Explosions by Mathieu Poulin (Translated by Aleshia Jensen)

Subtitled Micheal Bay and the Pyrotechnics of the Imagination, you may, at first glance think this is an authorized biography of the acclaimed action film director and producer of such movies as Bad Boys, Armageddon and Transformers.  A closer look at the cover reveals the disclaimer: “A Novel.” So what we have here is a fictional story built around real people and events, an approach that movie enthusiast and first-time Quebec author Mathieu Poulin manages to carry off beautifully in Explosions (2018, QC Fiction, originally published in 2015 as Des Explosions), which has been scrupulously translated from French by Aleshia Jensen.*

The main premise in Explosions is that Michael Bay considers himself an intellectual director whose films traverse deep philosophical territory, as he explains to his ex-girlfriend, Daphné who is unconvinced:

“My films are essays on serious and complex topics.… Continue reading

Grandpa Pike’s Outhouse Reader by Grandpa Pike

Laurie Blackwood Pike, a.k.a. Grandpa Pike, is the author of Grandpa Pike’s Outhouse Reader (2017, Flanker Press). Grandpa Pike grew up out in the country in Newfoundland, and later in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, when outhouses were common and reading material took the form of old Eaton’s catalogues or the Family Herald.… Continue reading

The Money Shot by Glenn Deir

Ever since anchorman Peter Mansbridge (CBC’s The National) announced his plans to retire, the search has been on for a replacement. I propose that Sebastian Hunter the male protagonist (and more often than not, antagonist) of Glenn Deir’s irreverent novel The Money Shot (2016, Breakwater Books) be given a ‘shot’ at the top job.… Continue reading