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Paul St. Pierre.

Vancouver, Douglas & Mclntyre, c1970, 1984.
165pp, paper, $7.95.
ISBN 0-88894417-9.

Grades 10 and up.
Reviewed by Mary Fallis.

Volume 12 Number 5
1984 September

There was a time when Canada's leading newspapers boasted strings of gifted writers whose feature columns added a great deal to the pleasure of reading the day's paper. Provocative or amusing, with the best of them their views came somewhere between editorial comment and a personal kind of reportage. None had a more loyal following of readers than Paul St. Pierre.

In 1970, a first collection of twenty-five of his columns was published by McClelland and Stewart. Now for this new edition published by Douglas and Mclntyre, twenty-six more have been added. A few are set in other places than the Chilcotin including one called "Man, Dog and Mystery," surely a classic for those who hunt with springers.

Here readers will meet the side-hill gouger and the Cariboo alligator, presented to us with zoological names and descriptions taken from "research," one as an endangered species, the other a "doomed" race. There is much about horse hunting, "one of the esoteric rites of the Cariboo." And there are some pieces about fantastic people performing fantastic feats: "You want a Bridge? Then Build a Bridge."

Characters and events are presented with Paul St. Pierre's own blend of understatement, conscious and unconscious irony, and humour, all of which have to do with laying bare basic realities of life to show us unexpected values and realities that we overlook, values other than those of conventional society. In the materialistic world in which most of us live, anyone who can make us focus on other values is a kind of genius.

Mary Fallis, Prince George, BC.
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