Monday, August 3, 2020

SMALL GAME HUNTING AT THE LOCAL COWARD GUN CLUB

Megan Gail Coles. SMALL GAME HUNTING AT THE LOCAL COWARD GUN CLUB. Anansi, 2019.

I heard about this novel through Canada Reads. Because people said the style was interesting, and then I saw a copy at my favourite secondhand book store, and bought it. Could not put it down.

Stylistically, I agree. A tour de force. Set in St. John's, Newfoundland, in the weeks between Christmas and Valentine's Day. In other words, winter. Around The Hazel, a restaurant, around which every character hovers. The novel has three sections, Prep, Lunch, Dinner. There are no chapters, only scenes. Each character narrates scenes from his or her POV, sweeping in and out of past and present. Olive, sleeping in the doorway, bumming smokes. Iris, the hostess, having an affair with John, the chef. George, his wife and part owner of the cafe, with her father, Big George. Omi, Ben, & Damian work there. Major David, the mayor, Amanda, an actress, her twin brother Calv, and his old friend Rog eat there. A few other characters are alluded to but never seen-Sarah, a former employee; Susie & Donna, Calv's mother and girlfriend.Tom, Damian's ex. Olive's father and nan. Iris's father and mother. One character, Calv, has a thick NFLD accent. 

You learn way more than you want to know about what goes on the behind the scenes in a restaurant, and in relationships. Incredibly written. As I said, a tour de force. The last scene unforgettably vivid. 


No comments:

HACKS

Donna Brazile. HACKS: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House. Hachette, 2017. A democrat...