Sunday, April 20, 2008

Oy, Canada!

To my mother, who looks in on this blog from time to time and asked why I never mention her: Hi, mum.

Like my compatriot and co-religionist Sarah Weinman, I am visiting the family for Passover (She's in Ottawa; I'm in Montreal.) Like her, I am struck by the odd things that weather can do at this time of year. For me it was the hip-high piles of dirty urban snow that remained in yards on a day when sun-seeking afternoon eaters crowded the terrace at the Premiere Moisson on Sherbrooke West.

I'd hoped to make this a crime-fiction trip and pick up Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and Dirty Sweet by Canada's own John McFetridge, but the bookseller I visited today told me the hardcover of the former and the paperback of the latter were due on the shelves May 1.

Ken Bruen called Everybody Knows This is Nowhere "a wondrous mix of Elmore Leonard and McBain but with a dazzling Canadian slant that is as fresh as it is darkly hilarious," which sounds to me well worth waiting an extra eleven days for – and perhaps worth a trip to a different bookstore tomorrow, just in case.

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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18 Comments:

Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Happy Passover Peter, and remember that matzos and computer keyboards are incompatible, unless your have a power vacuum for the bits.
I loved your post title.

April 20, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The same to you. And you're right. I don't think even an extended warranty protects against damage caused by matza crumbs.

April 20, 2008  
Blogger Ron said...

I've read DIRTY SWEET and enjoyed it enough to seek out John's other books. Well worth the wait until May.

April 20, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the heads up. I think I'll check to see if any bookshops have paperback copies.

April 20, 2008  
Blogger Declan Burke said...

Peter - Beg, borrow or steal ... for once Ken Bruen is guilty of understatement. John McFetridge is the real deal. Cheers, Dec

April 20, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'll take that as yet one more endorsement, for which thanks. Bruen's blurb for John McFetridge stood out from his other blurbs with the "darkly hilarious" remark, but it appears I'll have to wait a few weeks to read Everyboy Knows ... or Dirty Sweet. Apparently when ECW Press says May 1, it means May 1. So I'm reading Bruen's Priest instead and stayed up til all hours doing so last night. It's darkly hilarious and touching, too.

April 20, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

From the Globe and Mail review of "Dirty Sweet" at Amazon US:

"McFetridge is an author to watch. He has a great eye for detail, and Toronto has never looked seedier." – Globe and Mail

Presumably the Mayor and Councilmembers (or whatever city government structure Toronto has) were pleased with that description. Not.

April 21, 2008  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

You are reading Priest [which was one of my 5 favourite reads of 2007] and I am now reading Cross!
That is what I call ecumenical especially at Passover.

April 21, 2008  
Blogger John McFetridge said...

You guys are great, thanks.

The publisher tells me the books have shipped and should start showing up in stores in Canada next week - bad timing, eh, Peter, sorry about that.

Secretly I think most people in town are happy to shed the outdated, "Toronto the Good," label. Still, the press here had a field day with the 2500 Toronto FC fans that made the trip to Columbus for the season opener a couple weeks ago. The friendliest football hooligans in the world.

Just wait till Philly starts playing in 2010, Peter, a whole new kind of Torontonian will show up.

April 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Linkmeister, your comment has sparked thoughts for a future post here at Detectives Beyond Borders. That quip about local officials not being thrilled with what a given crime writer has to say about their city is a frequent one; I've made it myself. But cities are big, vital places where all sorts of things happen, and Toronto is one of the biggest, at least in North America. I don't know if John McFetridge or any other crime writer intends his work to be taken this way, but such work can serve as a salutary, even mischievous reminder that civic boosterism is not a higher truth.

April 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Uriah, Priest is an astonishing book, one of the most affecting novels I have ever read, crime or otherwise. I expect to make a post about it soon.

April 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Didn't the Toronto the Good label go by the boards a few years ago, to be replaced by Yonge Street as a street of sin? But hey, its subways are still clean.

The Philadelphia team will play in the currently highly distressed city of Chester. That could add a whole new dynamic of civic boosterism to Philly fans' proverbial loutishness.

And I can order your books from Canada, paid for with my shaky U.S. dollars.

April 21, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Ask Baltimore's Mayor how he feels about "The Wire." As I recall reading in all the laudatory coverage the end of that TV series, he was publicly supportive while privately ambivalent.

I'll tellya, though, Honolulu has been so fortunate in how it's been portrayed on the tube and in the flicks (very few crime novels are set here) that when there's an outlier it prompts a little "ouch!" Paul Theroux's Hotel Honolulu comes to mind.

April 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I suppose Hawaii Five-O is the first title that will spring to people's minds when it comes to fictional crime. Maybe if they are old-time Black Mask aficionados, they'll remember Raoul Whitfield's Jo Gar, too. But yes, your state does have a good rep as far as crime fiction goes. It would take a lot to overcome all the attractions Hawai'i has, I suppose.

April 21, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Grins. And when you add Thomas Magnum and his red Ferrari (well, not his, technically) to the beaches and bikinis...

April 22, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I forgot about Magnum. I only watched the show a time or two, and I don't remember ever thinking about where he was from, but the shirts provide a subtle clue, don't they?

April 22, 2008  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Peter, I've read both, and endorsed both via review/blurb as well. And I'll still be here May 1, but will be in Maryland the next week. If you'd like me to pick you up copies and bring them, just let me know.

April 22, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. I shall be in touch privately about details.

April 23, 2008  

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