Review of Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf
Review by Carrigan Chantz
As soon as I finished up the first half of my workday today, I rushed home on a mission. I pulled out my copy of Prude’s Universal Volume of Explanations of Verbose Words: Unabridged & Eternally Updated in Real Time. (No, it doesn’t really exist, except ethereally, of course.) I turned it to the word paradox, and was slightly frustrated when I simply read, “See oxymoron.” So, only momentarily thinking I might as well look up “gullible” while at it to see if it really isn’t in there, I turned to oxymoron. There was one of the best and most photogenic pictures of me. Yes, I am feeling a bit satirical right now, for everyone knows there is no such thing as a photogenic picture of me, but I digress.
Everyone that knows me also knows that I am a helpless romantic at heart; I still believe in love, true, beautiful, intimate, affectionate, honest, “storybook romance” love. I seek it everyday all the while knowing that it supposedly will only find me when I am not looking. I love love… but when I do put forth a conscious effort to stop pining and searching, the Universe slaps me with an abundance of in-my-face reminders. Such has been the case with said Universe introducing me to the literary works of B.G. Thomas.
The first two books of his I read were by mere happenstance. I was running late for work and just choose two books that were recommended for me to download. Yep… B.G. Thomas books. I bawled all the way through both books at the “not so humorous” coincidences/signs/whatevers the Universe had presented me with. God, I wanted to hate those books, but I couldn’t. I was trapped. I was ensnared. I was becoming a fan for life.
Now to the present…(pun intended). It’s so close to Christmas… a time when all the emotions are even more intense and prevalent. A time when all the “happy family gatherings” and “celebrations” seem almost as fictional as the romance novels I read, which is why I usually hate Christmas romance novels, but torture myself to read them because I love them at the same time; I love the “hope.” I love the “Christmas miracle endings,” because I so yearn for that in my own life.
I just finished reading Thomas’ Grumble Monkey & The Department Store Elf. I almost didn’t download this book based on the title alone, but hey, it’s Thomas’ new work, so it was inevitable that I’d give in. The Universe wouldn’t have it any other way, by God. Once again, I was completely drawn into his book; once again, there was this ethereal aura of Universal coincidence; once again, it was an excellent book. Thomas is an excellent writer, but more akin to the truth is that Thomas is an exquisite storyteller. I can remember the days of my “non-evolved” spiritual walk, and reading Frank Peretti (who, by the way is an excellent storyteller himself). A favorite line of his was: “I guess it just depends on where you are standing, and how good the view is from there.” (paraphrased, but you get the point.) Well, in this ultra-rare jewel of a story, Thomas is standing on top of the highest cloud, overlooking the vast landscape of love and the splendor of the snow falling all around it. And, he describes it so well, that the picture comes to life, and I found myself in the midst of the story. My how he wove me well.
For those of you reading that have yet to come to the awareness that love knows no boundaries, labels, etc… i.e. same-sex relationships are just not in keeping with your values and beliefs… Stay away from this story. Although Thomas has so honed his talent and craft as to not have to use his artistic brush with such “physical” detail to make the picture come alive, he doesn’t stray from his chosen genre, and that’s precisely why I was blessed by the Universe to get to read one of the most heart-tugging, perfectly written, hope-inducing Christmas stories ever.
I don’t usually use my little place here in cyber world to tout a book in review, but then again, this is probably the most ethereal review Thomas will get, and one that does nothing to explain what the book is actually about… on purpose. If you happen to read this, B.G., know that this Grumble Monkey is sincerely thankful to you for the amazing Christmas present of this book. I want my department store elf to come into my life now. If you happen to be “in” with Santa, St. Nick (lol), Father Time, the “God of Glory” or as I overuse the vernacular, the Universe… pass that tidbit along for me, will ya? Thanks for the tears; thanks for the opportunity to delve into another of your spectacular books; most of all, thanks for the hope.