Bad Endings

Bad Endings

Book - 2017
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Winner of the City of Vancouver Book AwardFinalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. Carleigh Baker likes to make light in the dark. Whether plumbing family ties, the end of a marriage, or death itself, she never lets go of the witty, the ironic, and perhaps most notably, the awkward. Despite the title, the resolution in these stories isn't always tragic, but it's often uncomfortable, unexpected, or just plain strange. Character digressions, bad decisions, and misconceptions abound. While steadfastly local in her choice of setting, Baker's deep appreciation for nature takes a lot of these stories out of Vancouver and into the wild. Salmon and bees play reoccurring roles in these tales, as do rivers. Occasionally, characters blend with their animal counterparts, adding a touch of magic realism. Nature is a place of escape and attempted convalescence for characters suffering from urban burnout. Even if things get weird along the way, as Hunter S. Thompson said, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." In Bad Endings, Baker takes troubled characters to a moment of realization or self-revelation, but the results aren't always pretty.
Publisher: Vancouver : Anvil Press, 2017
Copyright Date: ♭2017
ISBN: 9781772140767
1772140767
Branch Call Number: FIC BAKER 2017
Characteristics: 166 pages ; 22 cm

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wyenotgo
Dec 04, 2017

I recall one or two very long evenings at gatherings that had been optimistically announced as parties, during which every drink tasted more putrid than the one before it and each inebriated jerk I encountered was more tiresome and vapid than his predecessor. This book brought those memories unpleasantly to mind. In order for the endings to be bad, what came before needed to be a bit better, just for the sake of contrast. It wasn't.
Several of the stories involved bees. The bees have my sympathy having to put up with these people. I understand that the stories are a reflection of the author's life experiences. I'm sorry about that but I see no point in sharing her sad, chaotic life.

r
rabbiejones
Sep 07, 2017

This is a slim but perfect collection of short stories, each one a little slice of very real and honest human life. Each story feels familiar and funny and like something you've experienced for yourself at one time or another, especially if you're from Vancouver or BC and grew up here in the 70s or 80s. The author has an effortless voice and the dialogue never feels forced or unnatural, always very authentic and relatable. A quick read (165 pages!) and worth every minute.

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