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"The days of poets moping around castle steps wearing black capes is over. The poets of today are amplified." -- LEONARD COHEN Picking up where Samuel Johnson left off more than two centuries ago, Ray Robertson's Lives of the Poets (with Guitars) offers up an amplified gathering of thirteen portraits of rock & roll, blues, folk, and alt-country's most inimitable artists. Irreverent and riotous, Robertson explores the "greater or lesser heat" with which each musician shaped their genre, while offering absorbing insight into their often tumultuous lives. Includes essays on Gene Clark, Ronnie Lane, The Ramones, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Townes Van Zandt, Little Richard, Alan Wilson, Willie P. Bennett, Gram Parsons, Hound Dog Taylor, Paul Siebel, Willis Alan Ramsey, and John Hartford.
Inspired by the exploits of ill-fated country-rock visionary Gram Parsons, this mid-60s tale of idealism and escape traces the trials of a fictionalized draft-dodging flower child from the United States to Canada and back. It is the late 1960s in Yorkville, Toronto's hippie ghetto of artists, intellectuals, drunken poets, and would-be rock stars. In this idyllic haven, narrator Bill Hansen, a drummer, meets Thomas Graham, an American musician on the lam from the draft. The two form a band, but even as they revel in music and freedom, Graham is hobbled by another love: a drug habit that becomes his reason for living and, eventually, for dying. Graham's emotional trip and failed, revolutionary life reflect the rise and fall of an entire generation's aspirations.
One of today's best young novelists, Ray Robertson is also one of its ablest critics. This is a collection of his most entertaining, insightful, controversial, and funniest reviews and essays written over the last five years. Believing that 'writers have a responsibility to help maintain the mental hygiene of their time,' Robertson, following in the footsteps of Mordecai Richler and other novelist-critics such as Anthony Burgess, Kingsley and Martin Amis and John Updike, is at the front line of contemporary literary debate. Whether castigating the bland cabal he refers to as McCanlit, poking fun at the trendy ephemera of intellectual fashion or arguing for his own unique fictional aesthetic, Robertson pulls no punches and suffers no fools. Divided into three sections -- 'Us,' 'Them' and 'Me' - 'Mental Hygiene' gathers together both published and previously unpublished reviews of local and international writers as well as eight highly personal essays on the craft of fiction and the writing life in general.
It's 1979 and Tom Buzby is thirteen years old and living in the small working- class city of Chatham, Ontario. So far, so normal. Except that Tom's dad is the local tattoo artist, his mother is a born-again former stripper who's run off with the minister from the church where the pet store used to be, and his sister can't wait to leave town for good. And everyone along his daily newspaper route looks at him a little differently, this boy who's come back from the dead, who just might be the only one who understands the miraculous, heart-breaking mystery that is their lives. Set in the year that real newspaper headlines told of North America's hard turn to the right, 1979 offers a smalltown take on the buried lives of those who almost never make the news, and one boy's attempt to make sense of it all.
The "heart and soul" of almost all relational database programs is the B-Tree algorithm. In fact may programmers describe a relational database as a B-Tree program with supporting code that simply delivers the query to the B-Tree or displays the results from the B-Tree. The beauty of this book is that it describes in great detail with lots of diagrams and charts exactly how a B-Tree works. It is one of the clearest explanations on the subject existing and is extremely useful for any person or classroom that is investigating databases. The number of illustrations in this book are too numerous to list. Diagrams are given showing every major step taken in writing a B-Tree. The diagrams also show exactly how searches are done. Flow charts are also presented showing how the B-Tree algorithm works. Tables are presented showing the performance of the B-Tree. Code is listed for an entire B-Tree program written in simple DOS based BASIC and it is inspected and laboriously explained line-by-line.
Featured on "The Hour" with George Stroumboulopoulos.
"God and whiskey have got me where I am. Too little of the one, too
much of the other."
Ray Robertson is the author of "Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to
"Ray Robertson is an irrepressible voice, with brass balls, and a
heart of gold. "I Was There the Night He Died" is a hilarious,
moving, insightful, and timely piece of modern realism,
delightfully void of literary pretension. Here, at last, is a novel
that rocks and rolls."--Jonathan Evison, author of "The Revised
Fundamentals of Caregiving"
"God and whiskey have got me where I am. Too little of the one, too much of the other." David King, Chatham, Canada, 1895.
Born a slave in 1847, but raised as a free man on the world-renowned, African-American Elgin Settlement near present-day Chatham, Ontario, David King is a man whose life has been defined by his violent rebellion against the very person who freed him the Reverend William King.
Far from the pulpit he was intended to fill as the Reverend King's anointed successor, David has lost his faith in God and humanity. He has also turned his back on both his past and his own people by abandoning the Elgin Settlement for nearby Chatham after a final, shattering confrontation with the Reverend King. Undoubtedly, the most unconventional man in town, David is also thanks to his illegal after-hours tavern, Sophia's, and his highly lucrative grave robbing business one of Chatham's richest citizens, white or black, and certainly its best read. Triggered by the news of the elderly Reverend King's death, the middle-aged David is compelled to revisit a past he thought he left behind, but which as evidenced by his inability to embrace the happiness he so dearly earned he clearly has not.
Ranging over the early years of the pioneering Elgin Settlement, David's wild, whiskey-fueled early years in Chatham as a factory worker and apprentice grave-robber, and his day-to-day life with his ex-prostitute German lover in present-day, 1895 Chatham, "David" is a portal to a fascinating, if mostly unknown piece of Canadian history, as well as, the story of one man's search for wisdom, peace, and forgiveness."
Unique and informative, these essays take a hard look at the state of Canadian literature today by exploring independent publishing, the awards culture, and the commercialization of even the most un-commercial of books. Delving into the political issues driving Canadians, including the tar sands in Alberta and the future of the railway system, this collection also discusses timely topics such as sexuality in the cyber world, the ongoing discoveries in science, and immigration. With contributions from Ryan Bigge, George Fetherling, and Stephen Henighan, this volume is both entertaining and thought provoking.
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