Oh dear. So that happened. I’m From the Sun: The Gustafer Yellowgold Story was a free Audible Original that I thought looked interesting. And it certainly was that. This whole thing is a giant acid trip, complete with music. I actually originally thought this was a story based on a song from some artist I’d never heard of. But no. No, this was definitely not what I was expecting.
So, as the title suggests, our tale takes place on the Sun. There is a 2,000 square mile patch (quite small, comparatively) that is inhabited by Sunlings. They are short yellow creatures with teardrop-shaped heads. The Sun is mainly monochromatic in shades of yellows, with the only variation being in the eye color of the Sunlings. One of the basic food groups on the Sun is raisins, for some reason. Anyway…
Our tale is focussed on Gustafer Yellowgold, a nine-year-old Sunling. His family owns a carvery, kind of like a butcher shop, but for the non-sentient raisins. (There are a variety of raisins that can be prepared in a variety of ways.) Poor Gustafer is the delivery and errand boy for the carvery. So instead of spending his time riding his putterbike and hanging out with his friends, he has to work at the shop. So it’s all raisins, all the time for Gustafer. The only problem is that Gustafer hates raisins, a fact that he can’t bring himself to tell his family. Speaking of his family, his older brother Ben is a prodigy, and in college for solar engineering or something, and has won the big Tiger Face Day Putterbike Race for the past six years! And that race has a cash prize that has been keeping the carvery in business. To make a not-very-long story short, this year Gustafer, not Ben, has to compete in the big putterbike race on Tiger Face Day to win the prize money to keep the carvery open.
So, there are some issues here. I mean, suspending disbelief that there are creatures living on the Sun who subsist primarily on raisins. Older brother Ben is a bit of a jerk sometimes, notably when he’s visiting Gustafer’s friend. He carelessly ruins her artwork. And he claims he cannot help Gustafer at the carvery because he has to study, but he could have helped. But the worst one is their father. He’s been relying on his son to win money to keep his business open. What did they do before that money? And Gustafer wonders why they have to rely on that money as well. He is obviously not a responsible business owner. And they throw a random plot point in at the very end that doesn’t seem to fit. And also doesn’t seem possible. Or advisable. And it has nothing to do with the rest of the story. The story was over, and then they threw something else in there. It’s like the author wanted that in there, but forgot and just tacked it on the end.
And the music. If this wasn’t an acid trip on its own, the music makes it so. It’s very, um, groovy? I think the songs are supposed to move the plot along, but I couldn’t tell half of the time. Some of the songs are good, and work well, but others aren’t quite there. I think this project was supposed to be like a children’s radio play/musical, and I guess it kind of works for kids? I would have preferred just the story with maybe the title song and the advertisement jingles.
(So, apparently Gustafer Yellowgold is a thing. There are a series of videos featuring him and his life on Earth. And a literacy program? So this is a prequel to those, or something?)
This fulfills the CBR10 Bingo square of “Dream Vacation,” because it’s cold out now. And this could take place in a fever dream?