Description from back cover:
In his debut novel, FAR FROM NOWHERE, author Deron Hamel unleashes a startling account of a disillusioned college student who's on a desperate search for identity.
Battling boredom and depression, Ross leaves Toronto to reunite with old friends who have seemingly found solace on the West Coast. But as the scene unravels, Ross' downward spiral gains momentum as he becomes vacuumed into the subculture of trendy nightclubs, all night rave parties, and designer drugs. He soon realizes that living on the Coast has changed his friends, especially Ethan, an alcoholic con-man; and Quinn, owner of an underground nightclub whose behaviour has becom dangerously unpredictable.
Told in a high-speed, chemically-charged narrative, we see Ross careen from naive drifter to cynical outcast to frightened exile. FAR FROM NOWHERE begins as a subtly optimistic story about searching for change. What we are left with is an alarming portait of a generation who moves too fast for its own good.
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I figured that taking the train out here would be a good way to see the country. But it's been awful. Looking at the empty scenery outside my carriage window plagues me with thoughts of just how depressing everything is. The thoughts that began when I left have followed me all the way here. Thoughts that no matter how hard I try to abandon, are still stuck in my head. When I finally get to the station in Vancouver and step off the train, I can hardly remember boarding it five days ago. My mind's become a concoction of weariness, boredom and self-absorption, and this causes me to think about all the things I'd rather forget.
Things back home were bringing me down; that's why I left. School sucked, my family and most of my friends weren't worth dealing with anymore, and I just wanted to distance myself from everything. So when Ethan Rafferty wrote to me last month and asked if I wanted to hang out with him on the Coast for a while, I didn't hesitate in mailing him my reply. I withdrew the rest of my grant money from my bank account and left for the Coast two days after writing my final exam.
Ethan's been living with this guy we know named Quinn Mitchell who came out here last summer when he and another guy bought a nightclub. He's six or seven years older than Ethan and me, and he used to share a place with us back in Toronto. Quinn had talked Ethan into moving out here with him and his girlfriend and his eighteen-year-old brother, Andy. Ethan told me that Quinn hasn't been the same since Andy killed himself, though. He blames himself for it. Andy had gotten into smack pretty bad I hear, and had moved out of Quinn's house and started living on the streets and that's when he got AIDS. Three weeks after he tested positive he slashed his wrists in the bathroom of some rooming-house. That was just five months ago.
When they all left for the Coast last year they asked me to come along too, but I stayed behind. I had no desire to come here. I'd always thought the West Coast scene was lame; just an over-hyped playground for burn-outs from all over the country to congregate; a place where people went to find refuge from unemployment or bad weather or maybe the Harris government. I was probably right. It's a year later and I find myself sitting on a Vancouver bound train, a one-way ticket in my pocket.
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