"Edson’s vivid portrayal of the urban area, as well as the working class and underclass, creates a vision of Saint John that highlights the discrepancy between the pre-modern idyllic notion of life in Atlantic Canada and the more complicated reality of the region."


-The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Dirty Milkman reviewed in "The New Brunswick Reader"

(A few bits taken from the NB Reader, jan. 16, 2006...)

Reader - Books
As published on page 16 on January 21, 2006


Review by E.E. Cran
The Dirty Milkman
By Jerrod Edson
Oberon Press, 150 pages

The Grammar Architect
By Chris Eaton
Insomniac Press


Overall, this reviewer prefers novel set in Saint John
Both novels are by young New Brunswickers
At first sight, these two novels have much in common. Both are by New Brunswick writers in their early thirties - Jerrod Edson is from Saint John while Chris Eaton is from Sackville.

Each is its author's second book. Both are products of a chaotic world in which the main characters may or may not find something that matters, at least to themselves.The differences, however, in the way the authors deal with this world and its inhabitants are what make these books notable, if not always congenial to our old friend the general reader.

Although The Dirty Milkman has an off-putting name, do not be repulsed by it if you wish to read a good new novel.

Jerrod Edson's first novel The Making of Harry Cassaboom was promising; this one goes well beyond it and fulfills its promise.

Like its predecessor, it takes place in Saint John, which is described in almost too much loving detail. Its main characters - Charlie White, a writer turned milkman, and Prin, a young prostitute - have both given up on living a more than mediocre life devoid of much feeling.The plot shows them becoming more alive and aware of themselves, the world around them, and their true potential.This happens through their interplay with one another.While the novel's ending leaves their future open, the possibility for something better is definitely there; meanwhile there's the present moment to enjoy. Grey daylight may be coming, but the redness of dawn has not yet faded.

The Dirty Milkman is simply and beautifully written. Every page is an example of this. Although it takes place in Saint John's South End, and dirt and mess abound, the overall effect is love for that part of the city. Not only South Enders should read it, however. This book should have a long and distinguished future on a global scale.

E.E. Cran lives in Tignish, P.E.I.

2 comments:

Linette said...

Great work.

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