12 September 2005

Spinning through Space

cover of The Nine Planets
The Nine Planets
Edward Riche
ISBN 0-670-04456-3
Viking Canada
2004, pp 303, $34.00

Riche's previous novel Rare Birds was a more outrageously funny extreme tale than the The Nine Planets but both are successful sendups of mainlanders and the supposedly commnon scheeming of Newfoundlander natives and come-from-away residents desirous of a better life. [Could one write a funny tale around the Come-by-Chance refinery or the greenhouse cucumber project without falling into mix with seriousness where Wayne Johnston's The Colony of Unrequited Dreams successfully landed?] Possibly, the stretched tale has more lattitude.

The Nine Planets novel follows the wobbly orbit of Marty Devereaux, co-owner of semmingly successful private school in St John's. Fuktd relationships. A business partner who wings off on a eco-kick; who has a half-crazed, dying playwright brother; his daughter (the brother's), Cathy—the coolest, most beautifully complicated escape artist in the novel; the hungries: the (half)-crazed; the over-ambitious local- now global-business developers who never really say what they really want and who never mean anything implied in hearing what they actually say . . .

This is a good, possibly great, novel. Very visual, made for TV [and Rare Birds is also a movie (that I've not yet seen 'cause I'm terrible at being a sucker for movie theatres and "what's new?"—I simply don't get there (up the hill, over the highway) for anything]. I like this novel. I've laughted harder with others but I laugh well with Edward Riche's novels. Let the next novel be more of Cathý's story!

loc: examing room
temp: 22 C
sound: music from and inspired by Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

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