Vancouver

1401 Vancouver’s pizza punks

Pizza Punks Collection by Cole Pauls Wolfville, NS: Conundrum Press, 2021 $15.00 / 9781772620535 Reviewed by Jeff Stychin * I’m sure most reading this can remember a time when skateboarding and the punk rock attitude went together like ham on rye. Cole Pauls’ Pizza Punks Collection grabs at your desire for excitement and fun while…
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1397 Portraits of East Vancouver

Heroines Revisited by Lincoln Clarkes Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2021 (revised edition; first published 2002) $48.00 / 9781772140712 Reviewed by Lani Russwurm * Lincoln Clarkes started his “Heroines Project” in the late 1990s when he began photographing women who use drugs on the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It took about five years and resulted in…
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1386 Vancouver’s Ian Rankin

Hell and Gone: A Wakeland Novel by Sam Wiebe Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $24.95 / 9781550179637 Reviewed by Alma Lee * Dave Wakeland and his partner Jeff Chen run a private investigation agency out of Chinatown in the heart of Vancouver. They are in the midst of expanding, and while Jeff is working at…
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1363 Beds and infrastructure at UBC

Dreamers, Skeptics, and Healers: the Story of BC’s Medical School. The UBC Faculty of Medicine at 70 years by Wendy Cairns, John Cairns, David Ostrow, and Gavin Stuart Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2021 $50.00  / 9781989603895 Reviewed by Jaime Smith * As a graduate of the UBC medical school in 1976 and after training there…
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1360 Spirited Vancouver

Vile Spirits by John MacLachlan Gray Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2021 $29.95  /  9781771622776 Reviewed by W.H. New * Straight out: I loved this book. It’s lively and fast-paced, it sparkles with satire, and it’s chock full of arresting characters (and a few who get away). Vile Spirits is marketed as a mystery, and…
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1354 Vancouver avant-garde poets

Finding Nothing: The Vangardes, 1959-1975 by Gregory Betts Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021 $85.00 / 9781487505318 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Vancouver Poetry Rocked in the 1960s. An Already Lively Poetry Scene Got a Jolt With the Arrival of the Americans I’m a poetry fan. Whitman, Neruda, Frost, Akhmatova, Shakespeare, Atwood. Yes, Margaret Atwood…
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1344 Rambles in North Delta

North Delta History and Heritage: including Annieville, Upper and Lower Sunbury, Annacis Island, Part of East Delta, and Burns Bog by John Macdonald (editor) Delta: Delta Heritage Society, 2020 (4th printing, 2021) $20.00  /  9781777161705 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * North Delta History and Heritage is a great example of what a group of historically-minded volunteers…
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1324 A pencil & sticky note thriller

This Eden by Ed O’Loughlin Toronto: House of Anansi, 2021 $24.95 / 9781487005696 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * As Ed O’Loughlin’s fourth novel, This Eden, closes, the still-unnamed narrator declares, “I like not knowing what’s going to happen next.” As becomes apparent within the first pages of the novel, an affection for the unknown and…
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1305 McGillivray’s essential geography

Geography of British Columbia: People and Landscapes in Transition (fourth edition) by Brett McGillivray Vancouver: UBC Press, 2020 $55.00 / 9780774864329 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * Brett McGillivray’s Geography of British Columbia: People and Landscapes in Transition has withstood the test of time since its first edition in 2000, which I reviewed for BC Studies…
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1295 Chapman’s high-rise history

Vancouver Vice: Crime and Spectacle in the City’s West End by Aaron Chapman Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2021 $27.95 / 9781551528694 Reviewed by Grahame Ware * Aaron Chapman begins Vancouver Vice by using the West End Sex Workers Memorial (dedicated in 2016) as a point of reference and meditation regarding the whole dynamics of sexual…
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1240 Stumps, sawmills & speculation

Becoming Vancouver: A History by Daniel Francis Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $36.95 / 9781550179163 Reviewed by Patricia E. Roy * Daniel Francis, a native of Vancouver, rues Vancouver’s apparent loss of its history and hopes that knowledge of the past may avoid handing it over “to the forces of global consumerism” (p. 5). This…
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1218 Chennai, a place in between

MEMOIR: Chennai, a place in between by Jane Frankish * It was the last week of October 2002 and we were homeless, jobless, and rootless. This is just the way it was when we entered Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. Our home for the previous eight years had been Kuching, the…
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1206 Interview with Dustin Cole

INTERVIEW: Dustin Cole with The British Columbia Review. We caught up with Dustin Cole at his brother’s house in Slave Lake, Alberta, to learn the circumstances and inspiration for Notice (Nightwood Editions, 2020), the story of Dylan Levett, a dishwasher from Alberta caught in the gears of renoviction from his apartment on Main Street. “It’s summer 2017…
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1194 Return of The Fire-Dwellers

The Fire-Dwellers by Margaret Laurence Toronto: Penguin Random House (Penguin Modern Classics, Emblem Editions), 2017 $19.95 / 9780735252837 First published by McClelland & Stewart, 1969 Reviewed by Harper Campbell * To read Margaret Laurence’s The Fire-Dwellers (1969) is to see a very different Vancouver from the one that exists today. Well, “see” isn’t really the right…
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1190 Resilient Vancouver Chinatown

Chinatown Stories, Volume 3 by Brooke Xiang and Tyler Mark (editors) Vancouver: Chinatown Today, 2020 $25.00 / 25611607 (ISSN) Note: a digital version of this book can be seen here; hard copies may be purchased at  Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and at About Boutique Reviewed by LiLynn Wan * In this third volume of…
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1188 Facing the fentanyl crisis

The Age of Fentanyl: Ending the Opioid Epidemic by Brodie Ramin Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2020 $22.99 / 9781459746701 Reviewed by Jeffrey Stychin * This book is not for the faint of heart, despite its clinical examination of the devastating world of opiate addiction. Brodie Ramin’s heartfelt compassion extends through every chapter. The Age of Fentanyl…
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1181 Getting & spending in Lotusland

A Brief View from the Coastal Suite by Karen Hofmann Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2021 $21.95 / 9781774390177 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * If, come the apocalypse, some powers wanted to recreate the style and design of white, urban life in Canada in general and Vancouver in particular, they would find material aplenty in Karen Hofmann’s…
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1160 Canadian arctic guardians

Sisters of the Ice: The True Story of How St. Roch and North Star of Herschel Island Protected Canadian Arctic Sovereignty by R. Bruce Macdonald Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $19.95 / 9781550179286 Reviewed by Hector Williams * Nearly six decades ago I worked in Canada’s North with various government agencies like the CBC Northern…
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1154 The elusive shape of life

All That Monk Business by Barry Kennedy Surrey: Now Or Never Publishing, 2021 $19.95 / 9781989689202 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * A novel can’t be everything to everyone, but some novels can be many things to many people. All That Monk Business, by actor, comedian, and writer Barry Kennedy, is one of these. It’s not…
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