Archive for the ‘Drift-of-Life’ Category

LATE NIGHTS ON AIR by Elizabeth Hay

If a heart is torn apart in the Canadian arctic and no one hears it, did it really happen? Elizabeth Hay would answer a resounding “yes.”

All of her characters – a diverse group of wounded lost souls who work together in a small Yellowknife radio station in the mid-1970s – are aching. Harry – the curmudgeonly acting manager with the cauliflower ear – has returned from a gig in television with his tail between his legs. Dido ran from the only man she ever loved – her own father-in-law — and quickly connects with the station “bad boy,” Eddy. Eleanor fled from the memories of a husband who could not consummate their reunion. And Gwen, the youngest, who arrives at Yellowknife “subtle in her camouflage” with a buff-grey shirt with a pale brown collar and no adornment, is looking to make a fresh start in an area in which fresh starts are legendary.

December 22, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Canada, Character Driven, Contemporary, Drift-of-Life, Giller Prize, Literary, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author


For the longest time, growing up in rural Virginia, Birdie Baker is convinced she is destined to follow the path set forth by her devout Christian parents. Like them, as a Jehovah’s Witness, she will spread the word of the Lord, marry, settle down and wrap it up. But the sense of unease that plagues her even after she is married to a church-going man named Judah, is worsened when she runs into her high school drama teacher at the grocery store. “What are you still doing here?” he asks, “I figured the next time I saw you it would be in a movie.” Eventually, leave Virgina she does. Birdie pools all her savings toward a one-way bus ticket to Los Angeles.

December 14, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, California, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Drift-of-Life


Tim Thornton, the author of THE ALTERNATIVE HERO and DEATH OF AN UNSIGNED BAND springs from the Nick Hornby realm of fiction. Hornby, one of the most interesting British writers of his generation excels with the creation of the fictional disconnected male obsessive and his two great loves: music and sports. Now here’s Tim Thornton, and his wonderful, engaging and very funny book, The Alternative Hero. First the disclaimer: if you don’t like music, then go away you boring person. But if you’re like me and connect various episodes of your misspent youth with the music of the day (whatever era that may be), then there’s an excellent chance that you may enjoy this book–the tale of a thirty-something who never really got over the carefree days of concerts, music memorabilia, and the unrestrained hero worship of a rock musician.

September 30, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Drift-of-Life, Humorous, United Kingdom


It’s difficult to compare Per Petterson with anyone except Per Petterson. His writing is always exquisite and precise and heartbreaking and spare. In OUT STEALING HORSES and TO SIBERIA, each word is used as a brick, building one upon the other, and not one brick is out of place.

Per Petterson’s craftsmanship is on display here, as it has been in his prior novels. Alas, I CURSE THE RIVER OF TIME, which explores the relationship between a mother and a son, is more static and sluggish than his other works. Still, Petterson at his less-than-best is still better than most writers at the height of their powers.

August 4, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Drift-of-Life, Literary, World Lit

JULIET, NAKED by Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby novels translate well into film. Just think about HIGH FIDELITY and ABOUT A BOY, which have taken their place in the movie catalogs of many Hornby fans since their release. His latest work, JULIET NAKED, seems to possess the same potential. Well, the first scene does anyway, which would make a great opening shot: a forty-year-old Brit having his photo taken at a urinal in a Minneapolis club where his musical hero decided to stop writing songs in 1986. The photographer in this scene, Annie, has accompanied her – “Partner? Life Partner? Friend?” – of fifteen years, Duncan, to America. On a quasi-religious pilgrimage, they visit singer-songwriter Tucker Crowe’s points of interest – birthplace, career-ending urinal, and home of the beautiful woman who inspired Tucker’s greatest album, Juliet.

February 26, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Drift-of-Life, Humorous, y Award Winning Author


Steve Abee has created, in JOHNNY FUTURE, a character with a unique voice and energy. He represents a blend of a hyper-urbanized Holden Caulfield, sassy and street-smart, with a big-hearted and wide-eyed Huck Finn. It is no small matter that I compare Johnny Future, the character, with these two icons of American literature. I find him that compelling, his voice that unrelenting. It is a voice that becomes less concise and more shrill in the latter half of the novel, but that is to be expected, given the course of events. What else would you expect from a guy named Future, with a hooker girlfriend named America, a buddy named Jesus and sidekick called Beast? But I am getting ahead of myself.

January 13, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Contemporary, Drift-of-Life