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Book Reviews in May 2005 Issue

Sunday Afternoon
by David Elias

COTEAU BOOKS $19.95 Paperback
ISBN: 1550503014
Book Review
A Review of: Sunday Afternoon
by W.P.Kinsella
>From the same geographical area that has produced Sandra Birdsell and Armin Wiebe, David Elias, author of two acclaimed story collections, Places of Grace, and Crossing the Line, gives us a humorous and profound look at a Sunday afternoon in the small southern Manitoba Mennonite Community of Neustadt. It is the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and just across the American border the US Military is burying Minuteman Missiles in preparation for a possible Armageddon. What precipitates the action is the return of a stranger, a gorgeous blonde in a yellow convertible with california plates. She is Katie Klassen, ...
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Skinny
by Ibi Kaslik

Harper Collins Canada $19.95 Paperback
ISBN: 0002005077
Book Review
A Review of: Skinny
by W.P.Kinsella
Most of the first novels I've read so far have been disappointing in various degrees. Most writers have not been able to sustain voice, story, plot and characterization. There have been few surprises. Until now the WOW factor has been minimal. However, with a big cherry popsicle on the remarkable cover (designed by Greg Tabor) this novel is like a beautiful dew-bedecked rose growing out of a briar patch. At the beginning, Giselle Vasco is 21, and a functioning anorexic, taking a leave from medical school to get her life back together. The epigraph, from Cathy Caruth really sums up the essence of the novel: ...
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Intimations in a Realm of Jeopardy
by Norm Sibum

Porcupine's Quill $14.95 Paperback
ISBN: 0889842493
Book Review
A Review of: Intimations of a Realm in Jeopardy
by Michael Greenstein
Montreal poet Norm Sibum's narrative poems are not everyone's cup of tea; they are, rather, bottles of wine that have been sitting in cellars, collecting the dust of meaning and growing in complexity and peril. His characters and situations are reminiscent of Robert Browning's, but instead of breathing air they exhale and inhale the exhaust of apocalyptic times. This can be seen in the intriguing vagueness of Norm Sibum's title, Intimations of a Realm in Jeopardy, which, in turn, is re-enacted in each of the twelve long, lyrical, impressionistic poems in this latest collection. ...
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Mortal Arguments
by Sue Sinclair

Brick $15 Paperback
ISBN: 1894078292
Book Review
A Review of: Mortal Arguments
by Brian Bartlett
When Emerson writes-in one of his greatest essays, "Experience", from 1844-"I know better than to claim any completeness for my picture. I am a fragment, and this is a fragment of me," he's talking in part about his own essay, his own art. "Like a bird which alights anywhere," he continues, trying out another metaphor, "but hops perpetually from bough to bough, is the Power which abides in no man and in no woman, but for a moment speaks from this one, and for another moment from that one.". . . When Emerson's "power" alights on the bough of Sinclair's poetry, it's ...
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Daybreak at the Straits and Other Poems
by Eric Ormsby

Zoo Press $18.81 Paperback
ISBN: 1932023143
Book Review
A Review of: Daybreak at the Straits and Other Poems
by Brian Bartlett
When Emerson writes-in one of his greatest essays, "Experience", from 1844-"I know better than to claim any completeness for my picture. I am a fragment, and this is a fragment of me," he's talking in part about his own essay, his own art. "Like a bird which alights anywhere," he continues, trying out another metaphor, "but hops perpetually from bough to bough, is the Power which abides in no man and in no woman, but for a moment speaks from this one, and for another moment from that one." What Emerson says above might apply to the vast array of poets we can ...
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A Lover's Quarrel
by Carmine Starnino

Porcupine's Quill $24.95 Paperback
ISBN: 0889842418
Book Review
A Review of: A LoverĂs Quarrel
by Asa Boxer
Opposition, we too often forget, is an important component of democratic fair play. William Blake went so far as to proclaim that "Opposition is true Friendship." The title of Montreal poet Carmine Starnino's book of selected essays and reviews, A Lover's Quarrel, bespeaks his desire to confront the establishment with serious dissent (for its own good, of course). Starnino takes such a hard line because he wants to provoke debate. In fact, he practically pleads for a rejoinder in his Introduction, and does so not to pursue a "scheme for victory", but in the hope that "a fair and open fight will produce, in ...
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Book Review
A Review of: With English Subtitles
by Asa Boxer
Read Starnino's A Lover's Quarrel and chew on it awhile; Starnino's style is all taste and sprezzatura. His explanations are so absolutely accessible and lucid that one cannot but give credit to the sharpness of his reasoning. His subtle way with distinctions is remarkable: "An influence exists," Starnino explains, "as a called-forth effect; it is born in contact with a mind, but has no existence as an independent intention. And this is precisely why it's wrong to treat evidence of indebtedness as evidence of living under enemy control." The precision of these two sentences, and Starnino's clear-headedness, is what sets ...
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Inventing Sam Slick
by Richard Davies

University Of Toronto Press $60 Hardcover
ISBN: 0802050018
Book Review
A Review of: Inventing Sam Slick
by George Fetherling
Over the years, a great deal of research has been done on Thomas Chandler Haliburton, the Nova Scotian who wrote The Clockmaker and a stack of subsequent books about Sam Slick, his fictional Yankee peddler. Haliburton criticism has been even more voluminous. Until now, however, there's never been a proper life of this important early Canadian author. That's the argument in favour of Inventing Sam Slick: A Biography of Richard Chandler Haliburton (University of Toronto Press, $60) by Richard A. Davies of Acadia University. Among its assets are thoroughness, rich historical context, and the kind of even ...
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On the Front Line of Life: Stephen Leacock, Selected Essays
by Alan Bowker

Dundurn Press $29.99 Paperback
ISBN: 155002521X
Book Review
A Review of: On the Front Line of Life: Stephen Leacock, Selected Essays
by George Fetherling
The New York Review of Books publishes a series of books called NYRB Classics whose purpose is to revive certain texts-well not classics exactly, but cult favourites-with new introductions. Seeing what the many different series of this type do and do not include always gives interesting insight into what certain generations and cultures value. For example, one of the new NYRB Classics (and one of the few in hardcover-Raincoast Books, $22.95) is Leacock's Nonsense Novels, a book that's still familiar, possibly even a trifle too familiar, to students of Canadiana but evidently carries no schoolroom echoes for ...
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Living the Low-Carb Life: From Atkins to the Zone Choosing the Diet That's Right for You
by Jonny Bowden

Sterling Publishing $29.95 Hardcover
ISBN: 1402713983
Book Review
A Review of: Living the Low Carb Life
by Greg Gatenby
If, like me, your hobbies include trying to lose weight, you will have read, oh, at least a thousand diet books a year in the ongoing attempt to learn how to curtail cravings, consume the right mixture of proteins, calories, and carbohydrates, and still find a sneaky method for occasional culinary indulgences of chocolate and other creations of the Devil. A large part of the problem is sticking to just one diet for any meaningful length of time, especially if you live or work downtown where the pressures (the excuses?) to cheat or be lax are everywhere. But another problem is the mass of conflicting data hurled ...
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The Wire : Truth Be Told
by Rafael Alvarez

Pocket $36 Hardcover
ISBN: 0743497325
Book Review
A Review of: The Wire: Truth Be Told
by Greg Gatenby
Thinking people are fond of trashing television as an intellectual wasteland, although it has been my observation that book people are rather too conversant with the details of several shows which their trashing (and claims to never watch) should in principle prohibit them from knowing. One of the programs I found that book people rarely if ever watched was Imprint, a show that started so well years ago under Daniel Richler's aegis but which devolved into an embarrassment to the book trade-indeed, was an embarrassment to the human mind, so confused was its mission, and so appallingly priggish was its hosting. Yet for ...
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The Great Dominion: Winston Churchill in Canada, 1900-1954
by David Dilks

Thomas Allen $45 Hardcover
ISBN: 0887621627
Book Review
A Review of: The Great Dominion: Winston Churchill in Canada, 1900-1954
by Greg Gatenby
Finally, a long-overdue book has been handsomely published by Thomas Allen: a documentation of Churchill's relationship to Canada. The author, David Dilks, a Briton who has travelled many times to this country, has given us not only the obvious but necessary, a record of Churchill's visits to what he called The Great Dominion. The surprise, and it is this which raises the book well above the ordinary, is the richness of the telling, for Dilks quotes from the diaries and journals of Mackenzie King, from Churchill's private doctor, and from anyone who has something pertinent to say about the great war leader's ...
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Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase
by Matt Beam

Harper Collins Canada $15.99 Paperback
ISBN: 0006395295
Book Review
A Review of: Getting to First Base With Danalda Chase
by Wayne Cunningham
Toronto author Matt Beam's debut novel centres on seventh grader Darcy Spillman's attempts to connect getting to first base in baseball with getting to first base with Danalda Chase, simultaneously the hottest and coolest girl at Cherrydale Junior High. But while he knows all about baseball- balls, strikes, fouls, fielders' choices, balks, grounders and home field advantage-he knows diddley about girls and how to get along with them. His baseball-obsessed but athletically inept best friend Dwight isn't much help with the girls, and his other best friend Ralph has shied ...
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Valley of Secrets
by Charmian Hussey

Penguin $25 Hardcover
ISBN: 0670063800
Book Review
A Review of: The Valley of Secrets
by Antony Di Nardo
Ever start reading a novel and the first few chapters really draw you in, urge you to go on, but then the rest of the book falls flat and disappoints? If you haven't, try reading Charmian Hussey's The Valley of Secrets, and you'll see what I mean. You'll find the first three chapters compelling, offering a fanciful caricature of an English town replete with rural atmosphere and even a quirky postman. There's the promise of a ripping tale about to be told by a narrator with an eye for detail and an ear for that long, descriptive sentence, centuries old in style, that conjures gardens ...
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Still There, Clare
by Yvonne Prinz

Raincoast Books $10.95 Paperback
ISBN: 155192644X
Book Review
A Review of: Still There, Clare
by Tim McGrenere
I am not part of the target audience for this book. I cannot directly relate to a young woman's angst over the unpunctual development of her breasts; nor did I ever have a crush on my gym teacher. Still, I did enjoy reading Yvonne Prinz's first novel told from the point of view of 12-year-old Clare. She is a sassy outsider with a sharp tongue and, for me, an enjoyable guide to the perplexing mind of a female pre-teen. Clare is on the cusp of womanhood as we enter her world. In the opening chapter she reveals that it is time for a few changes in her ...
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The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq
by Jeanette Winter

Harcourt $21.95 Hardcover
ISBN: 0152054456
Book Review
A Review of: The Librarian of Basra
by Olga Stein
This is a marvelous book in more respects than one. The story is simple, but the subject matter and the quality of the illustrations-capturing as they do the profoundest of human emotions-moved me practically to tears. Based on actual events, the book depicts the brave efforts of Alia Muhammad Baker, chief librarian of the central library in Iraq's city of Basra. It is April 2003, and as the war to liberate Iraq is about to reach her city, Alia fears for the 30,000 books in her care. The library, formerly a refuge for Basrans who enjoy reading and discussing books, has itself become ...
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Some Great Thing
by Colin Mcadam

Raincoast Books $34.95 Hardcover
ISBN: 1551926954
Book Review
A Review of: Some Great Thing
by W.P.Kinsella
Some Great Thing is an ambitious novel. Two men live parallel lives until they eventually intersect. Jerry McGuinty is a working-class young man with grand dreams and the smarts to bring them to fruition. It is the 1970s and Ottawa is having a building boom, and Jerry becomes successful and wealthy by building quality houses. His difficulties stem from meeting and marrying a spirited Irish caterer named Kathleen Herlihy, who proves to be rancorous and even at a young age has an inordinate thirst for whiskey. They have a son, Jerry Jr., and the final third of the book is about Jerry Sr. trying to reconnect ...
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What's Remembered
by Arthur Motyer

Cormorant Books $22.95 Paperback
ISBN: 1896951686
Book Review
A Review of: WhatĂs Remembered
by W.P.Kinsella
What's Remembered is graced with a beautiful cover designed by Tannis Goddard. More a fictional memoir than a novel, the story opens with two gay men meeting at a gallery opening and going out for a late supper. The older man tells the younger one his life story, describing his childhood in a repressed home with a silent, brooding clergyman father, and his falling in love with a man who does not return his affection while at Oxford. Peter, probably no pun intended, teaches at a second-rate Canadian university where he is seduced by a student and they have a wild, necessarily secret affair, until the student, ...
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Bishop's Road
by Catherine Safer

Creative Book Publishing $19.95 Paperback
ISBN: 1894294785
Book Review
A Review of: Bishops Road
by W.P.Kinsella
Bishops Road is a keeper. It has the lovable characters of Maeve Binchy, the magic realism of Alice Hoffman, combined with the insightful quirkiness of Anne Tyler. The setting is St.John's, NF, where a Mrs. Miflin operates a rooming house that was a former convent. The author says of the former tenants, "...the holy women confused several generations of youngsters for a hundred years or more until they all just dried up and blew away." This sets the tone for events to come. The roomers, all women, are a strange and miraculous lot. Ginny Mustard is a black teenager with yellow hair (hence the ...
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Lighthousekeeping
by Jeanette Winterson

Knopf Canada $29.95 Hardcover
ISBN: 0676976859
Book Review
A Review of: Saturday
by Matt Sturrock
Even among the top-tiered English-language novelists, Ian McEwan holds a privileged spot. His books have attracted the consistently large readership that, say, the beautiful but remote mandarinisms of John Banville and Don DeLillo have not. He's been much more productive than careful wordsmith Marilynne Robinson and avoided the missteps of the more creatively incautious Martin Amis. In fact, his past writing has been almost critically unimpeachable, and among members of his generation, perhaps only J.M. Coetzee and Peter Carey have been the beneficiaries of equal award-committee largesse. (Indeed, McEwan was ...
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Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro

Knopf Canada $34.95 Hardcover
ISBN: 0676977103
Book Review
A Review of: Never Let Me Go
by Michael Harris
The year was 1997 and the stage was England. Over three decades of biotechnological research culminated in the birth of the world's first clone, Dolly the sheep. Her test-tube creation spurred worrisome speculations about "designer babies", "the gay gene", and the possibility of human clones. But while the world wrung its hands, Dolly stared at television cameras, chewed her cud, and remained nonplussed. Kazuo Ishiguro's new novel, Never Let Me Go, is set conspicuously in "England, late 1990s" and spins a counter-factual history wherein our ...
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Book Review
A Review of: Life Mask
by Nancy Wigston
Irish writer Emma Donoghue's sixth work of fiction, the wonderfully erudite and sensual novel, Life Mask, takes place in late 18th century London. Donoghue beautifully captures this exuberant era that, if anything, surpasses our own in the scope of its ambition, its lively and dangerous politics, its shameless materialism. If clothes make the man (or woman), nowhere was this saying more true than in Georgian London. >From the first scene, when a nervous young beauty arrives at a grand house, her outfit accessorized by a muff so large it could be mistaken for "a fluffy, bloated dog squatting on her lap" (she is ...
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Emotions in Finance: Distrust and Uncertainty in Global Markets
by Jocelyn Pixley

Cambridge University Press $39.95 Paperback
ISBN: 0521535085
Book Review
A Review of: Emotions in Finance:Distrust and Uncertainty in Global Markets
by Christopher Ondaatje
Jocelyn Pixley's slender volume Emotions in Finance states in its opening paragraph that "money is based on a trust," and she goes on to say that trust "is inherently problematic." She then issues a warning that the world's money is less secure than we like to think. Pixley, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sociology and Anthropology in the University of New South Wales, Australia, argues that money is not tangible but a promise based on rarely-examined premises: "Since the idea of money as a promise' is counterintuitive, going against the every day experience of its tangibility in our hands and wallets, most ...
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Book Review
A Review of: Being Here
by Ernest Hekkanen
There is poetry which transports one to sublime heights and then there is poetry which dumps one in an abyss of despair, and Being Here by Robert Meyer definitely belongs to the latter category. In the tradition of Cline's Voyage to the End of the Night, Bukowski's Confessions of a Man Insane Enough to Live with Beasts, or, more recently, Bruce Serafin's Colin's Big Thing, Being Here is an unremitting, caffeine stare into the face of destitution at "Main and Hastings", the title of the second poem, where "the sidewalk deals/cards out to the game." ...
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South of the Border
by Marlis Wesseler

COTEAU BOOKS $19.95 Paperback
ISBN: 1550502980
Book Review
A Review of: South of the Border
by Cindy MacKenzie
Marlis Wesseler's second novel, South of the Border (after Elvis Unplugged), takes us back to the hippie era of the '60s and '70s when two Canadian friends, Arlene and Sheila, decide to travel to Mexico. Far from their native Saskatchewan, they can behave with the insouciant abandon that young tourists often adopt. In hot pursuit of one of the most vaunted ideals of the era, "Experience", the young women make reckless and often dangerous decisions about arranging their accommodations, hitchhiking and engaging in first-time sexual encounters. ...
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Reading the Fascicles of Emily Dickinson: Dwelling in Possibilities
by Eleanor Elson Heginbotham

Ohio State University Press $60.34 Hardcover
ISBN: 081420922X
Book Review
A Review of: Reading the Fascicles of Emily Dickinson: Dwelling in Possibilities
by Cindy MacKenzie
The persistent fascination of scholars and readers with Emily Dickinson's preparation of forty fascicles'-those little booklets of carefully stitched stationery sheets of about half of the over 1700 poems she wrote between 1856 and 1864-is central to an understanding of the genius of this great nineteenth-century American poet. In Eleanor Heginbotham's enthusiastic and thorough examination of the fascicles, the primary focus is on demonstrating the "intentional artistry" of the poet in compiling these booklets as a form of self-publishing, and more interestingly, as a space where she can edit ...
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The Serpent and the Moon : Two Rivals for the Love of a Renaissance King
by Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent

Touchstone $42.5 Hardcover
ISBN: 0743251040
Book Review
A Review of: The Serpent and the Moon: Two Rivals for the Love of a Renaissance King
by Christopher Ondaatje
Her Royal Highness, Princess Michael of Kent, herself a descendant of both Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers, has written a moving account of an intriguing time in Renaissance France, when a love triangle dominated both court and politics. It is an extraordinary story. The first half of the 16th century was a time of giants: the dazzlingly attractive Francois I on the throne of France, a young and still attractive Henry VIII on the throne of England, a young (and less attractive) Charles V as the Holy Roman Emperor, and two Medici ...
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This Terrible Business Has Been Good to Me: An Autobiography
by Norman Jewison

H.B. Fenn & Company $38.95 Hardcover
ISBN: 1552632113
Book Review
A Review of: This Terrible Business Has Been Good to Me: An Autobiography
by Clara Thomas
As producer and director, Norman Jewison has had the most successful career in television and movies of any Canadian. He climaxed and celebrated his career by establishing the Canadian Film Centre on Bayview Avenue in Toronto, an immensely important amenity for the entire Canadian film industry. He never relinquished his Canadian identity. Like him, Dixie, his wife, grew up in the Beaches/Scarborough area of Toronto and the two older of their three children were born in Canada. The Caledon farm is their most prized and permanent home. His life story, written because of a promise to ...
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Village of the Small Houses: A Memoir of Sorts
by Ian Ferguson

Douglas & McIntyre $19.95 Paperback
ISBN: 1553650697
Book Review
A Review of: Village of the Small Houses: A Memoir of Sorts
by Gordon Phinn
Almost every writer, upon realising that the much sought after palace of adulthood, with its glittering prizes of personal volition and velocity, is actually the first act in a highly theatrical slog to decrepitude and death, firmly turns their back on the flow of time and attempts to reconquer the lost kingdom of childhood, where they were young and easy under the apple boughs. Most often, this leads to the inevitable spying on progeny from the prim heights of parenthood and plying the aged with oily interest and praise, followed by murmurs of assent and a slinking away to take ...
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Book Review
A Review of: Blackbodying
by Gordon Phinn
Almost every writer, upon realising that the much sought after palace of adulthood, with its glittering prizes of personal volition and velocity, is actually the first act in a highly theatrical slog to decrepitude and death, firmly turns their back on the flow of time and attempts to reconquer the lost kingdom of childhood, where they were young and easy under the apple boughs. Most often, this leads to the inevitable spying on progeny from the prim heights of parenthood and plying the aged with oily interest and praise, followed by murmurs of assent and a slinking away to take ...
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A Short Journey by Car
by Liam Durcan

V+Čhicule Press $16.95 Paperback
ISBN: 1550651897
Book Review
A Review of: Beware of God
by Michael Greenstein
A picture of a growling dog accompanies the title of Shalom Auslander's debut collection of short stories, Beware of God, reminding us of the reversal between "god" and "dog", an inversion that presents itself in the opening story, "The War of the Bernsteins". The quarrel between Mr. and Mrs. Bernstein places them on opposite sides of the same mattress-he trying to become an increasingly observant Jew, she subverting all of his beliefs. With elements from Malamud and Isaac Bashevis Singer, the story exhibits a perfect symmetry: it begins with a list of items Bernstein keeps under ...
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To Be Continued . . .
by Gordon Leenders

Jaguar Book Group $19.95 Paperback
ISBN: 1550226681
Book Review
A Review of: To Be Continued. . .
by Jason Brown
To Be Continued is Gordon j.h. Leenders second book. His first, May Not Appear Exactly As Shown, was awarded the city of Hamilton's Best Fiction Book in 2004. Hamilton should love Gordon j.h. Leenders, since he so clearly in love with it. To Be Continued is, in sum, an homage to this city. Characters in a long series of brief vignettes have the locales and the history of Hamilton for setting and background. Their stories are small beads on a thread that runs through Hamilton's streets and parks, along its Lake Ontario shoreline and through its stores and cafes. ...
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Greetings from the Vodka Sea
by Chris Gudgeon

Goose Lane Editions $19.95 Paperback
ISBN: 086492383X
Book Review
A Review of: Greetings from the Vodka Sea
by Harold Heft
"If it bends," begins the famously pompous lecture by the character of Lester (Alan Alda) in Woody Allen's 1989 film Crimes and Misdemeanors, "it's funny. If it breaks, it's not funny." Comparing two new books of short stories by Canadian writers Chris Gudgeon and Gary Barwin suggests a similar judgment about the extent to which authors can experiment with the nature of reality-if it bends, it can be poignant; if it breaks, it's probably meaningless. Chris Gudgeon, who made his name as a non-fiction writer best known for his biography of Stan Rogers, has emerged as a major new talent in ...
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Doctor Weep and other strange teeth
by Gary Barwin

The Mercury Press $16.95 Paperback
ISBN: 1551281066
Book Review
A Review of: Dr. Weep and Other Strange Teeth
by Harold Heft
"If it bends," begins the famously pompous lecture by the character of Lester (Alan Alda) in Woody Allen's 1989 film Crimes and Misdemeanors, "it's funny. If it breaks, it's not funny." Comparing two new books of short stories by Canadian writers Chris Gudgeon and Gary Barwin suggests a similar judgment about the extent to which authors can experiment with the nature of reality-if it bends, it can be poignant; if it breaks, it's probably meaningless. Gary Barwin's new book, Doctor Weep and Other Strange Teeth, as suggested in the title, is a collection of short pieces written in ...
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Dark Age Ahead
by Jane Jacobs

Vintage Canada $21 Paperback
ISBN: 0679313109
Book Review
A Review of: Dark Age Ahead
by Nicholas Maes
The historical landscape is littered with dead civilizations, and this suggests the historian is to some degree a pathologist. Besides describing the character, res gestae and organization of societies, historians must account for the manner of their collapse, and seek for pathogens' common to the demise of them all. Thus Gibbon hypothesises the "triumph of barbarism and religion" as the cause of Rome's doom; Spengler in his Decline of the West equates civilizations with organisms, both being subject to the same inevitable decay; Toynbee argues that societies break down when their ideologies cannot ...
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Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life
by Steven Fraser

HarperCollins Canada / Harper Trade $42.5 Hardcover
ISBN: 0066620481
Book Review
A Review of: Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life
by Christopher Ondaatje
Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the United States, once described New York City as "a cloacina of all the depravities of human nature." Whether this was justified or not, there is little doubt that the City's reputation stemmed from its origins as a remote outpost of the Dutch Empire in the seventeenth century. It was the Dutch who invented the rudiments of modern finance (the very first exchange was set up by dealers to trade in stocks on a bridge over the Amstel River in Amsterdam). The Dutch colony in America created by Holland in its "avidity for trade and lucre" ignored the scriptural preoccupations of ...
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Knowledge and Civilization
by Barry Allen

HarperCollins Canada / Westview S/Dis $54 Paperback
ISBN: 0813341353
Book Review
A Review of: Knowledge and Civilization
by by Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala
In Knowledge and Civilization Barry Allen gives us another account and reworking of the problem of knowledge, which he inherited and admirably developed from the philosophy of his mentor, Richard Rorty. This book offers an extension of the thesis fleshed out in Truth in Philosophy, which Allen published twelve years ago. Both books are redescriptions of philosophy not only after metaphysics, but also after the so-called "analytical/continental division" that is quietly coming to an end. The conclusion of this philosophical division is not being replaced by another foundational division, but by ...
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Ten Thousand Roses
by Judy Rebick

Penguin $24 Paperback
ISBN: 0143015443
Book Review
A Review of: Ten Thousand Roses: The Making of a Feminist Revolution
by Naomi Black
Judy Rebick, author of Ten Thousand Roses: The Making of a Feminist Revolution, is a provocative journalist who from 1990 to 1993 was president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC), the large Canadian coalition of feminist and feminist-friendly organizations. As she led NAC's very vocal opposition to the Charlottetown Accord, she became something of a public figure. Rebick identifies her perspective as "socialist-feminist." And it seems fair to say that, in general, her affinities are with the activist unions and the NDP. At present she holds the Canadian Auto Workers-Sam Gindin ...
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Where Race Does Not Matter: The New Spirit of Modernity
by Cecil Foster

Penguin Canada Paperback $24 Paperback
ISBN: 0143017691
Book Review
A Review of: Where Race Does Not Matter: The New Spirit of Modernity
by Martin Loney
Cecil Foster's book is his third on the subject of race in Canada. The title suggests a sea change in Foster's thinking about his adopted country, an optimistic vision in which Canada will be a world leader in creating a society where, as the jacket tells us, "race does not matter." If this is a fundamental conversion, and Canada has now become a beacon to the world, how is it to be explained? In 1991 the Barbadian-born writer's Distorted Mirror: Canada's Racist Face bemoaned the widespread discrimination faced by visible minorities. Foster found that "Canada is a racist country and always ...
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Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left
by David Horowitz

National Book Network $39.95 Hardcover
ISBN: 089526076X
Book Review
A Review of: Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left
by Ron Stang
Is there anyone better able to dissect the contemporary U.S. Left than David Horowitz? After all, it takes one-at least who used to be one-to know one. And like a whole slew of former Leftists over the last 30 years (Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Ronald Radosh, Sidney Hook, and Horowitz's sometimes writing mate, Peter Collier, among others), when these folks critique the Left, they know of what they speak because they've been there. They know the ideological code words, frames of thought, and rhetoric. But more than others, Horowitz has made something of a career of his ...
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