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Showing posts from February, 2014

E/view: Come Barbarians

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Popular Edmonton author Todd Babiak brings his readers to the south of France for a harrowing thriller that mingles crime, politics, and vengeance in Come Barbarians

By Paula E. Kirman

COME Barbarians surprised me on a number of levels. It is the first novel I have ever read from Edmonton’s Todd Babiak (name dropping time: we volunteered at The Gateway at the University of Alberta around the same time) and from what I know of his previous novels, his subject matter tends to be local and often humorous.

Not so with Come Barbarians. Set in France, it is a dark thriller with Christopher Kruse at its centre. Kruse is heart broken after losing his young daughter Lily to a drunk driver. Shortly after the accident, the accused his wife are dead and Kruse’s wife is missing (and accused of their murders). Kruse makes it his mission to find his wife and prove her innocence. However, he also has to go within himself to confront demons from his past.

What follows is an often gruesome…

E/view: Zombie Night in Canada: First Period

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Local author Jamie Friesen brings the zombie craze--in all its gore and mayhem--to our own backyard.

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

IT was the basis of several cordial arguments between my buddy Colin and I: If a zombie apocalypse feasted on hometown Edmonton, where would we barricade ourselves? Colin was adamant about surviving the pandemic within the grounds of the Edmonton Institution, while I preferred the benefits and comforts of one West Edmonton Mall. An unlikely scenario, but morbidly fun to debate over beers with buddies.

That's why I was excited to delve into Edmonton writer Jamie Friesen's debut novel Zombie Night in Canada: First Period, a look into how various insipid characters cope when Edmonton--along with the rest of the world--is overtaken by the "infected."

Friesen thoroughly explores the hypothetical behaviour of the military and police force in such a catastrophe, though he splits the novel into interspersed segments that also follows a group of civilians who t…