New review online

January 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I reviewed Michael Christie’s short story collection, The Beggar’s Garden, for the National Post. I quite liked it.

It is to his credit that Christie never demonizes his characters, nor does he reduce them to a series of tics or pat psychology. The people in these stories are complex individuals, fully capable of surprising the reader by acting in ways that are unexpected, yet wholly appropriate. In “An Ideal Companion,” a man befriends a woman with a harelip whom he meets in a dog park; although she becomes associated with her affliction in his mind, Christie maintains an ironic distance, such that the reader is able to see her for more than her physical deformity. The intimate moment that the couple negotiate is nicely handled, the awkwardness and recrimination given heightened power by the narrative restraint the author exerts. The same is true of the desperate Miss Lonelyhearts in “Emergency Contact,” whose love of an anonymous paramedic is so painful precisely because it is so sparely rendered on the page.

The rest, should you be interested, is here.

Comments are closed.