CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Brian Brett

Saskatoon (Sask.), Thistledown Press, 1991. 208pp, paper, $16.00
ISBN 0-920633-81-1

Reviewed by Lillian M. Turner.

Volume 19 Number 6
1991 November

A native of Vancouver now living in Saskatchewan, Brett has ranged through the publishing field since his years of literature study at Simon Fraser Univer­sity, as editor, publisher, reviewer, critic, and writer of poetry and fiction. Since 1976 he has published five poetry collections. The Fungus Garden, a futuristic political allegory (Thistledown Press, 1988), was his first novel, while this is his first collection of short stones. Of interest to educators, Brett began the B.C. Poetry-in-the Schools program for children, and has led writing workshops across Canada.

The title story, the last In this collec­tion of thirteen, was a finalist in the Cross Canada Writer's Quarterly contest. It opens abruptly with the sentence "When Jim Luster died he went to Tanganyika." Like most of the stories it combines fantasy, the dream world, and the twilight zone. In some, horror and suspense prevail, while one depicts a realistic family camping trip with an unreal sexual encounter. Throughout, Brett employs the poet's keen sense of language: "... my eyes clicked the details to memory," "Another day reached shut-down on the west coast," "The parting clouds ripped like an old cloth."

This well-bound book with its interesting cover painting by Leonard Brett is recommended for public libraries. The sexual episodes may deter some secondary school librarians from purchasing, but it would be useful otherwise as a language study in a senior short story unit.

Lillian M. Turner, City of York Board of Education, Toronto, 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