Category: Reviews

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Review: Ken Babstock’s On Malice

by Scott Marentette

One of the most significant contradictions and ironies of the contemporary moment is that the proliferation of so many devices and programs devised for orienting ourselves has increased our sense of disorientation. In On Malice, Ken Babstock confronts this dialectic of disorientation by taking his cue from Walter Benjamin,

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Review: Christine Leclerc’s Oilywood

by Andy Verboom

Christine Leclerc’s Oilywood, well-deserved winner of the 2014 bpNichol award, operates like a cut-up filmstrip of biographical and autobiographical reflections on coastal life in BC’s Burrard Inlet. The action is prompted by increasingly public and dubiously legal tar sand/oil industry incursions into the region. Spliced into this film strip’s em-dash cuts are a ticker tape of oil giant Kinder Morgan’s news releases and a scattering of terse,

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Why I Don’t Like Blagrave’s Unlikeable Characters

by Tyler Willis

The characters in Mark Blagrave’s Salt in the Wounds don’t often like each other, and I see no reason to, either. They’re self-obsessed, a little snobby, sometimes creepy, and usually unlikeable. Unlikeable characters are no reason to dislike a work of fiction. Duddy Kravitz, after all, may be one of the biggest assholes in Canadian literature.

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“Artists are Lepers”: Another Review of Polyamorous Love Song by Jacob Wren

by Domenica Martinello

On Monday, André Forget dissected Polyamorous Love Song by Jacob Wren. Today on The Town Crier, Domenica Martinello adds her opinion in our first ever double feature review.

The characters in Jacob Wren’s meta mash-up, Polyamorous Love Song don’t mince words when it comes to art and artists.

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When Filmmakers Don’t Make Movies: A Review of Jacob Wren’s Polyamorous Love Song

by André Forget

The credits have rolled, the lights have come on, the janitor is vacuuming the popcorn, but it’s slushy outside, and you might have stepped in chewing gum. Don’t worry. The Town Crier is proud to present its first double feature review! This week, we’ll be posting two reviews of Jacob Wren’s Polyamorous Love Song (BookThug).

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The Island That Lost The Peace: A Review of Michael Winter’s Into the Blizzard

by David Hurlow

On October 4th, 1918, a seventeen-year-old boy named Tommy Ricketts ran across a field in Belgium under an immense amount of fire from German forces. He managed to retrieve ammunition for a Lewis gun that was engaged in an outflanking maneuver, turning the tide of the battle and saving many Allied lives. For his bravery he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

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“Goblin Lovers and Failures”: A Review of Bourbon & Eventide by Mike Spry

by Jason Freure

Mike Spry’s Bourbon & Eventide may be the saddest book of poetry to launch in Canada this year. With both wit and tenderness, this 56-page collection strings together tercets to tell the story of a relationship falling apart from the beginning. Bourbon & Eventide continues some of the same themes of obsession and disappointment tackled in Spry’s first book of poetry,

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Morissette: Broke and Precariously Housed

by Jason Freure

At first, I hated Guillaume Morissette’s writing. I didn’t like the way he flaunted sadness. I didn’t trust the way he put ironic distance between himself and his own anxiety with self-deprecating charts. His online presence soured my view of his poems and short stories. Despite all this, I decided to read New Tab (Véhicule Press) anyway,

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Reading Kafka in the Czech Republic

by Tracy Kyncl

I am reading Kafka’s The Castle while visiting my family in the Czech Republic. Can you imagine a more appropriately meta setting than that? Admittedly, this is my first experience with Kafka. I’ve explored my cultural heritage more through film and drama as provided by courses taught by Professor Veronika Ambros at the University of Toronto than I have through “the classics” of literature.

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Marc di Saverio’s Sanatorium Songs

by Andrew Brobyn

Sanatorium Songs (Palimpsest Press), a debut from Hamilton’s own Marc di Saverio, conveys with its title the beautifully ironic yet aesthetically pleasing nature of a deeply disturbing brilliance. Even the cover image, a silver spoon holding barbed wire in milk like it’s cereal, does more than knock the sense out of you with a simple symbol—it also knocks the sense back into you with its crystalline honesty.