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Kinsella, W.P.

Toronto, Totem Books, c1985, 1986. 125pp, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-00 223170-0. Distributed by Collins. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Michael Freeman

Volume 15 Number 3
1987 May

Kinsella has enjoyed a string of successes with his novels, often involving baseball fantasies, but even the best pitcher occasionally throws a losing game. In his introduction, Kinsella admits that he has attempted to emulate the surrealistic style of his idol, Richard Brautigan, in this series of brief vignettes. What emerges is a number of seemingly unconnected, rambling scenarios, most of which seem to lack both meaning and moral. The very brevity of the individual pieces, some less than two pages in length, prevents the reader from establishing any rapport with the Post Office octopus, the ex-jockey riding his Shetland pony around the attic, the criminal convicted of Second Degree Bookfondling, and the town-eating gerbil.

The narrator, who surfaces in several of the stories, is himself a rather unattractive character, a denizen of Vancouver's skid row. One cannot object to Kinsella indulging in nonsensical meanderings, but one wonders why he would inflict them upon an unsuspecting reader. Recommended, if at all, for senior level English students.

Michael Freeman, Bathurst Heights S.S., North York, Ont.
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