"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 PEI Guardian"

(A few bits from the PEI Guardian, jan.6th, 2006...)

The Guardian (Charlottetown)
Friday, January 6, 2006
Page: C3
Section: Entertainment
Byline: Elizabeth Cran

Maritime novelists release new books

Have you heard of Jerrod Edson? What about Chris Eaton? Chances are you will soon, if you haven't. That's because both of these young men are in the process of becoming well-known Canadian novelists.

Edson's fame may even eventually spread beyond the shores of this continent. Edson is from Saint John, N.B., and his second novel, The Dirty Milkman, (Oberon Press, Ottawa) has just appeared. Like his first, The Making of Harry Cossaboom, (DreamCatcher, Saint John) it's firmly rooted in working-class Saint John.

Nevertheless its theme - finding out what you really want to be and do - is universal. And its main characters, Charlie, a young writer who has stopped writing and become a milkman, and Prin, a 19-year-old prostitute who takes pride in her work, are not only complex and interesting, but attractive, especially Prin.

Not every reader will want to penetrate beyond the dirt, drinking and rough language to discover any of this. Those who do will find a short novel that's well worth the effort.

Some of this, of course, is due to the characters and the vivid descriptions. Some of the latter reflect the beauty of the world, of which Charlie, in particular, is very much aware.

It's dawn at both the beginning of the narrative and its end, and I dare to say not even Homer with his "rosy-fingered dawn" has better conveyed this natural phenomenon and the feelings that often go with it.

Edson's simple, straightforward style, which looks easy but is really hard to achieve, is one of this book's most important features. It would be worth study, except it would be a shame to treat so good a book in that way.

It certainly belongs among the best novels of 2005.

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