Sunday 13 January 2013

Husk: A Novel by Corey Redekop

Published by ECW Press

Sheldon Funk is just like everyone else. Okay. Maybe not quite. I'm sure many people have a parent who is struggling with dementia, to the point where they are wasting away in a nursing institution of some kind. I'm also fairly sure that in each city, across the globe, there is an abundance of struggling actors, eagerly accepting any and every audition, in their search for stardom. These actors, like Sheldon, are probably finding many of those auditions to be lacking promise, or just outright disastrous. Throw in an unfulfilling relationship, being close to broke, and having an agent who really doesn't care, and you still have a list of issues that other people have experienced.

Just as he thinks his life can't possibly get worse, he wakes one day to find himself a little confused, a stiffness throughout his body, and an insatiable ravenous appetite.. for human flesh.

With an audition coming up, you can imagine the inconvenience of discovering you are, in fact, undead. What follows is a sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious, almost always brutally and disgustingly detailed description of events as Sheldon struggles to find the solution to his problems, and hopefully without ending up being part of some experimental research project.

And you think you have problems....

I just had to read this book. I admit, I have a fondness for all things zombie, and when this one was introduced to me, I was ecstatic. The back of the book teases with the promise of a memorable experience and it doesn't disappoint.  From the beginning, the narrator (Sheldon Funk, himself) grabs the attention of the reader, and pulls us along in a non-stop, fast-paced (or as fast as a lumbering zombie can move), and horribly detailed journey of self-discovery and hope. I found myself constantly hoping that Sheldon would get his break and become an A-list actor. Maybe he could even find a little true love with someone who could take that 'love is blind' adage to a whole new level.

What I can say, is that Sheldon Funk wormed his way into my heart. As I crept closer to the end of the book, I felt a sadness that only comes from knowing you are saying goodbye to a dear friend, not knowing whether you will see them again. His story, wonderfully woven by Corey Redekop, will guide you through such a vast range of emotions, including the occassional urge to throw up, or to seek help for ribs that are bruised from the laughter. I personally found it highly original and loved the theories that we are presented with throughout the pages. It was greatly refreshing to see a book that has clearly been researched, and that feeds the readers intellect through the entire process.

For me, this book also had an added bonus. I am an absolute fan of  a certain movie director, his wife, and an actor all of which I won't name for fear of spoiling the reading experience. To have them woven into the book also, in a way that was quite plausible (in fact, I actually went to with a shred of hope that such a movie could exist), just really added a little something special for me. I love books in which the author can suspend disbelief and draw you into the book utterly, and completely, as this one did.

I loved this book so much and it has one of the best, if not THE best, ending I've experienced in a book.

On a fun note: Sheldon Funk has his own Twitter account @SheldonFunk.

Author's website:

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