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Martin Avery.

Ottawa, Oberon Press, c1982.
94pp, paper, $17.95 (cloth), $8.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-88750-429-9 (cloth), 0-88750-430-2 (paper).

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by Ron Jacques.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

This is an interesting collection of stories in which Avery tries to come to grips with identity through memories of life in his home town, Gravenhurst (sometimes Gravenbridge, a combination of Gravenhurst and Bracebridge, where Avery attended high school). Most of the stories have a sardonic tone, alternately mocking the town, other people's views of it, and himself and his friends. The aspirations and perceptions of youth in the late 60s and early 70s are captured very accurately, especially the aren't-we-precocious? tone.

With the examples of Bobby Orr to the north, Stephen Leacock to the south, and Norman Bethune in his home town, Avery had three desirable but quite incompatible role models: the clean-cut sports hero, the detached writer/observer, and the revolutionary. He explores the possibilities in intriguing flights of fancy that will appeal to readers on many levels.

Martin Avery shows a great deal of talent in Cottage Gothic and is a writer worth watching for in the future. I recommend the book for senior high school students and adults.

Ron Jacques, Bracebridge & Muskoka Lakes S. S., Bracebridge, ON.
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