Thursday, October 13, 2011

Canterbury Trail by Angie Abdou

After an unexpected dump of spring snow in the Canadian Rockies, a motley group from a tiny ski town makes a pilgrimage to a backcountry ski hut for one last powder extravaganza. Mountain conditions are ripe for an avalanche, but human interactions are just as volatile in this mix of snowmobilers, skiers, snowshoers and a snowboarder together with four dogs, an overcrowded cabin and copious amounts of booze and drugs.

Angie Abdou takes full advantage of the possibilities for humour when incompatible (and immature and horny) people are in close quarters. She pays homage to Chaucer in subtle ways, like having the cook (who made marijuana cookies) become too stoned to tell a coherent story. The short chapters keep shifting to different limited third person points of view and so the reader gets multi-dimensional character sketches. They are believable people, flawed but with redeeming qualities. The only two I could see myself hanging out with are the lesbians, but I could only take Cosmos in small doses. She's the kind of person who would use "goddess" as a verb.

The very best thing about the book, however, is the ending. I LOVED it! If you read Canterbury Trail and disagree that it's a fabulous ending, I'll see you in the comments area.


Angie Abdou said...

Thanks! I love that you got the cook reference. A background in Chaucer?

I'm glad that you liked the ending ... that gets mixed reviews (obviously).

Angie Abdou

Lindy said...

Angie, my knowledge of Chaucer is based mainly on a comic strip retelling by Marcia Williams. As to the ending of your novel, members of my book group were unanimous in our approval.