Book Review – Ablutions by Patrick DeWitt

AblutionsCover

This past week I finished reading Ablutions, the first novel by Patrick DeWitt — published in 2009 — who is better known now for his award-winning novel The Sisters Brothers. Structurally, the novel is a collection of notes, anecdotes, and recollections of the nameless protagonist’s experience working as a bartender in a seedy Hollywood bar. The story explores many of the bar’s vagrant, down-and-out regulars and employees, as well as the protagonist’s own spiraling life centred on an excess of Irish whiskey and popping pills.Read More »

Book Review – Why I Hate Canadians by Will Ferguson

Why I Hate Canadians

This past week I finished reading Why I Hate Canadians by Will Ferguson, a collection of essays and anecdotes published in 1997 about the author’s experiences as a Canadian, as well as Canadian culture and history more generally. As the title suggests, Ferguson takes a sarcastic and humorous approach, challenging a lot of the points we use to define ourselves as Canadians, often referencing history, contemporary culture, and politics. The print I read was the 10th anniversary edition, with a foreword from the author. It being nearly 20 years since the books original release, the foreword helped to but the book in context.Read More »

Book Review – Sarah Court by Craig Davidson

SarahCourtSmall

This past week I finished reading my first novel of the year; Sarah Court by Craig Davidson. Published in 2010, the book is Davidson’s third novel — excluding those written under a pseudonym. The novel takes place in and around Niagara Falls, Ontario, following five families who all lived on the same block together — Sarah Court. Though not a collection of short stories, it is not a straightforward narrative either. The novel touches upon each family in sequence, never returning to each chapter’s narrator upon completion.Read More »