Book - 2015
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Finalist for the 2015 Giller Prize

Finalist for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award

Like a Proust-obsessed Cormac McCarthy, Samuel Archibald's portrait of his hometown is filled with innocent children and wild beasts, attempted murder and ritual mutilation, haunted houses and road trips to nowhere, bad men and mysterious women. Gothic, fantastical, and incandescent, filled with stories of everyday wonder and terror, longing and love, Arvida explores the line which separates memory from story, and heralds the arrival of an important new voice.

Publisher: Windsor, Ontario, Biblioasis,, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781771960427
Characteristics: 213 pages ; 21 cm.


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Apr 23, 2016

I feel a little bad about giving this collection only 3 stars. It was good and I read it through in one sitting over a couple hours. But many of the beginning stories were dull and I didn't get into the book until the seventh story <i>A Mirror in the Mirror</i> which I thought was fantastic.
I wasn't as partial to the 6 stories that made up 2 interconnected trilogies, though I found the autobiographical Arvida trilogy interesting, it didn't appeal as much as a couple others and the Blood Sisters trilogy wasn't my cup of tea at all. I did really like several others though, <i>Jigai</i> for it's creepiness, <i>The Last-Born</i> for it's anti climactic ending and <i>House Bound</i> for it's spooky start and practical end.
The collection is about the real working class, the one with lots of alcohol, big families with disputes, strange or crazy relations and hard played recreational pursuits. Reminds me of the family gatherings I used to go to as a kid, a fond memory but pretty sure I don't want to go back to that.

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