Official Review: Garden Gnome Adventures by Jay Atkinson

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Tomah
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Latest Review: Garden Gnome Adventures by Jay Atkinson

Official Review: Garden Gnome Adventures by Jay Atkinson

Post by Tomah »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Garden Gnome Adventures" by Jay Atkinson.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Elizabeth Gordon is a best-selling author who decides to buy the Cowdry Estate in the English countryside. She fell in love with the mansion and, in particular, the gorgeous garden. Much to her displeasure, however, the garden comes with more than beautiful flowers: there’s a mysterious live gnome who never speaks, has no name other than "Ugly," and can stand perfectly still for hours while staring North. Having served the Cowdry family for generations, he holds a life estate allowing him to live there until his death. What’s the story behind this peculiar man, and will Elizabeth manage to get rid of him?

Jay Atkinson’s Garden Gnome Adventures is a horror and supernatural novel with a heavy emphasis on psychological elements. We follow the Gnome’s life from 1872, when his father died and he applied for a job in the Cowdry Estate, all the way to 2017. How in the world did he live so long? Well, you’ll have to read to find out.

Though the book pretty much only focuses on the Gnome as a character, it more than makes up for it by taking us on a deep, fascinating mental journey. The Gnome’s simplistic worldview and single-minded devotion to work come from the same place as the twisted darkness inside him. He’s grown up not knowing how people relate to each other outside of power dynamics, nor can he understand his own feelings and desires. He literally doesn’t have the words to describe complex thoughts, which illustrates how language affects cognition: "The boy did not think in words often. The voice in his head was a harsh cursing horrible thing. It was incapable of thinking what he wanted to think. The words for what he wanted to think, he had never heard and did not know them." This makes for a very compelling character.

In general, the writing does a good job conveying a chilling atmosphere and portraying the Gnome’s inner struggles, but there are some issues. The book doesn’t seem professionally edited, as it features many typographical and grammar errors, not to mention some awkward sentences and odd uses of punctuation. Also, the chapter "Spring 1973" is likely supposed to be "Spring 1873" instead.

Garden Gnome Adventures is a short but rich story featuring a sympathetic and complex protagonist, historical elements, and intriguing supernatural phenomena. It’s an immersive, though certainly not light-hearted, experience that should appeal to fans of dark stories. Sadly, due to the poor editing, I rate it 3 out of 4 stars.

The novel has plenty of profanities, heavy topics, sexual content, and gruesome scenes, so it’s unsuitable for young audiences and readers with a queasy stomach. On the other hand, if you enjoy psychological narratives that explore twisted characters, you might want to give it a try.

******
Garden Gnome Adventures
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Post by Kelyn »

"...heavy topics, sexual content, and gruesome scenes..." Not exactly what I'd expect for a book with 'gnome' in the title, though I suppose the cover should be a hint. When I think of gnomes, I picture the mischievous, jolly little fellows in overalls. This is an entirely different take on it. I like a bit of darkness in my sci-fi and fantasy. This one is going on my TBR list. Wonderfully informative review!

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Post by ReadingPanda77 »

The title is captivating, though I must admit I expected a lighter and more cheery mood from it. Sounds like the book has a strong story line; yes to supernatural worlds! Too bad I can't stand profanities and sexual content. It would have been a great read otherwise. :doh:

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Post by LinaJan »

I like heavy psychological content! And it there's some magic mixed in - well, even better!

Thank you for such a nicely written and inviting review! Onto my shelf this goes :)

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Post by Adanna Inya »

Are you serious? I buy an estate and I have to put up with some "bold" horror. I'll run away!😂😂 I'll like to know how things panned out for Elizabeth.

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Post by jennydelacruz »

I was expecting a smurfs-kind-of-story, given the title, but boy am I mistaken! Heavy psych contents, sexual contents and gruesome scenes? Definitely not smurfs! Lol. Thanks for your review!

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Post by Meenashiva »

I was expecting the book to be Sci-fi and some horror in it, but sorry gruesome scenes and heavy contents is not exactly my cup of tea. Overall, great review
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Tomah
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Latest Review: Garden Gnome Adventures by Jay Atkinson

Post by Tomah »

ReadingPanda77 wrote:
18 Jun 2020, 10:17
The title is captivating, though I must admit I expected a lighter and more cheery mood from it. Sounds like the book has a strong story line; yes to supernatural worlds! Too bad I can't stand profanities and sexual content. It would have been a great read otherwise. :doh:
LinaJan wrote:
18 Jun 2020, 10:27
I like heavy psychological content! And it there's some magic mixed in - well, even better!

Thank you for such a nicely written and inviting review! Onto my shelf this goes :)
Adanna Inya wrote:
18 Jun 2020, 11:33
Are you serious? I buy an estate and I have to put up with some "bold" horror. I'll run away!😂😂 I'll like to know how things panned out for Elizabeth.
jennydelacruz wrote:
18 Jun 2020, 15:02
I was expecting a smurfs-kind-of-story, given the title, but boy am I mistaken! Heavy psych contents, sexual contents and gruesome scenes? Definitely not smurfs! Lol. Thanks for your review!
Meenashiva wrote:
18 Jun 2020, 23:12
I was expecting the book to be Sci-fi and some horror in it, but sorry gruesome scenes and heavy contents is not exactly my cup of tea. Overall, great review
Kelyn wrote:
17 Jun 2020, 19:03
"...heavy topics, sexual content, and gruesome scenes..." Not exactly what I'd expect for a book with 'gnome' in the title, though I suppose the cover should be a hint. When I think of gnomes, I picture the mischievous, jolly little fellows in overalls. This is an entirely different take on it. I like a bit of darkness in my sci-fi and fantasy. This one is going on my TBR list. Wonderfully informative review!
Indeed, even though I knew this book wasn't anywhere near as bright and cheerful as the title suggests, its somberness after the first chapter caught me by surprise. Thanks for the comments!

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Post by Seroney_ »

This must be a fascinating book. Living more than a century plus?thanks for the amazing review

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Post by NetMassimo »

Initially I thought it might be a novel targeted to young adults, but its contents make it definitely for adults! Thank you for your great review!
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Post by Kanda_theGreat »

Your summary of this book is enough conviction that I should read this book.
Great review!
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Post by Jeff101 »

Thank you for your review, I can’t wait to read this book it seems really interesting.

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Tomah
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Latest Review: Garden Gnome Adventures by Jay Atkinson

Post by Tomah »

NetMassimo wrote:
19 Jun 2020, 08:19
Initially I thought it might be a novel targeted to young adults, but its contents make it definitely for adults! Thank you for your great review!
Kanda_theGreat wrote:
19 Jun 2020, 16:15
Your summary of this book is enough conviction that I should read this book.
Great review!
Jeff101 wrote:
19 Jun 2020, 18:53
Thank you for your review, I can’t wait to read this book it seems really interesting.
Seroney_ wrote:
19 Jun 2020, 03:49
This must be a fascinating book. Living more than a century plus?thanks for the amazing review
Yes, it's definitely not YA material. If you get around to reading this book, I hope you'll enjoy it. Thanks for the comments!

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Post by Peyton4 »

Thanks for your review! This book sounds very interesting, especially since I am trying to read more horror/psychologically based books.
May your days be full of magic and dragons.

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Post by Ellylion »

Wow, sounds like a very complicated yet engaging read :) The title is a bit misleading, I thought it would be a young adults book. I would be delighted to read it for sure! Thank you for a great review!

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