This first short fiction collection by a prominent Canadian journalist paints vivid word pictures of the world and these canvasses superimposes people in all their human imperfections.
Russell Wangersky's characters, caught in a variety of human circumstances, make some outstandingly bad decisions. A labourer enjoys new-found popularity among his co-workers after losing several fingers in a work accident. So, in the face of returning invisibility, he makes a desperate decision. An elderly shut-in chooses to believe the lies of her own life and the world view she absorbs from talk radio and finds the scapegoats that both those distortions of reality require. A man on an ill-conceived vacation decides to stay in a hot tub all day and all night, rather than face his disintegrating family.
In these stories, some people seem to escape the consequences of their bad decisions, some people wind up being redeemed, and some are left to fates the reader can only imagine. As a backdrop, often a counterpoint, to these very human struggles, Wangersky paints the most exquisite canvasses with his words. Whether it be landscape or seascape of his long-time home in Newfoundland, startling weather, fine woodworking, or the workings of a factory, he presents us with note-perfect descriptions of the often-stunning world in which we imperfect humans live.
Wangersky reminds us, even bad decisions can be cause for celebration, of what it means to be human.