amongst books

amongst books

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Best of 2012: Fiction

Barry Webster, the Lava in My Bones

I'm still reading this book, but I'm confident it merits a mention on the best of 2012 fiction list. Webster's writing is imaginative and quirky. He goes places I would never have dreamt of and I have a great imagination. Apparently fairy tales are back in fashion again. These linked stories about an unassertive geologist and his eccentric brash lover Franz, who is reminiscent of Dieter of the Sprockets of SNL fame certainly qualify. When the two have sex, snow falls. Magic stuff.

Vincent Lam, the Headmaster's Wager
everybody knows this book is great. I loved Lam's short story collection. this novel takes one of the stories and extends it into a full-length book. there were moments when I simply couldn't put the book down. I wasn't expecting Lam to write horror so well. the scene of the son's torture is magnificent in its grotesquerie.

Remittance Girl, Beautiful Losers
another book I'm still reading by one of erotica's master storytellers. the main character becomes embroiled in an unusual threesome with a gay and a bi-man. the sex is delicious and the characters are fascinating. well-rendered edginess. Remittance Girl's work is high quality literary fiction worthy of prizes.

Shawna Lemay, Hive, A Forgery
this self-published gem caught me by surprise. it is a highly fragmented work.  Lemay evokes many of the issues of creativity and writers' block thru her narrator. she writes beautiful prose with heaps of intriguing references to writing and art. it's a work that merits many rereads. full disclosure: I published an excerpt in the latest issue of Experiment-O.

Daniel Allen Cox, Basement of Wolves
I wax poetic about Cox's fiction. I love it. there's a poignancy to the writing; the characters are eccentric and the prose is exquisitely written, full of humour & wit. out of his four works so far, Krakow Melts, his second novel, is my favourite, but Basement of Wolves with its satirical look at the movie industry, is a close second.

Tamara Faith Berger, Maidenhead
as a fan of the writing of George Bataille, I couldn't help but enjoy this contemporary tale of a young woman's corruption from innocence. mainstreamers find this book shocking, which I find cute. the story is well-told, the main character is an intelligent teenager who I feel empathy with and compassion for.  perhaps CanLit is finally discovering transgressive literature. it's about bloody time.

Ami McKay - the Virgin Cure

I loved this tale of young Moth, a girl who ends up in New York City brothel in the late 1800s. brings to mind Michel Faber's masterpiece Crimson Petal and the White. I'm a sucker for fiction set in the 1800s about prostitutes, but this one has a special appeal because it also features the woman doctor who helped Moth out and that character is based on McKay's own grandmother, if memory serves or perhaps another ancestor.
Memories of Great Books Past
Esi Edugyan's Half-Blood Blues, Amber Dawn's Sub Rosa, Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife also read this year or late last year and of course, the late and brilliant John Lavery's novel "Sandra Beck" & his two short story collection "Very Good Butter" and "You Kwaznievski, You Piss Me Off."

2012 Books To Be Read
Tanis Rideout's Above All Things, Elisabeth de Mariaffi's How To Get Along With Women, Annabel Lyon's the Sweet Girl, Linda Spalding's the Purchase, David Bergen's the Age of Hope, Spencer Gordon's Cosmo…so many books to enjoy.

what's on your best of 2012 fiction list?

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