Savvy Book – The Girl With All The Gifts

I picked up ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’, thinking it must a biography of my childhood, amazed that, somewhat belatedly, I had achieved recognition – even if only as a work of fiction!

But, alas, the reality turned out to be pretty grim. Far from achieving recognition, in M. R. Carey‘s story, I, along with the rest of my kind (were there ever any others?), had been gobbled up by a new master species of upgraded sproglings (can one be gobbled up, i.e. past tense, and still be able to read?)!

I guess that my old-pre-gobbled-up self couldn’t really complain about it – being a middle-aged vegetarian, I would hardly have been able to mingle in with the flesh-devouring sproglings. Neither would I have been a likely candidate for the post of Lab Assistant to the very endearing, scientist, Caroline Caldwell, who captures the sproglings for the purpose of ‘separating’ their ‘brains from’ their ‘skulls’:

‘She does it quickly and methodically, and she gets the brain out in one piece, with minimal tissue damage. She’s reached the point now where she could almost do it in her sleep.’ (p.41)

Besides which, then my pre-digested self was incredibly clumsy, so there was no way I could have performed any sort of precision surgery in my sleep.

If you are the squeamish sort, it’s probably best to avoid this particular read. I relay to you, now, what happened when my very squeamish and God-fearing mother picked it up on one of her visits.


“What is that awful book you’ve left next to my bed?” 

“Oh you mean, the M. R. Carey novel? It’s so good! You should read it!”

“It’s disgusting – not my type of book at all!”

“You haven’t been reading it then?”

“Well, I picked it up because I’d just finished my Catherine Cookson, and could hardly believe what I the content! Disgusting! Horrible!”

“You won’t be reading anymore then?”

“Certainly not!”


“I finished that book – and it didn’t get any better! Disgusting! How could anyone think it up?”

“You won’t be reading any more M.R. Carey novels then?”

“Is there another one? Is it a sequel? What happened to …?”

“You don’t want to know!”

“No, it really was awful, but …..”


As I said, readers, if you’re in any way squeamish, it’s best not to …

“Mum, have you borrowed M. R. Carey’s ‘Fellside’?”


Copyright owned by Jay Cool, October 2019

Image adapted from khamkhor from Pixabay

Please do read a taster of my own WIP dystopian novel, ‘The Wall’. Likes and comments would be much appreciated!


Published by The Silly-Savvy Salopian

Freelance writer and descendant of the cave dweller and outlaw, Humphrey Kynaston. Banished from Shropshire for my eccentricity, I have made my home in Suffolk. I write poetry, short stories, travel journals, comedy gig reviews and non-fiction articles. My wish is to write my way back into the heart of my birth land. All writing commissions (and free holidays in Shropshire!) considered.

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