A noted craftsman, Robert Harlow is one of Canada's finest story-tellers.

 

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Faraday Comes Home
A Gift of Echoes
Scann
Making Arrangements
Paul Nolan
Felice: A Travelogue
The Saxophone
Winter
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Scann

SCANN has been cited by critics as Harlow´s masterpiece. It is his third novel, the last of his stories set in Linden, the town first encountered in ROYAL MURDOCH, and later, in A GIFT OF ECHOES, it served as John Grandy´s hometown.

But SCANN is a very different breed from the other two Linden novels. The eponymous Amory Scann writes the book, lives the moments that impinge on its composition, and he solves and reveals the mysteries surrounding the genesis of Linden as it is dreamed and hacked out of a northern wilderness. Here is the essence of North, "a language understood by all Canadians," said the poet J. Michael Yates, "but spoken by almost none. SCANN is the best lexicon we have to date."

On an Easter weekend in the late 1960s, Amory Scann, the editor of Linden´s twice-weekly newspaper, hides out in a room in Linden House Hotel, while he tries to become an author by writing a novella about the epic winter endured by the exploiter Thrain and Henry Auguste Linden on Linden´s trapline. It is a territory the size of a small county, and it has become haunted, taken over, by a wolverine.

That simple story does not fail Scann, but he is interrupted by the chambermaid, Mary Major, to whom he tells the oddly sexual story of Philippa Morton and her daughters, hoping to arouse and seduce Mary. As the weekend rolls on, it is further complicated by the arrival in the next room of Ro, the half-breed son of H.A Linden, and then of David Thrain, the member of Parliament who owns the hotel. David and Scann encountered each other during the war, and this episode becomes the stuff of a fourth story – a true novella set on a fogged-in air force battle station.

All these adventures, all this writing, talking, remembering and dreaming are the parts that make up an epochal feat of composition on Scann´s part that is both comic and deadly serious. And in so doing Scann discovers himself as the anti-hero of his own secret weekend, and of his own book. A wonderfully crafted and mind-blowing read.

 

Click here to read an excerpt.

     

 

| Home | Faraday Comes Home | A Gift of Echoes | Scann | Making Arrangements |

| Paul Nolan | Felice: A Travelogue | The Saxophone Winter |

| Necessary Dark | Royal Murdoch | Contact |

 

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