Tag: Fiction

‘Gloriously, stubbornly, interestingly themselves’

In intriguing, complex layers a historical novel portrays queer lives during Europe’s witchomania. It’s a keeper, especially if you’re “of the camp that believes that metacommentary is captivating.” —Jessica Poon reviews Curiosities, by Anne Fleming (Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2024) $35.00 / 9781039004979

Cruising, laughing, dying (and Liberace)

Reissued story collection features a “confident gay voice, full of quips and sharply off-kilter but richly descriptive comments that stay on the literary side of arch.” —Drew Rowsome reviews Channel Surfing in the Sea of Happiness, by Guy Babineau (Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2024) $24.95 / 9781770867499

A ‘fine calibration of absurdity and reality’

“Sentence by sentence, Lacroix is helping to keep literature weird, just the way it should be. Weird is good; this book is weird; this book is good.” —Jessica Poon reviews How It Works Out, by Myriam Lacroix (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2024) $32.00 / 9780385698405

Community in short, short form

An appealing portrait of small town life, misery through love. But 26 stories in 30 pages raises questions. —Brett Josef Grubisic reviews The Price of Cookies, by Finnian Burnett (Toronto: Off Topic Publishing, 2024) $15.00 / 9781738988525

Geopolitical thrills

Political nail-biter spans three continents, delves into brutal realpolitik, and features a plot that requires a reader’s “concentrated effort.” —Valerie Green reviews The Black State, by John Delacourt (Surrey: Now or Never Publishing, 2024) $19.95 / 9781989689608

‘Parataxis … gone wild’

An exuberant experimental novel with some “lustrous little thought diamonds” also features abundant and frustrating “anarchy in sentences.” —Peter Babiak reviews The Apple in the Orchard, by Brian Dedora (Gananoque: Guernica Editions, 2024) $22.95 / 9781771838603

‘Seriously, someone turn this book into a movie’*

Grimness, marvellous one-liners, complex characterization, and expert pacing turn a crime thrillerl into “a good, downright scathing read.” —Jessica Poon reviews Ocean Drive, by Sam Wiebe (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2024) $24.95 / 9781990776694

‘Fresh and new and age-old all at once’

Delightful debut YA novel “speaks … to all readers who care about becoming adult in a positive, life-embracing, world-loving way.” —Alison Acheson reviews Crash Landing, by Li Charmaine Anne (Toronto: Annick Press, 2024) $18.99 / 9781773218427

Pacific Northwest noir

Graphic novel set in grey-hued Raincouver examines “the strange and troubling inner workings of human beings.” —Zoe McKenna reviews What’s Fear Got To Do With It?, by Ivana Filipovich (Wolfville: Conundrum Press, 2023) $18.00 CAD / 9781772620887

Bright lessons for young minds

With these colourful tales, young readers (or listeners) can discover, learn, and enjoy. —Ginny Ratsoy reviews Salma Joins the Team, by Danny Ramadan (illustrated by Anna Bron) (Toronto: Annick Press, 2024) $24.99 / 9781773218281 and Not a Smiley Guy, by Polly Horvath (illustrated by Boris Kulikov) (Toronto: Margaret Ferguson Books, 2024) $25.99 / 9780823449873

Radio signals and a ‘fatal flapper’

This fast-paced murder mystery with a “wonderfully wry” tone is “great fun.” It’s also an “animated and sharp” glimpse of Vancouver’s social landscape, circa 1929. —W.H. New reviews Mr. Good-Evening, by John MacLachlan Gray (Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2024) $34.94 / 9781771623957

A ‘portrait of the artist as a young woman’

Montreal in the late 1940s is the backdrop for appealing portraits of young women navigating convention and discovering themselves. —Bill Paul reviews A Real Somebody, by Deryn Collier (Seattle: Lake Union Publishing, 2023) $15.70 / 9781662512643

‘What is credible hope, in this place?’

Highly recommended novella presents “a humane vision from an imagined future, of the potential that arises from valuing connection and collaboration in and with place.” —Dana McFarland reviews Arboreality, by Rebecca Campbell (Hamilton: Stelliform Press, 2022) $19.00 / 9781777682323

‘A shuffling of expectations’

Romance novel stands out for its approachable characters and inclusion of real-world problems. —Myshara Herbert-McMyn reviews The Predictable Heartbreaks of Imogen Finch, by Jacqueline Firkins (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2023) $18.00 / 9781250836526

Bad romance; epic realizations; Montreal circa 2000

A debut novel “full of both hope and despair” portrays Ines, a conflicted small town skateboarder new to the big city. —Jessica Poon reviews Late September, by Amy Mattes (Madeira Park, Harbour Publishing, 2024) $22.95 / 9780889714564

Remembrance of Ladner past

Quietly affecting novel delivers with an elegiac narrator recalling the “vibrant, creative and tragic world” of his youth. —Theo Dombrowski reviews The Marvels of Youth, by Tim Bowling (Hamilton: Wolsak and Wynn, 2023) $24.00 / 9781989496749

Love, politics, and toxicity in the Yukon

Image-rich debut novel sets a naive young character in a new location, job, and romance. Complex problems result. —Joe Enns reviews Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit, by Nadine Sander-Green (Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2024) $23.99 / 9781487011291

 The ‘spectacle of magical mischief’

Full of lore, a “refreshing, earnest, and hopeful” debut for YA readers captivates and entertains. —Zoe McKenna reviews Why We Play With Fire, by Giselle Vriesen (Toronto: 100 Block Futures, 2024) $23.99 CAD / 9781955905312

City girl + rough outdoors man = ♥︎♥︎♥︎

A “sweet and pleasant” romantic comedy showcases a rural resort and an unlikely pairing. —Valerie Green reviews Love Naturally, by Sophie Sullivan (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2024) $24.00 / 9781250875839

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