Monday, November 20, 2006

The Fearsome Particles

An excellent double-header of a reading tonight in Edmonton: David Adams Richards and Trevor Cole. Both are at Audrey’s Books at 7:30pm. A somewhat unusual pairing I would think, as reviews of Richards' books usually contain the words "mournful" or "melancholic", while Cole's contain words like "funny" and "comic". The full gamut of emotions at this reading!

David Adams Richards has a shelf of awards, including a Giller (2000) and a GG Fiction (1988). His new novel, The Friends of Meagre Fortune has been called a Greek tragedy, set in the woods of New Brunswick's Miramichi in 1946, just as the lumber industry begins to change.

Trevor Cole is a long-time journalist and magazine writer who published his first novel, Norman Bray in the Performance of His Life in 2004. Norman Bray is a50-something Torontonian, an actor and, to be blunt, a pompous ass. Cole's fabulous, witty writing enables the reader to have some sympathy for an unlikeable character who can't see beyond the end of his nose.

Cole's new book, The Fearsome Particles, is darker than Norman Bray but still funny. It focuses on a dysfunctional family; a father who is the #2 guy at a failing window screen company, a mother who makes houses for sale homey and might be losing her mind, and the son, who has returned from a civilian job with Canadian Forces in Afghanistan with some problems. The book is shortlisted for the 2006 Governor General's Award for Fiction, which will be awarded tomorrow (Nov. 21)

There's an entertaining interview (in audio) with Trevor Cole on the Bookninja blog.


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