Another 'coming soon' ( July 29) from Harper Collins Canada
is the trade paperback of Right Away Monday by Joel Thomas Hynes .
Clayton Reid lives in St. John's, Newfoundland - if his life can be called living - I guess it depends on your viewpoint. Clayton lives in a permanent booze soaked, drug induced stupor. He stumbles through life anesthetizing himself to avoid dealing with hurt, anger and love. His longest stretch of sobriety has been two weeks... sometime last year. He lives with his Uncle Val - a musician who inhabits the same lifestyle. Much of the story takes place on Water Street - in the bar owned by slumlord Mike and populated by various characters lost in the same gutter as Clayton.
Clayton meets Isadora, an aspiring actress and can actually visualize a life beyond Water Street with her. But only for brief lucid moments. Clayton, though smart and aware of what he is doing is unable to halt a further downward spiral.
The first half of the book is gripping and gut wrenching but becomes a bit of a grind further on, replaying scenes that depict the same thing over and over. Sometimes the effect of the debauchery is lost after repetition. The book is written with the rhythms and dialect of the speech of Newfoundland. While this adds greatly to the characters and setting, it is sometimes difficult to decipher. The run on thought dialogue also takes some getting used to.
A gritty look at human failure and redemption and the ultimate power of human contact, Right Away Monday will appeal to readers of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting.