Nomes's Reviews > The Gorgon in the Gully

The Gorgon in the Gully by Melina Marchetta
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's review
Nov 06, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011, i-own, want-to-hang-out-with-the-gang
Read from June 20 to July 06, 2011

The Gorgon in The Gully is Melina Marchetta's 2010 debut for middle readers.

I bought this book for me my boys, Sam and Reuben.

Here they are ^ (taken down the road from our place):
Sam on the left is 10 years (grade 4) and Reuben on the right is 9 (grade 3)

Danny Griggs, our protagonist, is in grade 4 and he's an Australian boy, so right from the start my boys related. Even though it is perfect independent reading level for both Sam and Reubs, this is one we saved for me reading out loud to them at bedtime.

Reviews from my boys

Sam: The Gorgon in the Gully is awesome and funny. I hope a sequel comes out because I would like to read it. My favourite character was Jonah Griggs because he was a cool big brother and he buys Danny stuff off ebay. My favourite part was the end because I didn't know what was going to happen.

Reuben: I reckon it's pretty funny how it actually says what a Gorgon is on the internet. Even though they probably don't even exist. I like it how they thought it was a real Gorgon in the gully but ... [had to edit him out, a tiny bit spoilery!]. I like how they were always making strategies and planning things. Akbar was funny but my favourite character is Danny because he is the one who is brave enough to go down in the gully even though he is scared of a lot of stuff.

From me: The Gorgon in The Gully is classic Melina Marchetta. It's not only charming, funny and intriguing but it is full of of heart. I love how Marchetta brings a cast of characters together. She has a gift for taking random, at-odds characters and creating community. Not only community amongst her characters, but they come to life for me as a reader and I feel like I belong in the community too. I love her dialogue, which bounces off each character so well.

Above all, the characters are so endearing.. It's a brave and smiley story, I think it would charm any child. It's especially perfect for boys, I am amazed (although I shouldn't be) just how Marchetta writes as if she is inside a ten year old boys head. Danny was captivating, what a charmer! (He is going to be a heart breaker when he grows up).

As for reading it to my kids: They loved it (one more chapter, Mum!). They laughed out loud. So. Much. (particularly Reuben, he kept laughing at lines that I didn't think were supposed to be funny, LOL.) They loved the culture references, from Indiana Jones to Beast Quest, and the inclusion of cricket and soccer and playground antics. It oozes Aussieness from the reference (meat pies) to the way the kids hack out on each other to show affection. The humour builds right through to the climax, with running jokes and clever motifs. It was fun to read out-loud (I owned Akbar's Mum;s Indian accent ;)) and it was so awesome to read word-for-word Aussie slang/terms the whole way through (often when I read imported MG, I switch words like cafeteria to canteen, etc).

For fans of On The Jellicoe Road: The Gorgon in the Gully takes place at the same time as On The Jellicoe Road. This is a story about Jonah Griggs little brother, Danny. Jonah appears in the story more than I had imagined (yay!)
Danny waited for his brother Jonah to ring. Jonah was at a camp out bush for the next six weeks. There wasn't much phone coverage where Jonah was, but Danny's brother managed to find a spot every night to call. No matter what.
'What's up mate?'
Danny loved it when his brother called him that because Jonah was his bestest friend in the world even though he was nine years older than Danny. (p 14)

LOL @ the phone coverage! There's some gorgeous little snatches in there for Jellicoe fans (here's one teaser):

That night he (Danny) asked Jonah if he could take $9.49 out of Jonah's secret stash that only Danny and his mum and jack knew about. Jonah kept it in his sock drawer next to a photograph of Jonah and a girl with sad eyes, taken in one of those railway station booths. (p30)

Oh, I got very nostalgic for Jellicoe while reading this book. The above quote just about broke my heart (as I swooned a little) thinking about Jonah and Taylor again. As for Jonah as a big brother, he is fiercely protective towards Danny, cheering the little guy on. I loved seeing Jonah from Danny's perspective, his hero, tough and smart and pretty much invincible. I was also very touched by the conversation between Jonah and Danny on pages 97 - 100.

Any fan of Melina Marchetta (or Jonah Griggs) would love this book.
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Reading Progress

02/17/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-27)

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message 27: by Thebookbutterfly (new)

Thebookbutterfly Is this about Jonah Grigg's little brother!!?

Nomes yep :) and Jonah is in it too :D

message 25: by Thebookbutterfly (new)

Thebookbutterfly So jealous! I need to get a hold of this book!

Audrey (holes In My brain) dude. duuuuuuude. i can't believe you get to read more about jonah griggs and I DON'T :(

Nomes sorry guys. i don't know if it has an international release or not :/ Jonah is v v awesome in this book :)

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Your boys look so different from each other.

Nomes haha, I know, right? They are nearly opposite in everything.

Sam is brown hair, brown eyes and solid. Reuben is blonde, blue-eyed and much more lanky. All their features are different too (lips, face shape, skin tone, noses...)

Also, Reuben (my blonde one) is taller than his older brother and people always assume he is the oldest.

Alexa Aww! Love your review, Nomes! I love that you also included what your boys thought of the book. So awesome & adorable! :)

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

They're so cute. My kids are still too young, but I can't wait till they get old enough that we can read longer books.

Nomes Thanks Alexa :) I will have to get their opinions more, LOL.

@ Kate: I loved the picture book age, but it is cool now that they are reading books more interesting to me too. Of course, it can take ages to read a novel out loud...

The best thing about my kids getting older though is saying goodbye to all the little kids movies and children;s entertainers. So pleased to have moved on past the Wiggles.

Joy (joyous reads) Amazon doesn't have this book *pouts*. I love your review! :)

Nomes Oh, it's only with Aussie publishers :/ You can get it internationally from with free postage.

i am giving away a copy on my blog (you don't have to be a follower or anything ;)) not trying to pimp myself out, just sharing the book :D

Joy (joyous reads) Nomes wrote: "Oh, it's only with Aussie publishers :/ You can get it internationally from with free postage.

i am giving away a copy on my blog (you don't have to be a follower or anything ;))..."

Thanks! DONE. :)

Crystal Aw your boys are so cute!! Thanks for sharing the picture! I also LOVED your review! This book was so great =)

Catie This is such a brilliant review! I love your boys...they seem so sweet (and smart).

message 12: by Chachic (new) - added it

Chachic I didn't know there was a book about Jonah's little brother! Would love to read this one because I LOVE Jonah Griggs.

Nomes Thanks guys :)

@ Chachic ~ glad I could bring it to your attention. It's a sweet little book :)

message 10: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Marr Gorgeous review from all three of you, what a wonderful idea to do a family review together! This has got to be one of the nicest and memorable reviews I've read on GR. Makes me want to buy this book even though I don't have any younguns myself to share it with :-)

Nomes thanks shirley. they just stood there and dictated a few sentences, haha. they liked the idea of me putting it on the internet though.

message 8: by Chachic (new) - added it

Chachic I joined your giveaway, Nomes! Thanks for making it international. :)

Arlene Beautiful review and beautiful little boys!! I loved their reviews as much as I did yours. What a great little story to share with your family. :)

Jasprit Great review Nomes and from your little boys too, if you all loved it, I'm sure I will too! Can't wait to read it :)

Choco Wonderful review from all three of you! It was as heart-warming to read as the book itself.

message 4: by ~Tina~ (new)

~Tina~ Aww, I so love this review!! Beautifully done!:)

message 3: by Kaethe (new) - added it

Kaethe A review made of adorable.

Nalnac What a great review Nomes! Your boys are the cutest..I hope Marchetta reads this. <3

Aly (Fantasy4eva) you have very two cool boys there :D i loved hearing all your thoughts on the book. omg the thought of jonah being in the book just makes me swoooooon. i can't wait to see the references to jellicoe road. and nomes. can you tell me when they took that picture * of jonah and taylor near the booth* can't seem to remember! :)

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