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Shelf Monkey [Paperback]

Corey Redekop
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.95
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Book Description

April 1 2007
Thomas Friesen has three goals in life: get a job, make friends, and find a good book to curl up with. After landing a job at READ, the newest hypermegabookstore, he feels he may have accomplished all three. All is not peaceable within the stacks, however, as discontent steadily rises, aimed squarely at talk show host Munroe Purvis, whose wildly popular book club is progressively lowering the IQ of North America. But the bookworms have a plan—plots are being hatched and the destruction of Munroe is all but assured. As Thomas finds himself swept along in the malstrom of insanity, he wonders if reading a book is all it's cracked up to be.

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Review

"You'll probably enjoy this one, as I did. . . . Redekop has managed a credible debut."  —The Toronto Star



"Witty first novel."  —The Record


"Invigorating."  —Literary Review of Canada



"This will be the start of a very promising career for Redekop."  —Skullring.org



"Corey Redekop provided this year's gonzo fun with his Shelf Monkey, an utterly enjoyable novel about radical bookworms."  —Locus Online

About the Author

Corey Redekop is a librarian, freelance writer, and blogger at shelf-monkey.blogspot.com. He lives in London, Ontario.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We're all shelf monkeys now Nov. 4 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I didn't know whether to laugh or shudder reading Corey Redekop's Shelf Monkey. So I did both.

The novel tells the tale of failed lawyer turned bookstore widget Thomas, who finds his soulmates in an eccentric group of fellow employees at hypermegabookstore READ. The only problem is they're more crazy than eccentric. They hold secret meetings where they burn offensive books -- you know, Michael Crichton, Candace Bushnell, the Left Behind series -- while assuming the monikers of beloved fictional characters. Oh, Corey, you had me at Yossarian. They have a particular hatred for a book club host called Munroe Purvis, who's sort of a sordid cross between Oprah and Morton Downey Jr. and whose book club selections represent everything wrong with western society -- imagine your grandmother's diaries turned into bestsellers, and you'll have an idea of what Purvis's book club represents.

Of course, Purvis isn't what he appears to be, and neither are many of Thomas's bookstore friends. Some of them turn out to be hiding deep secrets about the bookstore, while others are just plain dangerous in the way only geeks can be dangerous. When Purvis goes on tour and comes to town, the secrets and craziness collide as Thomas's friends set out to destroy Purvis, and the novel quickly moves from the Nick Hornby section of the bookstore to the Joseph Heller and Chuck Palahniuk table.

Redekop manages to keep his own voice throughout the novel, while winking, nodding and even raising a beer every now and then to literary culture. He name-drops authors more than a fourth-year English student, and he makes some literary traditions his own, such as adopting the epistolary novel and turning it into an email exchange while Thomas is on the run from the authorities.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked, satirical and, oh, yeah, a great read Nov. 7 2010
Format:Paperback
Who would believe terrorism could be this much fun?

Of course, in this case, the "terrorists" are a cadre of bibliophiles who are revolted by how the corporate mentality has infected the book trade like an insidious virus, contaminating the printed word with hype, money and the herd mentality. No sacred cows are left unskinned and Mr. Redekop has a terrific eye for snappy dialogue and witty turns of phrase. Fans of Chuck Palahniuk and Craig Clevenger will LOVE this guy. Much of Canadian fiction is a wasteland these days but every so often one encounters a book that gives you hope that this country is still capable of producing innovative, convention-busting artists. Corey Redekop...remember that name. He's going to be around, pricking sensibilities and tickling funny bones, for a long time to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book! July 11 2007
Format:Paperback
Stick with this book past the first few chapters and it will all become clear. And it will be worth it, I promise

Disgruntled employees of a major retail bookstore cringe at the recommended reads of Munroe Purvis and commit acts of literary rebellion in tribute their love of good books.

Redekop weaves a neat crime story intertwined with astute observations on working retail while tossing barbs at literary low weights and bestowing laurels on those writers whose prose soars like eagles above the pulpy dross that inexplicably makes it way to press.

And it's funny as hell.

Read it. All of it.
You won't be sorry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Inquisition is Back July 19 2007
Format:Paperback
Redkop has moments of real wit and he isn’t afraid to push his plot to entertainingly ludicrous extremes. If, ultimately, he winds up glossing over some finer philosophical points about censorship, elitism, taste, and judgement, he at least reminds us of the pleasure, joy, and even lunacy a true love of books can inspire.
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