On a summer evening in Stratford, Ontario, the errantthrust of a gardener’s spade slices a telephone cable intoinstant silence. The resulting disconnection isdevastating. With the failure of one call to reach thehouse, an ambitious young actor becomes the victim ofsexual blackmail. The blocking of a second call leadstragically to murder. And when a Bell Canada repairmanarrives to mend the broken line, his innocent yetirresistible male beauty has explosive consequences.
In Spadework, Timothy Findley a master storytellerand playwright, has created an electric word-play ofinfidelity and morality, set on the stage of Stratford,Ontario Findley’s home territory. In this insider’sfictional portrait of Canada’s pre-eminent theater town,intrigue, passion and ambition are always waiting in thewings. He peoples the town with theater makers, artists,writers, and visitors, both welcome and unwelcome and with lives that are immediately recognizable as“Findleyesque” the lonely, the dispossessed and thesexually troubled whose foibles confound their families,their friends and even their pets. A story that rippleswith ever-widening repercussions, a sensual andcompletely absorbing read, Spadework is anotherTimothy Findley winner.
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Timothy Findley was one of Canada’s most compelling and best loved writers, from the publication of his first novel in 1967 until his death in June 2002. His acclaimed novels include Spadework, Pilgrim, The Piano Man’s Daughter, Headhunter, Not Wanted on the Voyage, Famous Last Words and The Wars. Findley was a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Award: The Wars won the 1977 award for fiction; Elizabeth Rex, a play, won the 2000 award for drama. The recipient of many accolades for his fiction, non-fiction and drama, including the Chalmers Award and the Edgar Award, Findley was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France.From Publishers Weekly:
Bestselling Canadian writer Findley, whose stylish and complexly plotted novels have acquired an appreciative audience, here departs from his usual dark scenarios to produce an erotically powered narrative in which all's well that ends well. The setting is the town of Stratford, Ontario, home of the Shakespeare Festival. Findley (Pilgrim) knows this world well, and he conveys it with atmospheric detail. The inadequacy of mere ambition, even when one has talent, is the lesson learned by rising actor Griffin Kincaid, when he realizes that luck and fate can also play havoc with dreams of theatrical stardom. After Kincaid refuses a sexual proposition by his manipulative homosexual director, Jonathan Crawford, he is denied the roles he'd been promised. Griffin's wife, Jane, a Louisiana set designer for the theater, is bitter because Griffin refuses to let her use her substantial inherited income to buy a home in which to raise their seven-year-old son. When, by chance, her gardener cuts a buried phone line, dramatic events ensue. The telephone repairman is a young Polish immigrant, inarticulate but strangely beautiful, and Jane is aroused. Attracted to the repairman yet worried by Griffin's inattention, Jane suspects that her husband is having an affair with an actress. Then she realizes he has capitulated to Jonathan's demands. Despite being a sexual bully, Jonathan is acutely sensitive to Shakespeare, and his insights are enlightening. A hopeful ending provides uplift, but does not, unfortunately, compensate for shopworn characterization and the overdone Tennessee Williams atmosphere. For Findley, this is a curiously slapdash performance.
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Book Description Harper Flamingo Canada, Toronto, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 149 mm X 221 mm. Bookseller Inventory # 038704
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