CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Edmundson, Bruce.

Ottawa, Oberon Press, 1987. 68pp, paper, ISBN 0-88750-663-1 (cloth) $19.95,0-88750-665-8 (paper) $9.95.

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Kae Broughton

Volume 15 Number 6
1987 November

An outsider in his own life, Edmund-son draws on his experience to create characters who survive on the fringes of society and against all odds. The title story concerns 3 newly arrived inmate and Silver, an older convict, who is intent on invading the privacy of the younger man. Silver speaks with "two voices," one for public consumption and the other for the private life he is attempting to build in the closed society of the prison. There is shocking violence in the conclusion as the youthful protagonist insists on protecting his own integrity.

The other stones are held together in some cases by interlocking characters, and in all, by the theme of desperate loneliness. For example, Mr. Webster ("Mr, Webster Can't Remember") nurtures his "son," a stolen Cabbage Patch doll, while John ("John Wants to Belong") picks up a discarded mannequin that can watch television with him on his long-dead set. In a third story "Doll Meets Mannequin," the two men make a connection through their inanimate treasures and the reader is left with the impression that a much-needed friendship may develop. The cover of this little volume, two paintings by Mendelson Joe, is wonderfully apt-two faces fight for recognition in a study of a single head.

These are stories that draw the reader into the lives of their characters and into the streets where they spend their marginal but, nevertheless, significant lives. It is a modest collect ion-only six stonesóbut worthy of inclusion in a library short story collection.

Kae Broughton, Thornhill, 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