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Grambo by [Reade, Dustin]
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Length: 104 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 305 KB
  • Print Length: 104 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Eraserhead Press (23 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,023,954 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Carnage, Absurdness, and a Sweet Old Lady 17 Mar. 2014
By Joseph Wargo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Id Says:
EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh…! What’s that, sonny? Martha’s like most any other senior citizen. She likes church, shopping malls, and drives out into the country with her grandchildren. She’s kind and generous and all that other stuff that make old grannies your favorite kind of cheek-pinching person. One can always find her at her grandson’s basketball games, rooting for the home team fuzzy shapes on the court her eyes sometimes have trouble seeing.

Martha doesn’t realize her grandson’s school is run by the most nefarious jerks to ever grade a term paper. The teachers are nothing but thugs with diplomas, and the principle is an outright pedophile, bonking anything that cheers with pom-poms.

When the grandson messes up during a big game and loses it for the school, the faculty takes matters into their own hands. Martha gets a call from the grandson and hightails it over to the family home just in time to watch them murdered and set on fire. The dorkheads beat the crap out of granny, too, and leave her for dead.

But granny didn’t die. The old crank is still as rascally as ever and she wants revenge!

Ego Says:
Populating Martha’s Pacific Northwest surroundings is a supporting cast I placed into two categories, either opposing or aiding her. There are no middle ground characters here, everyone has a stake in grandma’s quest for vengeance.

On the opposing team, I really like the all-encompassing evil that is the school principle, Mr. Mayonnaise. There is not a single thread of decency in the man. He is the uber-cad I just wanted to die a thousand deaths. His henchpeople, the teachers under him, are a motley crew to say the least. Mr. Fust is frustrated and angry, but essentially all bark and no bite. Ms. Webber has more brains about her, and seems more chilling with her ability to torture innocents indifferently.

Rooting for Martha are the mascots. Yes, those mascots. The ones dancing around in ill-fitted suits making total asses of themselves while supposedly boosting team pride, except these mascots aren’t made, rather they are born. I think they’re my favorite characters in the book, because they’re such a fun take on a common role. They aren’t people in suits, they’re actually living creatures. When Musty pulls his horse head off to reveal a balding man head underneath, the skin tears off from his bleeding neck, because the horse is the real him and the human head is to his body what our skulls are to ours. Don’t worry, his head will grow back.

Super-Ego Says:
If it were not for all the gratuitous violence and sex, this could almost be a children’s story. Not only is there something wholesome and childlike about our grandmother’s journey, but the way Mr. Reade approaches the story is rather innocent like.

Not to say there are not touches of the absurd that would go over a child’s head, such as a chapter calling to mind a certain greaser play or one that reads like your favorite action movie montage scene (which this part of the reviewer’s brain recommends reading to some classic power metal). The comedy bits really helps break up the action bits, and when the two combine at times throughout the book you will find yourself excited and laughing simultaneously. A most enjoyable experience.

By keeping the middle section clear and steadfast, the author is able to really flesh out the meatiest parts of the book, that of the first act’s truly horrific scenes of Martha’s world brought to the edge of oblivion and the third act’s extremely satisfying battle finale. All of this is pulled off in a read that takes less time than watching the original Rambo trilogy. Good show.

The delicate handling of the carnage, the absurdness, and the sweetness is no easy task. This book maintains all three without ever going overboard in any one direction. A difficult feat, and one so well pulled off that I am eager to see what comes next from this author’s pen.
4.0 out of 5 stars Revenge fantasy at it's finest. 2 Dec. 2013
By Sheldon Nylander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The New Bizarro Authors Series is always interesting. It provides a testing ground for new voices in fiction and new styles that we may not have seen before. It's often a breath of fresh air in the world of fiction writing.

"Grambo" by Dustin Reade is one such entry in this year's NBAS. By the title and the cover, most will probably already know what the main theme of the book is, but there are enough unique elements that make this book worth a read.

The book starts with Martha covered in the blood of her enemies, then we flashback to how she got there. Yes, the entire book is one long flashback sequence. After Martha's grandson costs his school their chance to go to the championship basketball game and a trip to the Supermall, the school's faculty violently takes out their frustration on the entire family, but mistakenly leave Martha alive. After she is rescued by a mascot (that takes more explaining than I'm going to go into here), she begins recovering and train in martial arts and weapons to take her revenge on the faculty that killed her family.

The book is funny in a very self-aware kind of way. While it is very bloody and violent, it's also done in a strange tongue-in-cheek kind of way. This is especially apparent when we get a training montage in the middle of the book. Yes, an actually movie style montage in writing. The author never loses site of the humor, even if it turns dark at times, and keeps the book self-aware that what we're reading is rather silly, and that makes it work in a special way.

Now, being a fan of action movies and having seen all the "Rambo" films, I could be an internet troll and nitpick here that there isn't that much in common with the actually films. But that's unfair. It's probably got more in common with "Death Wish" or even "Kill Bill," but you try and find a punny title that works with those. Martha is not a Vietnam vet who's being run out of town or on a rescue mission or in isolation and bitter at the world. It's pure revenge fantasy.

The plot is not the steadiest thing in the world. It does feel at times like it has a bit of a stop and start motion to it. It's not necessarily bad, as a breather from bloody, violent action is needed at times, but at the same time it's occasionally a little unsteady, and the ending is almost diabetically sweet in contrast to the rest of the book, but it needed a good end for a main character that, despite the arguably justifiable violence she perpetrated in her quest for revenge, still remains likable and endearing.

From a technical standpoint, the book is well edited, with very few flaws. I hate to point this out in a lot of my reviews, but it's a sticking point for me, and I feel it's worth noting. So I'm pleased to say that there's very little in the way of writing or editing flaws to pull the reader off the page. A plus for the author and the editor.

"Grambo" is a loving tongue-in-cheek tribute to action and revenge films, with well-drawn, focused characters. While the violence is extreme and over-the-top, it's never inappropriately so. That sounds kind of strange, but when reading the book, you understand that the violence fits the theme perfectly. While the plot is occasionally a little jerky, it's never overly so, and on the whole, this book makes for a fun read.

"Grambo" by Dustin Reade earns 4 ninja throwing stars out of 5.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rambo eat your heart out... 23 Feb. 2014
By Bix Skahill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For a short book, Grambo packs a punch.

Grambo is the story of Martha, a kindly grandma, who's entire family is wiped out by vengeful high school teachers. Unlike most elderly women plagued with arthritis, Martha decides to seek revenge on those who ruined her life. Armed with a gun and a big jar of Icee Hot, Martha, aided by the Mascots (in Reade's twisted mind all sports mascots are actually animals), cuts a bloody swath through the local high school.

Somehow Reade manages to squeeze plenty of laughs out of this bloody rampage of a book. I highly recommend it for people who like action comedy.
5.0 out of 5 stars REVENGE IS A DISH BEST SERVED BIZARRO 27 Nov. 2013
By Daniel Vlasaty - The Buffalo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dustin Reade’s release for this year’s New Bizarro Author Series is the hilarious GRAMBO, which he calls a geriatric revenge story. Think Rambo but with an old lady instead of a super muscular Sylvester Stallone. (Hence the title GRAMBO…granny Rambo). The book is gory and action-packed and disgusting and, of course, hilarious. It’s seriously funny.

Martha is just a normal old lady. She lives in a retirement home. She loves her family, especially her wonderful grandson Charlie. She likes church, and she loves the sweet baby Jesus. Charlie’s basketball team is only two games away from the state championship, and if they win it will mean only one thing for Martha – a trip to the Supermall, which she wants more than anything. But things don’t go as planned and Charlie’s team loses the big game. That means no trip to the Supermall for Martha, and no championship title for Charlie’s team. The latter does not sit well with Mr. Mayonnaise, the principal, who has been accused of running the school like a dictator in the past. Mr. Mayonnaise and the other teachers cannot let failure stand and they blame Charlie for the loss. They set out to teach him a lesson, by killing him and his entire family. Martha survives the attack, just barely, and with the help of a race of living mascots, she sets out to get revenge on those who have taken her beloved family from her.

First things first, like I said before, this book is hilarious. Its over-the-top humor mixed with all the gore and sex make this disgusting and dirty book a whole hell of a lot of fun to read. There were parts where I was literally laughing out loud on the train. There is a training montage played to a super-awesome rock song. A reverse-rape that is actually funnier than it sounds like it would be. Part of the humor also comes from the narrator. The narrator is informal and unpretentious.

The book also works as a straight revenge story, but it does become so much more than just that by the end. The thing our main character loves and cherishes most in like (her family) is taken away from her. She is left for dead, weakened beyond her already decrepit body. But just when it seems like the end in in sight (the teachers are coming to finish her off in the hospital), she is rescued by a well-trained warrior (Musty the mascot). She trains with the mascots, trains to become better than what she was – stranger, faster, deadlier. It’s a pretty basic story structure, but Dustin handles it smartly, and in the end surpasses what could have easily been a clichéd storyline.

Again, this is Dustin’s first book. It’s covered in blood and cum and saliva, but it’s a fun read, and I think it’s safe to say that there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing more from Dustin Reade in the future.
5.0 out of 5 stars Slick & Sleazy 29 Nov. 2013
By Grant Wamack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Grambo is the debut bizarro novella from Dustin Reade who is the editor of the Mustache Factor and a snazzy dresser to boot.

The book starts off with Martha aka Grambo, a sweet ass grandmother, covered in the blood of her enemies and we flashback to much simpler times where she dreamed of nothing more than going to the Supermall in Tacoma, Wash. There’s a big basketball game and her grandson ends up costing the team the championship. The high school’s malevolent faculty violently murders Martha’s family and she barely survives thanks to the peaceful yet deadly race of mascots.

Grambo trains on the mascot ranch to become a badass and will stop at nothing to get her revenge.

This novella is hilarious especially the montage chapter which I’m sure any fan of Sylvester Stallone movies will fall in love with. Grambo overflows with over-the-top violence and black humor, but Reade anchors the plot in the serious aftermath of the family’s brutal death. You really feel for Grambo and her plight making her revenge all that much sweeter.

Grambo is a slick and sleazy, ultra-violent novella with just enough humor sprinkled in to keep the plot from reeling out of control. I can’t wait to read whatever Reade whips up next. Consider me a fan.
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