Culture & Conversation

Posts by Matt Leslie

In Sweet Affliction, Moving Day is mandatory in a dystopic Montreal

Montreal flipped on its tête

Anna Leventhal’s Sweet Affliction has Montreal flipped on its tête – one in which Moving Day is mandatory and sanctioned by the province, one in which Hasidic Jews interact socially with their non-Orthodox neighbours, and one in which the Hippodrome is the set of a twisted reality show where illegal immigrants vie for citizenship.

Lew Terman demonstrating the theremin

Theremin and pheromones

Romance, cold war espionage, New York in the Roaring Twenties and even French Montreal all linger in the background of Sean Michaels’ debut novel about Russian inventor Lev Termen.

Darjac (private collection), Wikimedia Commons

A touch of magic realism

With Bear, Bo can be the champion he’s always wanted to be, and his life seems to take on a magical quality. But the magic ends when Gerry’s boss gets wind of Bo’s sister, and wants to put her in his carnival freak show.

It’s All Science Fiction

Montreal-based artist and writer Joe Ollmann returns with Science Fiction, a graphic novel that more or less follows the same thread as his highly successful 2010 Mid-Life. However, Mark, the protagonist in his new work, is facing a mid-life crisis that’s out of this world – or so Mark thinks. After watching a bad sci-fi movie with his girlfriend, Sue, Mark suddenly finds himself in the fetal position, grappling with repressed memories of his abduction by aliens when he was in college.

Caught in the undertow

Lisa Moore returns with a novel that makes good on the accolades she received for February, her 2009 title. Caught opens with a prisoner on the run, David Slaney, a would-be smuggler who escapes from prison on the eve of his 25th birthday. Slaney had been four years into a sentence for spearheading one of the biggest pot-smuggling cases in Canadian history, but now that he’s out, he and his buddy Hearn plan to do it all over again. This time, they won’t get caught.

To Hell and Back

Still hot on the heels of her Giller Prize nominated novel The Antagonist, Lynn Coady returns with Hellgoing, her first short story collection since 2000’s Play The Monster Blind. These nine stories will quickly transport the reader into familiar Coady territory: troubled families, big city vs. small town drunks, pregnant teenagers, strained amorous relationships, the literary world and devout Catholics.

Oh Horrors!

With five critically acclaimed novels, including Lost Girls and The Killing Circle to his credit, Andrew Pyper takes on the devil with his newest blockbuster The Demonologist. Mixing a touch of Dan Brown with a lot of Dean Koontz in this first-person narrative, the author tells the tale of a man struggling with his personal demons.