Rating: 5 of 5, TMBOA Recommended!
Author: Eric Knapp
Somewhere outside of Detriot Michigan, a spectral cosmic light lasting only moments, intersects the souls of a young suburban boy named Arnold and a fabulously large Rooster. Afterward, Arnold is imbued with a second sight allowing him to see the souls of those around him, including animals – especially chickens. Seeing souls gives Arnold a slight glimpse into the future as the souls actions occur just before those of their corporeal hosts. Though an advantage in sports where Arnold can anticipate his opponents every move, it also sets him apart from the rest of humanity causing his eventual banishment by his parents to a home for boys. Recognized by Father Beau as gifted in second site, Arnold is sent to France where he joins a secret order of those men charged with banishing the souls of trapped fowl to the next life. However, though the order exists, none have the site of Arnold who quickly demonstrates his. He eventually becomes Armand – the Exorciste de Volaille – the poultry exorcist!
Meanwhile, across the world, the Rooster has also been forever changed by the light. Capable of thought and even speech, the Rooster becomes king of an ever expanding farm owned an operated by Bobby Garfundephelt and his wife. However, all is not well on the farm and without giving too much of the plot away, evil takes root on the farm and Bobby is forever haunted by the undead chickens and their Rooster king. Only Armand, now aged and scared with the wounds from setting straight the worlds “fowl” wrongs, can save Bobby. Or can he?…
Eric Knapp’s Cluck: Murder Most Fowl is a masterpiece. I honestly did not believe I would like this book as much as I did. Reminiscent of the Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone or even the best of what Tales from the Crypt had to offer, Knapp creates a intriguing and engaging tale of three lives intertwined and changed forever. This is an incredibly creative piece of fiction that in lesser hands would have come across at best campy and at worst just plain stupid. Rather, Knapp has pulled off an amazingly entertaining novel. The graphics by Ian Richard Miller at the onset of each chapter are perfect and are displayed in the oval shape of an egg. Completing the professional and all encompassing feel for the story is the unique font titling each chapter.
I don’t give out 5 stars easily and never expected to do so when I started this book. But truthfully, this is one of the most creative, different, offbeat funny, and intriguing books I’ve read this year. It is definitely not mainstream and one might have to be in the right mood to appreciate it’s brilliance, but I believe few would be disappointed in reading Cluck (I can’t believe I’m actually typing this). Good luck Mr. Knapp and congratulations on an extremely well written tale.