Tonawanda News


November 19, 2012

BOOK NOOK: 'Jellyfish Dreams' a bizarre, entertaining adventure

Tonawanda News — Author M. Thomas Gammarino leaves little trace of himself on the internet — or anywhere, really.

Outside of a brief blurb at the end of his latest effort telling readers the author is an English teacher in Honolulu, Gammarino remains a mystery. No official website, no Facebook fan page.

Outside of a lone other title, 2009’s “Big in Japan: A Ghost Story,” no other signs of the author’s existence can be found. 

Perhaps an homage to a slower time where information on a person wasn’t readily at one’s fingertips, the elusiveness of Gammarino works well in conjunction with “Jellyfish Dreams,” a speculative fiction piece. About 75 pages in length, “Jellyfish” was awarded the lofty title of “a Kindle Single,” a not-so-easy-to-obtain blessing bestowed upon some of the best short stories independent authors have published on Amazon’s e-reader platform.

For a measly $1.99, “Jellyfish Dreams” catapults readers into the world of Sam Rogers, who discovers a black hole under his couch after searching for a dropped bookmark. Sam brings in college professors to scope out the hole, with little to no progress in figuring out what happens to items, or people, that may pass through the apparently never-ending space.

At this point, “Jellyfish Dreams” is a real page-turner. Like a classic episode of “The Twilight Zone,” readers will find themselves swiftly flipping through the pages, as the endless questions behind the discovery underneath the couch beg to be answered. 

This heavily plot-based progression soon dives much deeper on an emotional level, as Gammarino goes into the backstory behind Rogers. Readers find out that Rogers was heavily interested in religion while dating the girl of his dreams in college. When his love passes away before graduation, Rogers changes majors and becomes obsessed with biology, hoping to find a way to resurrect his lost love.

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