Novella review ‘The Lunchling’

  • Author: Jay Alexander
  • Publisher: Ghoul and Gristle Press
  • Publishing year: 2022
  • Number of pages: 119
  • ISBN: 978-1915272102 (paperback)
  • My rating: 5/5
The Lunchling (cosy at home)


The Lunchling: A Novella by Jay Alexander

Orville and Ellie Taylor would do anything to get their son to eat his dinner. Lennon’s an exceedingly fussy kid, and desperate times call for desperate measures.

Which is why they started using the puppet.

“The Lunchling”, they called it: an ugly little wooden doll with a funny voice. It was hideous, and dumb, and a little bit terrifying. And it was the only thing keeping Lennon alive.

Until it started trying to kill him…

Now Orville will do anything to get rid of the demented puppet, but it’s not giving up easy. It’s a part of the family now, and it’s hungry…

The Lunchling is a tale of fear and family, inspired by the classic and iconic slasher movies of the eighties and nineties. This horror novella from Jay Alexander, author of Price Manor: The House That Falls and Starving Grounds (coming June 2022), will stick with you long after you’ve buried it underground.


Move over Chucky, get out of the way Billy the Doll and Slappy, you’ve just been slapped like a dummy… here is The Lunchling!

Jay Alexander’s mind must be one big jumble of weird beings and crazy creatures… he offered us as much in Starving Grounds and I’m sure we’ll see more of them in his later writing. He’s very talented and deserves all the love from us, his fans!

Lennon is a kid who’s not a great eater. His parents, Orville and Ellie, tried everything to get him to eat but to no avail. Until the find a wooden puppets in the woods, discarded and left behind. They bring it him and use it as a ventriloquist dummy, telling Lennon to eat. And lo and behold, it works! But after a few years, Orville notices he’s no fan of the puppet anymore and he feels something is very wrong with it, he just can’t put his finger on what it is that makes him feel this way. But then things get turned around and his premonition turns out to be true… and he has to do anything possible to save his family!

In his afterword, Jay writes he wrote this story in two parts, each part in a different time of his life. He worries it’s not a tight fit and that the story kind of got away from him, clearly showing it’s two separate halves… in a way that’s true, you can tell that one part is very introductory and shows his skills to story building… and the second part is where the climax comes and where he leads his readers to the woods, where we are brought into a hellish scene and a surprising scene… but both blend in perfectly and I’m sure one can not exist without the other! The match perfectly!

The story is also connected to a short from his collection, Starving Grounds, and it feels like he’s not done with this world. It feels like we might get more of Orville, Elly and Lennon (the way he set up the backgrounds of the characters kind of promises we might see them again sometime in the future) and I sure hope he does write a sequel or a kind of spin off.

It’s not over yet… he’s coming back…

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