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Silent Cruise: A Novella and Stories

Timothy Taylor

33 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1582432163 / ISBN 13: 9781582432168
Published by Counterpoint, 2002
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Silent Cruise: A Novella and Stories

Publisher: Counterpoint

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

Edition: 1.

About this title


In Timothy Taylor's "Doves of Townsend, " these words, found in the pages of a field guide to butterflies, throw a lifeline to a young woman struggling to stay emotionally afloat in the wake her father's suicide. They help her to explain to herself her father's obsession with beautiful things. They also help her to understand the true value of her father's legacy -- the family's antiques business, and her own inborn helplessness before the beautiful and the real.

"Doves of Townsend" was chosen the best short story of the year 2000 by the judges of the Journey Prize, the Canadian counterpart to the U.S. O. Henry Prize Story. It and the eight other pieces collected here, many of them already anthologized in Best Canadian Short Stories and other annuals, bring us a new voice in short fiction -- brilliant, stylish, humorous, and humane. In each of Taylor's tales, certain mysterious things of this world -- an antique watch, a mountain of radiators, a racing-form, a constellation -- reveal their beauty to those who have eyes to see. To read Silent Cruise is to see this poignant beauty for oneself, and, like Taylor's characters, to have one's life irresistibly changed by it.


Silent Cruise, Timothy Taylor's first collection of short fiction, is a long, lush series of stories that will delight fans of his enormously successful debut novel, Stanley Park. Several of these strangely original stories are obliquely connected with each other (either through strange thematic turns or common characters), and they share with the novel a western Canada setting and an interest in food.

Taylor begins with "Doves of Townsend," a piece about an antique buyer whose fetishization of beautiful made things is challenged by a calculated brush with the real world--in the form of a collection of butterflies found scattered across a table at a flea market. The author then moves into even more eclectic territory: in "The Resurrection Plant" an ostracized Jewish high school student in Edmonton shares a locker with a teenage tough who insists on displaying a Nazi flag; while in "The Boar's Head Easter" a Vancouver cook travels to Chicago to meet his mother's mysterious old flame, nursing a half-spoken passion for his best friend's girlfriend all the while. The novella that concludes the collection, "NewStart 2.0TM," traces two artists from rural Saskatchewan through their truly bizarre lives to a confrontation in Rome, raising old questions about artistic production in a strange and unusual fashion. A couple of the pieces (most notably the title story) feel like filler, but by and large they are deft, melancholic, and utterly wonderful. --Jack Illingworth,

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