Any work of fiction that begins with a drunken vagrant talking to a bloated one-eyed corpse certainly has my attention, and that is the way What Kills Good Men (Vagrant Press, 2015) begins. It is the Halifax waterfront in the year 1899. The fledgling Dominion of Canada has sent troops to fight for the British Empire in the Boer War. The American Civil war is still fresh in people’s minds.… Continue reading
I came across Valerie Sherrard’s name when I performed an Internet search for “Miramichi Authors”. Here, right in Miramichi was a well-published, short-listed author that had somehow flown under my radar. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Ms. Sherrard writes novels for middle graders and young adults. Being well out of that demographic, and having no children of that age likely didn’t help either.… Continue reading
I always enjoy reading Ray’s novels and short stories and this book is no exception. It is one of his earlier works and his characters Walt Macbride and his friend Sully will be familiar to his longtime readers. The Costa Blanca novella is entertaining, covering the time when Walt and Eva were together and he was still writing. Then, a few years later everything has changed on a return trip to Spain (“Return to Costa Blanca”).… Continue reading
Seasons of Discontent (2015, Lion’s Head Press) is Raymond Fraser’s thirteenth work of fiction by this prolific New Brunswick author. It could also be subtitled “The Continuing Adventures of Walt Macbride” since it features the recurring semi-autobiographical character Ray’s readers have met before in such novels as The Bannonbridge Musicians and In Another Life, just to mention two. In fact, “Seasons” expands upon Part Three of In Another Life (“The Mid Sixties and Beyond”).… Continue reading
My Goodreads rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was my first experience reading an Alistair MacLeod story, but it won’t be my last. It is somehow very satisfying to experience a well-written short story (hence the 5 stars). Somerset Maugham was a master at the genre, and so is Mr. McLeod if this, his last published work, is any indication.
Giving a synopsis of the story would give too much away, but it takes place on Remembrance Day, and the tone of the story is appropriately sombre.… Continue reading
Raymond Fraser’s twelfth work of fiction is not a disappointment for his long-time readers. Released back in 2013 from Broken Jaw Press, I first tore through this book so fast that I decided to revisit it again since Mr. Fraser has a new book coming in April 2015.
“Bliss” contains 26 short stories, some of them barely a page long, but all are gems in their own way.… Continue reading