Primitive (All Tied up with String #5) review PLUS Nev Murray Q&A by: Mandy Tyra

Simply Sublime! We are now over a third of the way into the All Tied up with String series, Primitive is #5 (out of 14) and not only is it the longest short story of the collection so far but it is also the most ‘evolved’ of the pack.
This mammoth tail spans months, two continents, and 4 main characters….not to mention the supporting ‘title characters’.
There is seriously a lot going on in Primitive and it stars Nev Murray, a well-known and well liked (revered and feared) reviewer at Confessions of a Reviewer.
For 2 and a half years he’s been a top-tier reviewer and recently has set up a publicity side to his website at www.confessionsofareviewer.com .

This personalized series of shorts is really shaping up to be a quite the juggernaut. You can tell Keane is having an uproariously keen time putting his friends and readers in such perilous predicaments.
Primitive maaay even be my favorite so far but it really is hard to choose.
All with so much variety, depth, FUN, and this one made me really really hungry.

Stomping it at a rip-roaring 43 pages.

“Turkey Dinosaurs: a fun, fast and fabulously delicious treat … but scary as hell with an imagination like mine!”
Nev Murray ~ twice bitten, over chewed, opportunistically gluttonous words of…

Mr. Nev Murray is a successful businessman, seemingly with most of his scruples. He has taken a favorite junky food from his childhood and turned it all healthy.
Owner of Murray’s Turkey Dino’s; tasty breaded nuggets of juicy turkey meat shaped like our favorite iconic dinosaurs.
They are a massive hit and have made him a massive wealth. With contracts in place at grocers and even school cafeterias, parents and kids alike both love em, they are so addictively yummy.
Yet he still feels the urge to go bigger, to authenticate, proceed ~ without much caution ~ to the next level of his business arrangement with the advantageous Richard Banks, who is a slightly less scrupulous billionaire businessman.
All is quite lucrative at first and business is not only booming….it flat-out saurs, but as is often the case when more is bitten off than can be properly chewed, pandemonious choking can ensue.
With back and forth cuts to an aloof reporter named Bethany and her camera man Matthew, interviewing the new health food craze at one of the schools, and begrudging that lame fluff piece given to them. Raring for a real story, something newsworthy, a career making piece.
That piece comes, at a price. The story of a lifetime is just around the corner at the prominent Wembley Stadium.
It’s the power and prestige of the nugget, no not the gold nugget…the golden turkey nugget.

So much going on in this short story. How does he do it!? So much plot, so much…sustenance, in just a few short pages. It’s teee-rex-rrifically transcendent and unlike anything he has ever written before.
* note how I refrained from using Dinoo-Mite πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ …errr, wait…oops..

And now this reporter was anything but aloof interviewing the distinguished and formidable Nev Murray, so I brought extra (nerve calming) wine and awwww he supplied plates of his yummy signature food.
After feast and drank, nerves were calmed.
Aaaand being a wino of such inquisitive tastes but limited lucidity, I cut to the chase and proceeded to further jeopardize any sort of journalistic integrity.
He had a lot to say in this little expos`e.

1.) How do you know the author?
To be honest, I’m not 100% sure about how we actually came to be conversing with each other. It all seems so long ago now that it’s a blur. I think I saw his face appearing on various posts on Facebook and saw a load of mutual friends so decided to add him. That will teach me, eh?
I know that we talked a lot when I first read Grin and I was lucky enough to win the star prize at the launch party for it and can look at my wonderful print of the cover of Laymon’s Fiends, signed by the man who drew it, Steve Crisp, as I work everyday. I’m actually looking at it now!
Not long after that, I had the opportunity to meet Stuart at Emcon, in Nottingham in 2015. We had arranged to meet up with Jack Rollins and a few others the night before the event and Mr. Keane wouldn’t let me go back to my hotel until I was shamelessly drunk. That sort of set the mood for the entire weekend. He may claim otherwise, but he is lying.
From there, we have had many a conversation about books and life and books and life. He is forever asking me for writing tips. I almost feel like I write his stories for him but he never replies to my requests for royalties!
It’s a working relationship that developed into a friendship that I hope will continue for many, many years to come.

2.) What is your first and/or favorite Keane book?
My first read of Mr. Keanes, and still my favorite of his, was Grin. There were so many things I loved about that book, and still do. It was great for me, as a reviewer, to pick up something new, from a new author to me, and be able to sit back and relax with it and enjoy it. Sometimes it is difficult to read a book for review because you always feel that you have to pay special attention to what you are reading to give it a fair appraisal. I never felt like that with Grin. It was so easy flowing that I just got lost in it.
For example. This is what I actually said in my review at the time:
“He is one of those authors that I put into the easy category. Now I’m not suggesting that he is easy, although some rumors are doing the rounds. What I mean by that is that you slide into the book very easily. It doesn’t take you long before you feel totally at ease with what you are reading. You feel as if you have known the characters for a long time after only a few pages. It flows extremely well and is paced perfectly for the different types of horror featured in the story. It has blood when it needs it and emotion in abundance in both the bloody parts and the head feck parts.”
I also said this:
“Horror of the mind is the next best thing about this book. What Dani goes through is something that no one can ever comprehend unless you ever actually do go through it. I pray for each and every one of you that you don’t because, it is horrific in the extreme. Physical and mental torture that would drive the hardest of us to an early grave. I felt very emotional at times reading this book because I felt so so sorry for Dani and what she was going through.”
This is why I loved Grin so much. There were many different horror elements to it that it has something for everyone.

3.) Tell me a little bit about the treasured topic you chose for Keane to utterly desecrate with little or no regard for?
Oh man. Where to start. If you live in the UK and haven’t had Turkey Dinosaurs before, shame on you. Absolute shame on you. If you live in the US, I feel sorry for you because as far as I am aware, you don’t get them there.
They are a little package of pure joy for dinner time. Succulent pieces of turkey meaty, shaped like various dinosaurs, coated in breadcrumbs that, when cooked to perfection, are quite goldenly deliciously crunchy and so full of flavour. Add chips (fries for you American types) and baked beans, well, you have a plate full of loveliness fit for a King or Queen! Just look at the picture!
To be honest, myself and Mr. Keane had many discussions about Turkey Dinosaurs after my enjoyment of them one night, while reading Grin, was somewhat destroyed by what I was reading. This developed into many other discussions that led to some other stuff that will become very clear over the next few months.
I really picked them as my topic because I didn’t think he would be able to pull off a story about them without it sounding absolutely ridiculous. After reading Primitive, how foolish do I look now?

4.) Are you equal parts disturbed and delighted with your tailor-made tale?
To be honest, again, (I seem to say that a lot, don’t I?) I had no idea what to expect. I was waiting and waiting and waiting on my turn because, as I said earlier, I didn’t think he would manage to pull it off. While I was reading the story, I initially thought it would be a complete rip off of a well-known film franchise but as I kept reading, I was very pleasantly surprised.
He managed to take the story in a completely different direction than I thought he would. It was interesting in the fact that, although being a horror story, it was nothing like anything I have read from him before. He definitely stepped way outside the box, and his comfort zone for this one.
That is both admirable and annoying. Admirable because he sat back, thought about how he was going to do it, and pulled it off. Annoying because I honestly didn’t think he would do it. I was expecting animated goldenly delicious bread-crumbed dinosaurs running amok in true Toy Story style. I certainly didn’t get that.
To say I was disturbed and scared would be an understatement. This is the sort of story that, in some respects, I wish were true and possible, because it would fascinate me, but in other ways, I’m so glad it can’t be true, god help us all if it was. Or is it true? Who knows.

WOW, a huge thank you to Nev for that informatively exuberant little chinwag.
Yea, Mr. Murray is quite the talker and so well spoken, nice, and personable.
I can see how he’s made such a name for himself, starting with a blog turned mega, then rolling that into a whopping website with extra reviewers and a publicity business side. Impressive.
He and it is a pillar of the writer community, you know you’re making a name for yourself if Nev and his team review your work!

Oh and as for my overtime Stu, I’m invoicing you for double the poptarts. Chocolate fudge please, don’t question… I ask the questions. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

The next story is Atonia, all about that precious SLEEP and it features his mother in law, Dagmar Boo.
Uh-Ohhh….sleep mom in law, sleeeeep. It’s for the best.
It’s due out in a couple of weeks. So till then, rest up….because you know, like the blare of an alarm clock, I’ll come shrieking back with a jolt. πŸ˜‰

 

You can buy the book here:

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