Book Reviews

  • ‘Gethsemane Hall’ by David Annandale

    Reviewed by Ian Goodwillie from an advanced reading copy

    Spikes of tension. Strong characters. Methodical pacing. These are the hallmarks of good horror. MORE >

  • ‘While the Sun is Above Us’ by Melanie Schnell

    Reviewed by Sarah Petz

    First-time novelist Melanie Schnell spent a year volunteering in the war-ravaged Southern Sudan MORE >

  • ‘Rasputin’s Bastards’ by David Nickle

    Reviewed by Chadwick Ginther

    Alexei Kilodovich is a product of the mysterious City 512—a Soviet-era psychic research facility—and a former KGB agent. He is a man who “had that kind of hardness about him that all guys in the profession had at one time. MORE >

  • ‘Afflictions & Departures: Essays’ by Madeline Sonik

    Reviewed by Jess Woolford

    Madeline Sonik refers to this collection of personal essays as a “fracture,” a term she has coined to describe a series of short, connected autobiographical pieces that disrupts linear notions of time. Sonik plays with time by linking the happenings of her own life, starting with her own conception and moving through her trying adolescence, to events in the wider world. MORE >

  • ‘The Last Song’ by Eva Wiseman

    Reviewed by Harriet Zaidman

    In her latest novel, Winnipegger Eva Wiseman brings to life a pivotal moment in European history– the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 by the notorious holy Inquisition. Wiseman continues her exploration of the centuries of discrimination MORE >

  • ‘Canada’ by Richard Ford

    Reviewed by Dave Margoshes

    Personal traumas come in all sizes and shapes, from losing one’s entire family and almost your own life in the Holocaust, as one extreme, to getting mugged for a gold chain around your neck, say, at the other end of the spectrum. MORE >

  • ‘The Dead Are More Visible’ by Steven Heighton

    Reviewed by Shawn Syms

    The things we do with our bodies are central to Steven Heighton’s utterly compelling new collection of short fiction, The Dead Are More Visible. The drugs we take, the sex we have, how we use our fists — in his thirteenth book, Heighton focuses on corporeal pursuits that include both feats of endurance and acts of survival. MORE >

  • ‘The Juliet Stories’ by Carrie Snyder

    Reviewed by Jessica Michalofsky

    In a typical coming-of-age novel, a sensitive young protagonist sets out into the world, typically after some loss, in order to find his or her place in society. Like Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Carrie Snyder’s novel, The Juliet Stories, balks that trend.  MORE >

  • ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About War’ by Noah Richler

    Reviewed by Paul Doerksen

    Noah Richler believes that the way to address the problem of heightened militarism in Canada, at least in part, is to write a book about the use of language– and rightly so. The book’s title, riffing on a Raymond Carver short story title, alerts us to the fact that what we say about war is in fact integral to any war effort. MORE >

  • ‘Dating: a novel’ by Dave Williamson

    Reviewed by Hubert O’Hearn

    First things first. Dave Williamson certainly understands the importance of the colon.Had that stack of two dots been left out of the title, his book would be called ‘Dating a novel’ which is a lousy way to spend a Saturday night. MORE >

  • ‘Life Is About Losing Everything’ by Lynn Crosbie

    Reviewed by Michael Hingston

    What is Lynn Crosbie’s new book about? Pitched as a “fiery, honest, and heartbreaking blend of fiction and fantastical memoir,” Life Is About Losing Everything has already forced several critics to tread water and do their absolute best to avoid answering that question. MORE >

  • ‘All the Voices Cry’ by Alice Petersen

    Reviewed by Kristy Hourd

    Alice Petersen, a Canadian/New Zealander who lives in Toronto, has had stories in Geist, The Fiddlehead, and other magazines, but All the Voices Cry is her first collection, published this spring. It has a degree of originality and reality that is both relatable and refreshing. MORE >

  • ‘From the Mouth of the Whale’ by Sjón

    Reviewed by J.E. Stintzi

    Upon the final morning of my journey through Sjón’s second novel, From the Mouth of the Whale, I found myself lying on a cattle trailer, grease beneath my fingernails and a layer of lead on my skin (the perfect reagents for thought), MORE >

Copyright 2010 Great Plains Publications/Enfield & Wizenty

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