23 Aug 2014

“Driftwood from the Specific” by A P Gilbert

2 Comments Book Reviews, News



“Driftwood from the Specific” by A P Gilbert is an author’s showcase whose talent isn’t confined to one specific genre. I have read his great children’s books, some gruesome horror and now inspired poetry and other, less genre specific stories on top of it all (such a great title for a short story collection.)
The topics are wide ranging, as are the styles used. I was most impressed with the author’s ability to turn out poems.

“Warm Wishes” is an inspired and very dark short horror story set on Christmas Eve. The curiosity of two young boys gets the better of them but when they sneak down to see what presents they got they get a terrible surprise.
This piece is well plotted and has a great dark and atmospheric feel to it. Using quite powerful visual descriptions the horror part is quite impressive and the denouement is quite satisfying.

After reading “Spider” my arachnophobia is back with a vengeance – but I don’t regret it – and “Dick” is an amazing piece of noir writing. Gilbert is an author with wit and a sharp mind, someone who makes good points and knows how to keep the audience entertained and reading.

A very accomplished selection by a very gifted author, a book that should hold something for everyone, but beware of the dark tone in several of the stories. And compliments to the cover designer. Exquisit!

The Book on Amazon US and Amazon UK 

Official blurb:

Direct from the mind of A. P. Gilbert, ‘Driftwood from the Specific’ is a fantastically diverse collection of short stories and poems. Serial killers, through mysterious illnesses and all the way to ‘The Wall’, this collection is sure to grip, amuse and entertain. From a simple ditty to a short tale, it will soon become a favourite accompaniment to your moments of idle. ‘Rich in description, colourful in phrase, and dark in all the right places; an impressive joyride through the mind of this truly gifted author.’ – T. Howell ‘It’s not often you read a short story with an idea you haven’t heard or read before; here’s one.’ – A. David ‘Using powerful visual descriptions, the horror is impressive and the denouement is quite satisfying.’ – C Fischer A Breath of Fresh Air Warm Wishes Bonfire Boy The Daily Grind An Ode to Art How to Write a Poem Blink Spiders The Wall Dick.

What others thought:

A.P. Gilbert’s début collection of short stories and poems is an interesting display of fresh ideas and atmospheric tales. Driftwood From the Specific contains ten pieces of work, and they are a diverse bunch, let me tell you. As it says on the front cover: [this is} a genre-hopping collection. From horror stories, to poignant tales of reincarnation, poetry in abundance and a noir thriller featuring a likeable and interesting protagonist.

My particular favourite stories were ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ which is a poignant and touching story of a graveside scene. Sensitive touches make this story memorable and effective – drawing the reader in, not really knowing where the path will lead you until the end. ‘The Daily Grind’ was also an enjoyable read, following a man as he embarks on his journey across town for a job interview. Humorous and realistic, I found myself chuckling on the final page.

I must point out the brilliant poem ‘How to Write a Poem’ too, which is so playful, both in terms of rhyme and form, I can read this over and over again and never tire of it. It is simply ingenious. The mind of A.P. Gilbert is a diverse one! ‘Dick’ – the noir-like detective story is an intriguing take on the private investigating genre, one that is atmospheric and cheekily contagious – slowly sucking you in until you try to lift your head, only to find you can’t and must read on all the way until the end. It reminded me of Dick Tracy.
This is a successful collection of stories and poetry as it allows you to slip in and out, to take things as quickly or paced as you feel fit. It has memorable moments that’ll stay with you and the largest story ‘Dick’ is bound to be returned to. This isn’t the last we’ve seen of A.P. Gilbert I’m sure. 

written by
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

2 Responses to ““Driftwood from the Specific” by A P Gilbert”

  1. Barbara A Martin says:

    I was afraid to read Spider for the exact same reason. Guess I can try the horror stories during the day. Great review.


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