re right – I think this would make a great film:))
Hmmmmm, this one sounds uncategorizable!
It is definitely is different – quirky sums this one up. Grimbold tend to specialise in that kind of book.
You know me. I’m a fan of shart stories and novellas. I think it’s daunting for authors to get their story told in a limited amount of words. This sounds good and I adore that quirky cover!
Yes – the cover is very arresting, isn’t it? And you’re right, Laura – short stories and novellas are a bit ask technically. This one is certainly different.
Reblogged this on Joanne Hall and commented:
S J Higbee reviews Jason Whittle’s creepy fucked-up-Trumpton novella “Escaping Firgo” on her blog – this is one of the novellas I acquired for Kristell Ink, so I need to get myself a copy too!
I can see why you went for it, Jo – it’s very quirky and enjoyable – and perfectly paced as a novella. So many aren’t…
I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Sara, but I think I’ll pass. It doesn’t sound like something for me (though I admit, the rather disappointing cover might be playing a part in discouraging me as well).
It’s certainly quirky, but I don’t think it’s your cuppa tea, either. And yes… I’m not a huge fan of that cover, either.