Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Watcher from the Man Descending collection by Guy Vanderhaeghe

I came across Vanderhaeghe's name from reading Roy MacGregor's book.

My awakening of all things Canadian has begun to spin into the fiction I'm reading.  Up until now I have always read some kind of genre story.  My chief frustration with science fiction is the amount of exposition most stories require. There always has to be an explanation of the situation we are in and the rules of this new universe.

With literary fiction there is none of that.  We just need to know when and where the story takes place, we already know the rules of planet Earth.

But I have never read literary fiction.  I have always assumed there is a fundamental lack of plot and why would I want to read about nothing really happening?

But, I decided, if I am going to read Canadian stories, I will have to read literature.

In this first story, Charlie, a boy of eleven years, is sent to spend the summer of 1959 at his grandmother's farm.

Charlie's family is a bit of a mess.  One day his aunt Evelyn arrives with her slick and unlikable boyfriend.  What transpires is a battle of wills between the grandmother and the boyfriend.

I was rather surprised by how raw the story was.  I found myself completely immersed in it with five pages.

This is a rather good start to something new for me.

Guy Vanderhaeghe

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