Monday, December 6, 2010

Huffer Book Review

Title: Huffer
Author: Michael J. Hultquist
Publisher: Gravside Tales
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780980133875

Huffer by Michael J. Hultquist is the newest book from Graveside Tales Publishing. What if you had the ability to see "evil" people, and had the power to do something about it? When a mysterious figure dressed in a hawaiian shirt appears to Gus Gerring after a stint of huffing paint in the middle of a cornfield, "Satan" as Gus refers to him, begins to show him things about people that no one would ever want to know about another person.

When the girl he loves doesn't return the affection,Gus spirals further into depression and begins huffing even more. But that's just the beginning. Soon, his world begins spiraling out of control: his mother and her boyfriend who are hiding a secret about his dead father, an uncle who has a particular affection for having his way with prostitutes and then offing them, a dream of the love of his life, and the local police who are after Gus for the winning Lotto numbers, and a man who wants to use Gus's special abilities to his advantage.

Gus quickly realizes that he can't control everything, even with Satan's help.

Huffer is an ambitious novel with some rather wonderful characters, such as the aforementioned Uncle Ham who has a taste for the macabre, -- having his way with prostitutes and then killing them -- and the mysterious figure which Gus refers to as "Satan": the indentity behind the visions that propels Gus's life into a Dive-Bomb.

Hultquist seems to have a firm grasp on the location in which the novel is set (always a good thing for an author), often times describing scenery with an outsiders eye effectively, drawing the reader in and keeping them there.

Characters and settings aside, nothing defines a novel more than the ending. And unfortunately Huffer suffers from a sloppy ending. As I read and grew closer and closer to the ending, I was expecting a climactic event that would leave me dumbstruck, and tie up all of the loose ends that were left hanging. However it didn't. In fact, I felt like I was reading an Indie Film: written with a sloppy, loose ending, intentionally written for the purpose of making the writer look smart; making the audience think for themselves, wondering what happens next.

For me, the mark of a great story teller is the ability to effectively be able to tell a story that leaves the reader still thinking about the events of the story longer after the books been put down, rather than dwelling on one or two major flaws that stand out like a sore thumb. For me, the ending was a sore thumb.

Just because the ending wasn't my cup of tea, it doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy reading Huffer, that's why I'm giving it 6.5 TARDIS's out of 10.

One last note: with Christmas fast approaching, I'd like to point out that right now Graveside Tales has a sale on for those with a Kindle and are interested in picking up a digital copy of Huffer, that the publisher currently has Kindle Editions of their books for only $2.99, so if you've got the pocket change to spare, download it and read it for yourself.


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