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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.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Apathy and Other Small Victories

Paul Neilan's first novel had me trying to stifle laughter so I wouldn't wake my sleeping husband. Twenty-something Shane's so-called life is a three ring circus; there's his sadistic girlfriend who finds him a temp job where he spends most of his time sleeping on the toilet, a rent-subsidized affair with his landlord's wife, the drug dealing neighbour who may or may not be buggering his pet guinea pig, the adulterous deaf dental assistant and the brain damaged dentist. Shane is a drifter who goes whichever way the wind blows. He ends up in abusive sexual relationships he doesn't want.  He winds up in a job he hates, working with people he despises. He steals salt shakers from restaurants and wakes up each morning covered in salt. Most nights he drinks himself senseless in a sordid neighbourhood bar that lacks ambience but has cheap beer. A woman is murdered; Shane is a suspect but he's too apathetic to defend himself. He's a despicable little shit who laughs at the disabled and hurts anyone unfortunate enough to cross his path. I know this angsty thing has been done to death but this novel happens to be LOL, snorting, tears running down your cheeks funny. Or maybe I'm as twisted and pathetic as Shane.

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