Xanthan Gumm – Robin Reed

Storyline: I could chew on Xanthan Gumm all day long! Ms. Robin Reed takes our normal and almost boring planet, Earth, and makes it extremely interesting and exciting.

Xanthan Gumm is a sweet little guy that’s not from Earth, but has been a fan of our movies for an extremely long time.  Xanth (as he likes to be called) flies to Earth to star in the Movies that he and all of the other creatures in Galactic Central have been watching and studying for decades.

Only upon his crash landing and subsequent trials, tribulations and troubles does he realize that it’s going to take a lot more than he originally thought to be the next big Movie Star. Instead of instant fame, it might even take as long as week!

Grammar/Spelling: I noticed some minor grammatical (incorrect pronoun or character’s name, capitalization and punctuation) issues throughout the story, with an increase in formatting problems (spacing, paragraph indentation, random characters) towards the end of the book. These are easily corrected by another read-through by a beta reader.

Character Development: The main character, Xanth, is adorable in his naive and innocent outlook on humans and their way of life.  Xanth isn’t dumb, he’s just very literal. Apparently, things are more straight-forward in Galactic Central than they are on Earth. He is very easy to love and the reader only wants him to be in the Movies. Xanthan almost makes the reader wish that life were as exciting as the Movies.

General Les S. Moore is likeable even in his misguided and misdirected patriotism. He is driven by his desire to protect Earth from the enemy, be it the “Commies” or otherwise. Apparently, Xanth falls into the “otherwise” category. With his overbearing mother helping to push him towards his ambition along with his over-the-top chin, General Moore will stop at nothing to achieve that goal.

Writing Style: Ms. Reed’s use of an “intergalactic” vocabulary is completely made up, yet very believable and just absolutely adorable. Her use of pop culture references is refreshing and helps move the story along quite well.

Continuity: No issues with continuity noted. The red cars remained red.

Overall Rating: 4

This story, with some minor editing for content, could easily translate into a Pixar or animated Disney film. I can almost hear Tim Allen’s deep voice as General Les S. Moore and Ewan McGregor’s soft voice full of awe as he tells everyone of his plans to be in the Movies.

Ms. Reed gave me a series case of the giggles in several points throughout the story.  Xanthan Gumm is a great lighthearted and sweet story about a little guy who just wants to make it big – something that even we, as somewhat oblivious humans, can relate to. I recommend this book to just about anyone with a great sense of humor and a true appreciation for the Movies and achieving the American Dream. Or at least trying to achieve it.


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