CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Don Lineham
Illustrated by Don Pentz

Porters Lake (N.S.), Pottersfield Press, 1989. 88pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-919001-54-8. CIP

Reviewed by Peter Croskery.

Volume 17 Number 5
1989 September

The Mystery of Things is one man's attempt to share his experiences with nature. The experiences are not earth-shattering, wondrous adventures; rather they are the simple events of the author's life. In fact, this is one of the book's strengths - the author's depic­tion of events that most of us have experienced at one time or another. Who hasn't felt "a shower of snow dust on my neck when I push my way under branches," or tried "postcard snow you could catch on your tongue"?

I was disappointed that a greater amount of the book did not consider Nova Scotia natural history. One chapter, "Smelting," possibly the strongest in the book, does have a good mix of nature experience and Nova Scotia life-style. Another of the more enjoyable chapters is "Going for the Meat." The strength of this chapter is that there is a character or another person clearly defined, something that is missing in most chapters.

There are twenty-five chapters with two written as poems and the rest as prose. The author's writing style in half the prose chapters is very poetic, containing strong vivid imagery; the other half is flat monologues. Because the content is about common, everyday experiences, the poetic prose makes the reading enjoyable. When it's not there, the reading is dull.

The Mystery of Things is a short book and an adult reader can finish the book easily in a single sitting. Black-and-white illustrations are half-page in size at the beginning of each chapter. Imbedded within the book's text are several conservation messages, but they are not strongly presented and are easy to miss. This book is best suited to an adult audience. Its pace is too slow for children and its content would not interest them.

Peter Croskery, Kenora, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works