Contemporary Fiction - Fiction

The Chaotically Comedic Multiverse of Tony Vicar: Review of Vicar’s Knickers by Vince R. Ditrich

The Vicar’s Knickers: The Mildly Catastrophic Misadventures of Tony Vicar (Dundurn Press, 2022) is the second installment from the comedic and highly twisted brain of Vince R. Ditrich, who is immortalized in stars on walks of fame for his musical prowess. Ditrich has transformed himself into a dazzling and refreshing author on the Canadian literary scene.

Warning, don’t eat or drink while you’re reading Ditrich’s book as you will end up choking or spraying, respectively, due to spontaneous outbursts of gut-busting laughter. In this mid-book of the trilogy, Vicar and his love interest, Jacquie O, inherit an inn with an English-style pub that they revamp. There are some previous characters from The Liquor Vicar, like Ross Poutine, and new weirdos to meet and fall in love with.

“That has got to go,” proclaimed Vicar the day he and Jacquie had committed to the reno on what would become the Vicar’s Knickers. He pointed contemptuously at the industrial-style bar that had, in the 1980s, replaced the original, glorious wooden one; it was a pile of neon-festooned scrap metal. He thought it had all the elegance of a crushed shopping buggy and dragged him kicking and screaming back to the era of Duran Duran’s diabetes-inducing synthesizers.

DItrich’s lifetime of keen observations of outliers during his musical career gave him a rich data bank of human vulnerabilities and hilarious flaws to draw upon in his novels, guaranteeing a belly laugh on every page. After thoroughly enjoying the Vicar trilogy, I have a vague feeling that Ditrich is living out an opposite, alternate life. The one that if he hadn’t become a superstar in a successful Canadian touring band, perhaps he would be his character Tony Vicar, the lovable, rock star wannabe, sadly unsuccessful, Elvis-impersonator (from Elvis’s plumpy years), CJ, and accidental saint.

DItriich’s characters seem to spring from that relatable, primal fear that those of us of a certain age fear, that we will become homeless and forgotten. A scenario where we push a cart containing all of our rain-soaked belongings through stinking alleys, and shelter in doorways and awnings haunt our nightmares and darkest thoughts. But Vicar is saved from that fate by the continual kind strokes of Ditrich’s keystrokes.

Because it’s Tony, expect supernatural elements to appear in the story thread, which builds to dramatic and surprising conclusions. Get Liquor Vicar and the Vicar’s Knickers together for someone who needs to laugh, and who doesn’t these days?


About the Author

Vince R. Ditrich is a lifelong musician and member of the band Spirit of the West. He has circled the world, earned more than a dozen gold and platinum albums, and been enshrined in several Halls of Fame. Vince lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dundurn Press (Sept. 6 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 328 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1459747283
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1459747289

Cathalynn Labonté-Smith grew up in Southwestern Alberta and moved to Vancouver, BC, to complete her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia (UBC). After graduation, she worked as a freelance journalist until present. She became a technical writer, earning a Certificate in Technical Writing from Simon Fraser University. She later went to UBC to complete a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) and taught English, journalism, and other subjects at Vancouver high schools. She currently lives in Gibsons, where she is the president and founder of the Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society, and North Vancouver, BC. Her new book, Rescue Me: Behind the Scenes of Search and Rescue (Caitlin Press) is a British Columbia bestseller.

Cathalynn Labonté-Smith

Cathalynn Labonté-Smith grew up in Southwestern Alberta and moved to Vancouver, BC, to complete her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia (UBC). After graduation, she worked as a freelance journalist until present. She became a technical writer, earning a Certificate in Technical Writing from Simon Fraser University. She later went to UBC to complete a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) and taught English, journalism, and other subjects at Vancouver high schools. She currently lives in Gibsons, where she is the president and founder of the Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society, and North Vancouver, BC. Her new book, Rescue Me: Behind the Scenes of Search and Rescue (Caitlin Press) is a British Columbia bestseller.