The Last Hiccup : a novel (M)
by Christopher Meades
“This darkly comedic novel by the Canadian author of The Three Fates of Henrik Nordmark follows the exploits of young Vladimir, a boy who can’t get rid of the hiccups. Unable to sleep after weeks of hiccupping, Vlad is sent to Moscow to be treated by the best doctors in Russia. A team of doctors try everything from electroshock to drugs to metaphysical cures and even psychological treatments. Eventually Vlad goes to Mongolia to be cured of his possession by a mostly silent guru. After years in the wild, still hiccupping but at peace with his ailment, Vlad returns to a Russia much changed by World War II and by the onslaught of the 21st century.
VERDICT This wickedly funny story begins as a satirically simple look at a boy besieged by modern medicine and develops into an admirable portrayal of an unlikely hero trying to find his way in an absurd world. This novel will amuse and touch lovers of original literature, both light and serious.” – Library Journal
Husk: a novel (M)
by Corey Redekop
“Redekop follows up his 2007 debut, the very funky Shelf Monkey, with the story of Sheldon Funk, a struggling actor, who wakes up during his own autopsy. Undead but still functional, Funk looks for a way to keep himself out of the wrong people’s hands, land a plum acting job, and (eventually) weather the storm of zombie superstardom before decomposition inevitably gets the best of him. Featuring Funk’s ambitious agent and an unsavory doctor who finds gruesomely clever ways to keep Sheldon’s body from falling apart too quickly, the story is a lesson in practical zombieing: what to do when you become a member of the walking dead, how to pass yourself off as (relatively) normal, how to learn to speak and walk again, and how to deal with your new meatcentric dietary requirements.
Very funny and full of nifty surprises, the story has a big heart, too, presenting Sheldon as an ordinary fella trying to come to terms with his extraordinary new situation. The ending is appropriate and packs a serious emotional wallop. Highly recommendable perhaps to more than zombie geeks.” – Booklist
Nobody Cries at Bingo (M)
by Dawn Dumont
“In Nobody Cries At Bingo, the narrator, Dawn, invites the reader to witness first hand Dumont family life on the Okanese First Nation. Beyond the sterotypes and clichés of Rez dogs, drinking, and bingos, the story of a girl who loved to read begins to unfold. It is her hopes, dreams, and indomitable humour that lay bear the beauty and love within her family. It is her unerring eye that reveals the great bond of family expressed in the actions and affections of her sisters, aunties, uncles, brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews, and ultimately her ancestors.
It’s all here — life on the Rez in rich technicolour — as Dawn emerges from home life, through school life, and into the promise of a great future. Nobody Cries At Bingo embraces cultural differences and does it with the great traditional medicine of laughter.”