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Fawcett, Brian.

Vancouver, Talonbooks, c1984. 203pp, paper, $8.95, ISBN 0-88922-221-5. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Ruth Cosstick

Volume 13 Number 4
1985 July

This is a wide-ranging collection of contemporary stories. A mirror is being held up to today's society, and the crystal clear reflection is not always pleasant. Vicious, victimizing, violent, the tales are often ironic and sometimes funny. The reader gains sharp insights from these various perspectives of "capital," while his loss sheet may indicate a shattering of illusions. The narrator invades the stories from time to time to share in the dilemma with his readers. In the final dialogue, Thomas Carlyle, the nineteenth-century philosopher, (confidant of Queen Victoria?), enters into a discussion with the author with surprising revelations.

The characters in these stories are easily recognizable, to be met on the street, glimpsed in the passing delivery truck, or found living next door. Their morality or amorality begs compassion, and their perlexities invite discussion. Some of the people found in Capital Tales will be familiar to readers of Brian Fawcett's My Career With the Leafs*. Their ongoing experiences become of vital concern in the threatening situations presented by the 1980s. This thought-provoking book is highly recommended for senior high school students, and beyond.

Ruth Cosstick, Ottawa, Ont.

*Reviewed vol. XI/5 September 1983

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