Set in Victoria, B.C., in 1881, Innocent Cities brilliantly weaves together the lives and lies of an entire community. Logan Sumner is a young widower and architect who dreams of transforming the tiny port city of Victoria into one of the great cities of the world. When he’s not chiseling a record of his life onto his tombstone, Sumner awkwardly courts the daughter of James Horncastle, an inveterate gambler and the swaggering proprietor of The Great Blue Heron Hotel. Their lives – and those of the bizarre group of guests who frequent the hotel – are changed forever when a mysterious widow from Australia arrives in Victoria with startling revelations from her past. Rich with intrigue, warm humour, and a memorable cast of characters, Innocent Cities is a compelling tale from one of Canada’s finest writers.
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“A perfect tragicomedy, slipping and sliding from raucous laughter to bitter sadness and back again. Hodgins has once again set himself the task of inventing a world in all its rich contradictions of desire fulfilled and lost; and he has succeeded brilliantly.”
“Complex, intelligent, and artfully constructed...”
–Books in Canada
“A freewheeling story of love and ambition....”
“Hodgins writes with infectious charm and boyish enthusiasm for eccentric and larger-than-life characters....[He] is a writer of boundless energy and talent....”
“Readers who enjoy Hodgins’ free play with reality, his ability to see the magical in the everyday, to take the surreal easily in his stride, will find much to beguile them...[Innocent Cities is] an elaborate and entirely welcome monument to the genius of its creator.”
– Montreal Gazette
“[Innocent Cities] has the masterful touch of a writer who knows his setting intimately....Hodgins’s greatest talent lies in his ability to create memorable portrayals of vivid, sometimes disturbing, individuals....His examination of the crippling effects of hatred and hypocrisy is at times stunning....Innocent Cities digs deep into the human character, seeking out the hidden, often nasty, baggage that people carry with them.”
“It’s a luxuriously written book, full of Hodgins’s wit, quiet wisdom and graceful turns of phrase.”
– Halifax Daily News
“Jack Hodgins tells a rattling good tale....One cannot but be delighted by the romping of such a fertile imagination, and cannot help but participate in the evident delight of this storyteller in the miracle of words as they shape...a most entertaining narrative.”
–Globe and Mail
“Innocent Cities is both humorous and enchanting, with its cast of oddball characters.”
“[Hodgins’s characters] are as remarkably distinct and memorable as one’s own friends and relatives....Jack Hodgins has sung into existence a world that is at once as real as the Inner Harbour and as magical as the antipodean wilderness.”
–Monday Magazine (Victoria)
“Innocent Cities is just the kind of enjoyable, funny and endearing novel one has come to expect from Jack Hodgins....A rollicking read.”
Jack Hodgins was born and raised on Vancouver Island. He taught Creative Writing at a number of Canadian universities, and retired from the University of Victoria in 2002.
He is the author of seven novels, including The Invention of the World; The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne, winner of the Governor General’s Award; The Macken Charm; Broken Ground, winner of the Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction; and Distance; and three books of short stories, Spit Delaney’s Island, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award; The Barclay Family Theatre; and Damage Done by the Storm. He is also the author of A Passion for Narrative: A Guide for Writing Fiction.
Hodgins has been awarded the Canada-Australia Prize, among many others, has received three honorary degrees, and has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Book Description Emblem Editions, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0771041977
Book Description Emblem Editions, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0771041977