Friday, January 23, 2009

Dunne deal for McFetridge

John McFetridge, author of Dirty Sweet and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, posts the good news that his third novel, Swap, is to be published in the U.S. early next year. Publisher is Thomas Dunne Books.

Here's an early version of the cover, and here's the Detectives Beyond Borders interview with the author. John's a nice guy and a hell of a writer. Possibly his only flaw is that as a self-created fictional character, he seems content to let the other guy do the dirty work.

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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29 Comments:

Blogger adrian mckinty said...

I've had the rare privilege of reading Swap and its not only McFetridge's best novel to date, but is an instant bloody classic.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Looking forward to this one. Glad somebody's making a bit of a fuss about it. The ever-modest John mentioned it as an afterthought on his blog.

gb

January 23, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Lazy punning though dont you think? Dunne Deal, come on. With its themes of luck and fate Peter could have gone with Thy Will be Dunne or something like that.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Or he could have gone even more biblical. So Let It Be Written, Let It Be Dunne. That relates well to writing, I reckon.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

I read SWAP in ms. and it's phenomenal.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

I'm in SWAP and I haven't even been offered the chance to read it yet. You're all making me jealous.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Nice to see the enthusiasm, all, thought I must disagree with Adrian McKinty. "Dunne deal" is a good pun.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Dana King said...

Not only is Dunne deal lazy, it's stolen. I used it on John's blog two comments above Peter's. I at least had the good grace to apologize.

I feel violated.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ah, fook. I just checked the comment string on John's blog, and Dana is right. He did use the pun before I did.

OK, I apologize, and I retract everything in this post and the comments that follow. I have never heard of John McFetridge, and he's not writing a book.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

I have never heard of John McFetridge, and he's not writing a book.

And he stole one of his earlier titles from Neil Young and Crazy Horse!

captcha: slumbor. Are these things topical? Seems to me there's a movie out with a name close to that.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And another title from T-Rex, but no one complained. And you ought to read them both.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Brian O'Rourke said...

I'm glad to hear this is coming to the US. Good news for John and from what I hear, well-deserved good news.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Good news for readers, too, and good news for Toronto, whether the city knows it or not.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"Glad somebody's making a bit of a fuss about it. The ever-modest John mentioned it as an afterthought on his blog."

Canadians are proverbially self-effacing, you know.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger seanag said...

That's good news, John. And it seems that you're getting a lot of advance praise, which always helps.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I liked the first two novels lots, and they had special resonance for me given where I grew up. I hesitate to talk about that too much, though, because I have also said that John is the making of Toronto as a crime-fiction city. One does not have to be from Montreal or Toronto to enjoy his work any more than one has to be from L.A. to enjoy Chandler's.

January 23, 2009  
Blogger seanag said...

Yeah, I think we're all going to look at those nice Canadians in a whole new light when John is done with them...

January 24, 2009  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

One does not have to be from Montreal or Toronto to enjoy his work any more than one has to be from L.A. to enjoy Chandler's.

As a Northern Irish guy who's read Everybody Knows, I second that.

gb

January 24, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, you may not look at Canadians any differently, but perhaps you'll look at Canada differently. I have to tell you that I'm Canadian, and to pronounce the word "Toronto" while thinking of the great crime-fiction cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles and Chicago and New York feels awfully odd. But by God, it will feel less so the more I read of McFetridge. How many authors do you know who form part of the literary identity of not one, but two cities? J. McF. is one of them.

January 24, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Gerard, it would be interesting to talk about John's work with some discerning non-Canadian readers. See, even though John and I grew up in different parts of town, we're almost exactly the same age, we grew up in Montreal, we shared a lot of the same experiences of having a good chunk of our generation leave the city. He's probably one of the few authors who's captured that experience -- while telling a hell of a good story at the same time.

January 24, 2009  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Peter - Aye, in EKTIN the city is more than a setting. McFetridge gives it so much personality it's practically a character. I felt like I learned a lot about a city I didn't know after reading it.

gb

January 24, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That is the sort of comment I think our man Fetch will be hearing a lot of over the next few years. To me, his Toronto was familiar and new at the same time.

January 24, 2009  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Peter - I couldn't have said that better. The city in transition. Yeah, that's the real hook.

gb

January 24, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Its interesting that you say "Johns a nice guy and a hell of a writer" I mean it shouldnt matter should it. If the book's good it should matter if the writer is an asshole or not. Yet it does, terribly. Its depressing that Evelyn Waugh was such a snobbish antisemite and racist.

And if you work in a bookstore for any length of time and they do a lot of readings you get to meet a lot of authors. There are surprisingly few assholes, but assholes there are. And when they're rude to the little people (like me) the little people can get revenge in petty ways to with the placement of their book. Or not.

So when you do get someone like John who is nice and good all the stars in the firmament shine bright and we hope the book sells like hotcakes at a INSERT CANUK HOCKEY REFERENCE HERE.

January 24, 2009  
Blogger seanag said...

I think it matters in terms of being a human being, but maybe not so much in terms of the writing/publishing side of things. Working in a bookstore myself, I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to authors. None of it has much correlation with who shows up to see them, who shells out to buy a copy of the book, etc.

I want to think talent has something to do with it, but that's definitely not always the case. I think it's often that people have been able to sieze on some simplified idea of the writer, 'identify' with them, etc. It's almost as basic as "I want to have this feeling or experience when I read and I can count on this author to deliver that feeling or experience when I read his or her book."

It's frustrating from a writerly point of view, where you may not really want to stay the same, but as a reader, I know that I am as guilty as anyone at times of reaching for a new release by a known author because I know what I am getting. Just read the latest P.D. James on that basis. I don't think they are the greatest mysteries as mysteries, but stylistically, she is a master or should I say mistress of what she does in terms of structure and setting. The reader feels secure in some way that is not always the case with less experienced novelists.

January 24, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, you're right, of course. But I rarely consider myself a critic on this blog and certainly did not do so when I made this post. Someone referred to this blog as a salon, and, though that may be a bit high-flown, I liked the suggestion that it's something like a forum, a meeting place for folks whose correspondance and company I enjoy. So I have no compunction about tossing in a personal reference. Hell, I like the man's writing a lot, and if calling him a nice guy disposes a potential reader a bit more favorably toward him, I've done a service.

I've yet to meet any real jerks, but I like to think that if I did, and if I thought highly of said jerk's writing, I'd still discuss it favorably.

So, yes, I hope John's book sell like Molson's at a Canadiens game, if Molson is till brewed and if it's still sold at Canadiens games.

January 25, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That's it, Gerard. John writes about an epoch in Canada's history, and he's conscious of doing so. He has said that few authors write about the exodus of Anglophone Canadians and the shift in power from Montreal to Toronto after 1976.

January 25, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Hmmm, I wonder if I'd be as generous as you. I had a very unpleasant encounter with an extrememly well known Irish writer once and although it would be nice to think that if I was reviewing him I could put it all to one side and just read the book I suspect I'm made of weaker, pettier stuff and I'd slip in a few digs.

January 25, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I only said I like to think I'd be. I might slip in a few digs into an otherwise positive review.

Of course, since I write this blog as an amateur in both senses of the word, I could simply choose with a clear conscience not to review the book in question.

There may be nothing wrong with noting that a given author is a jerk as long it does not drive one to make deliberately false judgments of his work, I'd say.

January 25, 2009  

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