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The Sundog Season [Paperback]

John Geddes

List Price: CDN$ 19.95
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Book Description

May 10 2005
Co-Winner of the 2006 Ottawa Book Award for English fiction, whose jury wrote: "The Sundog Season is a nuanced portrayal of small-town life, seen through the eyes of a young boy growing up in a northern Ontario mining town. This part coming-of-age, part mystery novel is witty and wise, packed full of memorable characters and original situations, all beautifully written."This first novel tells the story of a boy whose life changes when a mysterious, menacing new police sergeant arrives in town. Setting out to discover the taciturn officer's secrets, the young narrator must sift through gossip, fortune telling, and signs in the sky. "The writing," W.P. Kinsella said in Books in Canada, "is exceptional, clear, straightforward, allowing us to see and hear the characters as if they were in the room." He also praised the novel's "subtle but wonderful plot twists."The Sundog Season drew wide critical acclaim for its wintry images of Northern Ontario and its vivid characters. "Remarkable." The Gazette (Montreal). "Adept." The Globe and Mail. "Extraordinarily skillful." The Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay). "A joy to read." The Ottawa Citizen.The Sundog Season's particular appeal for young adult readers was highlighted when it was short-listed for the Ontario Library Association's White Pine Award. And for its chapters that evoke the atmosphere of a small-town Canadian arena, Dave Bidini, author of The Best Game You Can Name, cited The Sundog Season in The Globe and Mail as being among the finest hockey books.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Turnstone Press; 3 edition (May 10 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088801306X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0888013064
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 16.2 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #909,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A fine, bittersweet story of adolescence...Geddes's command of his material, and of his elegiac tone, is remarkable." -- The Gazette (Montreal), July 30, 2005:

"A joy to read...The portrayal of the 13-year-old boy is achingly real." -- The Ottawa Citizen, June 5, 2005:

"Equal parts North of 60, Stand By Me and bruising body checks...Geddes nicely catches the woodsmoke and claustrophobia of a northern town." -- The Winnipeg Free Press, June 26, 2005:

"Especially adept at capturing the shifting rapport between loving mother and coddled son." -- The Globe and Mail, July 9, 2005:

"Subtle but wonderful plot twists. The writing is exceptional, clear, straightforward, allowing us to see and hear the characters as if they were in the room." -- W.P. Kinsella in Books in Canada, November 2005:

The Sundog Season, by John Geddes is a wistful coming of age novel, deadly accurate in its portrayal of a 13-year-old small-town boy as he tries to make sense of the adult world that surrounds him. The opening is a grabber. "When I was five years old I wished for the death of another boy, prayed for it, and it happened." He lives in the tiny gold mining town of Spirit Lake in Northern Ontario, and is surrounded by a strong cast of supporting players: an older sister who may be more worldly than he imagines, an immigrant ice-maker for the hockey rink who lives on a tiny island, his less fortunate friend Mike, his pharmacist father, and some gossipy old ladies. The "stranger" arrives and he changes all their lives. The stranger is Sgt. Martin of the provincial police. Various rumors abound: some say he is after drug dealers; others claim he has been sent to investigate high-grading (the practice of miners smuggling gold out of the mine to sell on the black market); and some suspect that he is a bad cop who has been sent into exile-because of something involving girls and money.
The sergeant becomes coach of the narrator's hockey team, and proves to be exceptionally talented in that regard. Still there is something wrong. I won't give away the subtle but wonderful plot twists. The writing is exceptional, clear, straightforward, allowing us to see and hear the characters as if they were in the room. Geddes captures the hard moments when truths about living and dying are first encountered.
W.P. Kinsella (Books in Canada)
-- Books in Canada

“Beautifully written… extraordinarily skillful in its recreation of an adolescent's world.” -- The Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay), June 26, 2005

From the Publisher

Advance praise: "A deep, soulful book. Geddes's prose is aching and real..." —Dave Bidini, musician and author of The Best Game You Can Name.

"The Sundog Season dissects life and death in a small northern town, serving a souped-up version of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio—a book of gossip and mysteries, of who hates who, who is pregnant, and where the bodies are."—Mark Anthony Jarman, author of Salvage King, Ya!

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