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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Lisa Moore's first novel reminds me of old Robert Altman films in which we are introduced to individual characters who eventually converge in one dramatic climax. It also resembles the alligator, slow moving until it snaps in one fleet and deadly motion. 
The story takes place in St. John's Newfoundland. These are the main  characters to whom we are introduced one chapter at a time:
  • Colleen, 17 year old aspiring eco-terrorist
  • Frank, a lonely boy grieving the recent death of his mother and trying to protect the hotdog business that he worked so hard to buy
  • Madeleine, Colleen's aunt and big time filmmaker working on her last, most glorious piece
  • Beverly, Colleen's mother, still mourning her beloved husbandyears after he is gone
  • Isobel, an aging actress who returns home to star in Madeleine's film
  • Valentin, a reptilian psycho Russian criminal
We are doled out little nuggets of their lives as the story slowly builds. Moore's use of language is descriptively exquisite. They have all lost someone important in their lives and are unable to move on; they are lonely; they are sad; they are as reckless as the man who placed his head in the mouth of an alligator.
This is not for fans of the plot-driven novel. Would I recommend it? You bet.

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