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Jack Thiessen

Oakville (Ont.), Mosaic Press, 1990. 154pp, paper, ISBN 0-88962-406-2 (paper) $12.95, ISBN 0-88962-407-0 (cloth) $24.95. CIP

Reviewed by Esther Hutchison.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

According to the cover, this is a fast-paced, satirical novel. I know, because I checked repeatedly to be sure that I was reading the right book. A timely theme involving politics, northern develop­ment and environmental issues is buried in a wordy and meandering narrative.

An example of the style:

Mobilizing the anonymity occasioned by the intoxication of the Hosenscheisser, the sassy spokesmen of socialistically tuned and trained unionism, approached the Master mind and demanded explanations and accountability. "My authority is based on entitlement," they said with a common, indeed vulgar voice. Incomprehensibility soon metamor­phosed into total silence...

If the language is a parody of the worst of multisyllabic "officialese," it goes on far too long, and incomprehen­sible is a fair description of the whole. At one point the narrator compares the story to that of the "Ancient Mariner," with the basic form a continuing narrative as told by an omniscient commentator. However, the style impedes any flow of action, and charac­ter development is almost non-existent.

The information available about the author says that he held an academic position at the University of Winnipeg. He now lives in Gimli, Manitoba, where he writes full time, although no other published works are listed.

Not recommended.

Esther Hutchison, Spruce Grove Public Library, Spruce Grove, Alta.
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