Canadian Bill Gaston Mount Appetite

ISBN 13: 9781551924519

Mount Appetite

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9781551924519: Mount Appetite

Short-listed for Canada's prestigious Giller Prize, Mount Appetite presents 12 vibrant, intensely human tales of desire and alienation. "Everyone at the top of Mt. Appetite is as close as they can get to heaven. It's work to get there and agony to be denied." Whether a salmon researcher, professional taster, illiterate faith healer, or Malcolm Lowry's illegitimate son, the protagonists in these sly and witty stories have all climbed the mountain, and all share a restless, relentless longing that they struggle to satiate through alcohol, drugs, sex, or schemes of the heart. Bill Gaston, author of the critically acclaimed The Good Body, evinces a remarkable dexterity of voice as he moves effortlessly among his colorful cast of characters, drawing the junkie with the same skill and compassion as the teenaged 7-11 clerk. Grotesque, unsettling, and oddly tender, Mount Appetite is short fiction at its finest.

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From Publishers Weekly:

A dozen rueful and gorgeously observed if sometimes oblique stories centered on the idea of appetites (their denial and their satisfaction) make up Gaston's (The Good Body; Sex Is Red; etc.) latest. In "The Alcoholist," a man with an exquisitely sensitive palate who is dying of cancer mourns all that he will no longer consume and, at the same time, makes peace with his death through the experience of one final intimate tasting. In "The Little Drug Addict Who Could," a young heroin addict, turning to his Uncle Jack for support as he tries to kick his habit, ends up introducing Jack to the drug, which is, the boy says, as magical as "sucking the big, beautiful breast. Not just any breast. Mother's breast. The best mother's breast.... It's like sucking Eve's breast." A heavy drinker's hopes for romance with a road-block cop are sweetly unrealistic in "Driving Under the Influence," and a fish researcher's sexual urges become tied to the fate of her latest aquatic subjects in "The Northern Cod." Gaston's prose is careful and probing, which makes up for a few rambling entries and the odd lethargic conclusion.
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