Today we welcome Lesley-Ann from Housewife of Horror with a guest review of A.A. Medina’s SIPHON. Thanks for sharing with us, Lesley-Ann!
THERE IS AN URGE INSIDE YOU…
Dr. Gary Phillips, the resident hematopathologist at Claybrook Medical Center, is a lonely man struggling with the duress of an all work and no play lifestyle.
Burdened with an unhealthy infatuation with his co-worker, a burning disdain for his boss, and an abusive relationship with his grandfather, Gary just can’t catch a break.
That is, until a workplace accident ushers in a bizarre, but empowering experience that evokes a new sense of self, forcing repressed memories to surface while encouraging him to pursue his fantasies with unconventional methods.
Leslie’s 5 Star Review
This is an exceptionally intense story. I was immersed within the plot immediately and could not put it down. To me this was a story of neglect, of a boy who lost his parents young, and was tragically lied to about what really happened. Without being able to fully deal with his heartbreak, he was forced to live with his cold unsympathetic grandfather. I found this also to be a story of resentment. A man who is trapped in the mundane cycle of day to day life with a job that he didn’t really want; a hard ass boss always on his case; a turbulent home life; and the unrequited love of a woman. Finally, this is a story of obsession. The protagonist Gary is infatuated, lustful and completely obsessed with his colleague Wendy. He is obsessed with her to a dangerous level, becomes his eventual undoing.
As the reader, I was bearing witness to a man’s descent into madness. I was enveloped by the steady mental decline of Gary while the worsening toll of his work, his grandfather and his isolation fed on him, akin to vultures preying on the wounded.
His unquiet mind is silenced by the blood; it felt like this was his comfort, and his release. It presented him with something tangible to focus on during his waking hours. His ‘possession’ by another force was his mind’s way of dealing with the unnatural acts he was participating in. I feel it was also his mind’s way of processing his guilt over the eventual murder of his grandfather. The idea of this split personality, a separate being, a godlike creature, taking over his body and doing what he couldn’t do gave him the sense of self he needed. The blood, giving him a new-found confidence and finally a sense of purpose, because what do they say ‘blood is life’.
I have a high regard for this story, Siphon is a most definite reread for me. I felt a real sense of connection with Gary. He is just a man who is trying to find his place in the world. His lack of self, the non-existent identity with his own mind, his fear and his repression is his eventual downfall. It is a heart-breaking journey on which the author takes us.
I cannot recommend this enough. A.A. Medina is an extremely talented writer and I am very excited to read more from him!
About The Author
As a child, Adrian Alexander Medina found solace in storytelling, and every day he had a new one to tell. He would go into great detail about his adventures at school, the time he helped Johnny Rico defeat the bugs on Klendathu, or that time he visited Moscow as a spy. As he grew up, he dialed back the grandiose tales of his adventures, but never lost his overactive imagination.
A. A. Medina believes stories can help the reader understand the strangeness of life and, at the same time, break up the day-to-day monotony by injecting a sense of mystery, wonder, joy, and even fear. When he isn’t melting in the Arizona sun with his wife, Samantha, or being pestered by his fat cats and obnoxious puppy, he is writing his fantasy-horror comic book series Void & Valor, co-running the fiction magazine Aphotic Realm, or designing and developing tabletop games for MoonMarketGames.
A. A. Medina graduated with his B.F.A. in Creative Writing in March of 2017. In addition to writing, A. A. Medina enjoys funneling his creativity into music and graphic design.