Corpse of Freedom
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I don’t normally do book reviews, mainly because they can be so tough to rate. Because there’s such an emotional investment in a book, I can be completely turned off by a title simply because of the treatment of a character that I had become attached to.
But I had to make an exception for “Corpse of Freedom” not only because I had promised, but it turned out to be a damned fine read.
Authors Dax Garner and Lloyd Garner introduce us to Ryan, a frustrated teen trapped in a small town, he has no money, no future, and sadly no ambition. His days consist of scrounging up beer money and waiting for his friends to get out of school. One night, he and his friends decide to dig up a corpse for kicks (and let’s admit, who hasn’t been in that position before?) and in one fateful evening, Ryan’s life is changed forever.
For starters, after his friends bail on him, he ends up the sole protector of Jeffrey, the decaying corpse of a teenager who’s called the cemetery home for a few years. Second, the police don’t take kindly to bodies being dug up, so the town’s finest are on the prowl for the culprits. There’s also some mysterious stranger hunting the graverobbers, who may or may not have weird mystic powers. Plus, the friends who helped him dig up Jeffrey are now “cursed” with some strange affliction and are getting sicker the longer the corpse runs free. Not to mention, he’s only got pocket change to eat and drink from (which brings up the question of where his parents are this whole time…).
With all the bad stuff happening however, something wonderful is happening as well. Through Jeffrey’s blog (you gotta love the interwebs) and his somewhat one sided conversations with the corpse, Ryan’s beginning to understand how to break the shackles of the small town and finally discover his true potential. He IS bigger than his current situation, and with the help of his new dead best friend, he can become the person that he’s truly meant to be, as long as he can live long enough to see it through to fruition.
Coming of age stories are either brilliant and poignant, or shameless fluff…and “Corpse of Freedom” is definitely the former. The characters are fleshed out (no pun intended) well enough that you can connect with them, and in fact, if you find yourself unable to relate in any way with Ryan and his crew – chances are I would have hated you in high school.
“Corpse of Freedom” is entertaining, thought provoking and very insightful, and I can recommend it readily to anyone who’s survived youth already, or is suffering through it right now. It’s a solid 4 ˝ cans, and is an easy pickup for any literate or semi-literate Bum.
Added: Friday, September 28, 2007
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