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October 06, 2005
  Book Review: A strong debutPDF files may take a moment to load

You've finally finished your liberal arts degree. You scour the wanted ads, ready to find your place among the educated elite, the upper crust of society, the movers and the shakers. The problem is you despise every last one of them. They are your enemy.

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September 29, 2005
  Book Interview: Wiebe's gourmet prosePDF files may take a moment to load

Award-winning Alberta author Rudy Wiebe would like to give you a gourmet feast instead of taking you to McDonald's. No, this decent proposal isn't the result of some "Win a Date with Rudy" contest but rather an analogy the award-winning Alberta author makes regarding his writing.

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September 08, 2005
  Book Review: Lunar Park an ambitious readPDF files may take a moment to load

Bret Easton Ellis is about as controversial as a novelist can be. The literary world is firmly divided along two lines when it comes to his prose: they either love it or loathe it. Those who sing his accolades do so on grounds of his sharply satirical, hip writing style and effortless ability to pinpoint the nihilism of youth. His detractors, or in many instances haters, view his work as sophomoric, fragmented and as in the case of his most notorious work, American Psycho, highly misogynistic.

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August 11, 2005
  Book Review: Grizzly sucksPDF files may take a moment to load

"A lot of books that get published suck."

These immortal words from Everybody Loves Raymond's Robert Barone are a fitting analysis of Grizzly Lies, the second mystery novel by local author Eileen Coughlan. The novel is mediocre, but because there are so many other books like it the full impact of its pedestrian nature is lessened. Grizzly Lies isn't the worst mystery ever published, but it is riddled with enough problems it shouldn't have gotten the green light. Namely far too many characters and a convoluted plot.

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August 11, 2005
  Book Review: A Complicated coming-of-agePDF files may take a moment to load

An integral element of any coming-of-age novel is the repressive situation against which the angst-ridden protagonist rebels. For Esther Greenwood in The Bell Jar it was societal pressures for her to be a proper woman. For J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield it was pretty much everything. Nomi Nickel, the heroine in Miriam Toews' celebrated novel A Complicated Kindness, now available in paperback, struggles with her Mennonite community in southern Manitoba.

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August 04, 2005
  Book Review: Doo dads galorePDF files may take a moment to load

With the advent of Internet auction sites like eBay in the mid-90s, many collectors have moved beyond garage sales, flea markets and auction houses in search of the perfect addition to their collections. Cyberspace eases the pursuit as collectibles of every conceivable sort from the other side of the world are far more accessible. Given the incredible range of items found on auction sites, collectors are going beyond the tradition of coins and stamps in favour of more sophisticated items, like electronic technology.

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July 21, 2005
  Book Review: Harry Potter misses sixth stepPDF files may take a moment to load

Since the series debut in 1998, Harry Potter has managed to protect a magic rock from an evil wizard, fight a big snake, prove the innocence of his godfather, save a Hippogriff, watch a friend die at the hands of the same evil wizard, narrowly escape with his own life on several occasions, dispel rumours he was crazy by sicking a pack of centaurs on an old woman, watch his godfather die, play a lot of Quidditch and generally save the world from certain doom time and again.

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November 04, 2004
  BOOK INTERVIEW: Alistair MacLeod's MischiefPDF files may take a moment to load

Success in the literary world comes with great prestige, but the prizes and acclaim sought by writers are subject to ardent competition. A trip to the top of the literary ranks requires a lifetime of work and devotion. A story often cited is of Canadian author Margaret Atwood deciding at the age of ten or twelve she would become one of the world's great writers, and then spending the rest of her life achieving the acclaim she has now.

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October 28, 2004
  Book Inteview: Sodomy is the new poetryPDF files may take a moment to load

As you walk to class one lovely fall day, crunching through leaves, sun on your face, watching agile squirrels jump from branch to branch, you may not have noticed the shaved head sitting on the shoulders of a black leather coat in the midst of the picturesque fall landscape. It was the head of author Mingus Tourette, out of which much controversy has crawled into the light of a disapproving mainstream, most recently in the form of his book nunt, for which he recently toured Canada to promote.

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October 14, 2004
  Book Interview: Hollingshead talksPDF files may take a moment to load

Certain stories stick with us. There are tales we hear in our minds, time and time again. Maybe it's a favorite movie or book, or maybe it's a story from a friend, but this story has imprinted itself on your brain.

About twenty years ago Canadian author Greg Hollingshead read the mental case study of James Tilley Matthews, written by Matthews' doctor John Haslam, in the Faber Book of Madness. Matthews' story intrigued Hollingshead, so much the author crafted the details of that story into his latest novel, Bedlam.

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