Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Many Revenges of Kip Flynn by Sean Dixon

Family secrets, the bonds of friendship and the scourge of urban development are at the heart of this entertaining novel set in contemporary Toronto. Poor folk living and working in the Kensington Market area battle rich property developers who want to level it and put up high rise buildings there instead. Revenge based on mistaken assumptions gets carried beyond the grave when ghosts join the fight.

One of the joys of this quirky novel is the omniscient narrator who addresses the reader directly, at times, but not in the Victorian "dear Reader" style. On page 2: "Mani may not seem to be a particularly likeable character, but he is not going to be in this story for very long."

"'Why don't you sit down?' [Nancy said to Henry.] 'Have a glass of water. It's got fluoride in it.' 'That's because the government wants you dead,' said Henry. 'But at least they're killing you slowly,' said Nancy. 'There's time to sit down.'"

Find time to read this when you're in the mood to be charmed.

Readalikes: Come Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant; Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King; The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.

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