CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 21 . . . . June 23, 2006
The book, of 304 pages, consists of the introduction, the sixteen short stories, plus biographies on the contributors and the usual Credits and Acknowledgements. The stories average around 18 pages each. Each story is introduced by a separate page that introduces the various themes on which the stories are based, whether that is the lyrics of a Stan Rogers song, a quote from the book Mysterious Canada, or a verse from a Robert Service poem. The stories vary from the serious to the light-hearted. One of a series of recent anthologies, the volume is an attractive package. There are no illustrations.
The stories cover most parts of Canada and topics as varied as mythical creatures, ghosts, and Science Fiction. “Mirror, Mirror” spins a modern tale based on song lyrics and a mirror that may just be magic. The title, “Windigo,” leaves no doubt what lies behind this particular story. “All the Cool Monsters at Once” begins at Lake Okanagan and an appearance by Ogopogo. “Over Lunar White” leads us astray in the depths of the Toronto subway system. “Under Summons” takes us on a marine expedition in the St. Lawrence Islands National Park, where one of the explorers is a cat. With “Walking With Wolves,” the story is based on a French Canadian folk tale and revolves around the Loup Garou, otherwise known as a werewolf. “This is the Ice Age” is a tale inspired by a Martha and the Muffins song. “Family Trees” takes the reader back to Lake Ontario and the "Marysburgh Vortex," Canada's version of the "Bermuda Triangle." “Over the Darkened Landscape” was inspired by the death and art of the Group of Seven artist, Tom Thomson. “After November” is a tale based on the ghost of a stone mason in Toronto. “The Harpy” is a tale of a siren and is inspired by a poem by Robert Service. “The Ghost of Watson's Mill is Online” combines a popular Ontario ghost and computers. “This Ink Feels Like Sorrow” is an Inuit tale. The story “Safe Passage” is another ghost story, this time set on the shores of Lake Huron. Another song-based tale, “The Universal Soldier,” is set on a different lakeshore. The final tale in the collection, “The Lady of Land's End,” is set in Gaspe Quebec.
This book should appeal to a wide variety of ages and interests and, at the very least, will introduce readers to some facets of Canada and our history and mythology with which they are probably not familiar.
Ronald Hore, involved with writer's groups and writer's workshops for several years, retired from the business world in Winnipeg, MB.
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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.