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Reviews Written by
Matthew Shaw (Prince George, British Columbia Canada)
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Middlesex
Middlesex
by Jeffrey Eugenides
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.88
42 used & new from CDN$ 0.72

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing, Nov. 19 2008
This review is from: Middlesex (Paperback)
Although Eugenides is an extremely talented descriptive writer, he needs work on plot structure. The first three quarters of the book seemed to be building up to a satisfying climax, with many interesting family dynamics at work. Then, the last quarter of the book flops. Eugenides completely sidesteps what could have been a very interesting conclusion, giving the reader insight into Cal's life as an adult, Milton's difficulty accepting the new Cal, and the family secrets finally coming to light. Instead, Eugenides seemed to run out of steam, and the last quarter of the book is insipidly inconsistent with the rest of the story. I hate to see talented writers blow what could have been a great finish.

Virtual Clearcut: Or, The Way Things Are in My Hometown
Virtual Clearcut: Or, The Way Things Are in My Hometown
by Brian Fawcett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.76
26 used & new from CDN$ 2.84

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fawcett Can Really Turn a Phrase, Oct. 16 2003
I just finished reading Virtual Clearcut by Brian Fawcett, who grew up in Prince George, BC but left as a young man in the early seventies to embark upon a "thoughtful life" in Vancouver and Toronto. That in itself is interesting; Fawcett feels that the rough and tumble, freewheeling and predominately working-class character of the North did not provide the requisite environment to be the philosopher he wanted to be. As they say, perception is reality.
Virtual Clearcut, written over a dozen years, was originally intended to be an indictment of Northern BC's rapacious logging practices as well as an exposé on the evils of globalization. What the book is really about, however, is a thoughtful, middle-aged man moving through the life cycle, re-evaluating what home, lost youth, and community means. Although Fawcett at first seems ambivalent towards Prince George, it ultimately becomes clear that he actually loves the place and has felt a nagging sense of loss ever since he left.
Brian Fawcett is an exceptional writer. His style is deeply reflective, slightly edgy, and dense with human insight. From one page to the next, I was surprised and enchanted by his verbal virtuosity. Overall, I would recommend the book as much for Fawcett's remarkable prose as for his ability to draw meaning from such seemingly prosaic subject matter.

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