222 pages, Paperback ISBN: 9780888873071 $19095.00 CA
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About the Book
Barnabus Snug Harbour, out back of beyond in O´Connor Township, is not a harbour, nor is it anywhere near navigable water. It´s a sort of retirement facility, a halfway house, a landlubber´s hospice. It´s not an asylum, not a sanitarium, not a nursing home. Likable Felix Kirkeby, recently arrived from Millhaven Penitentiary, where he served twenty-two years for snuffing a car thief, has said of it "This is no loony bin. It may be a refuge, but these people aren´t crazy." Except maybe for Lars Bourbaki, who allegedly cooked and ate one of his own children. That´s what he was charged with, and what he confessed to, but it was never proven. He certainly doesn't advocate eating children, unless it´s a dire emergency and you have a surplus. But the rest of these folk are fine. Like me, some have survived bad luck and hard times. If you humour them, they laugh. If you hassle them, they fight back. Felix himself admits to hearing his late mother´s voice, outside his room, near the window. Sometimes he hears her calling him. On moonlit nights he opens the curtains and looks out at Barnabas Snug Harbour´s snowy hedges and skeletal poplars. There´s never anyone there. Sidney the psychologist, an expert on dreams, chalks it up to auditory hallucinations. Which makes it no less spooky. Come meet George, Julius, Sidney and Massey, the Fairy Queens. Meet Isobel Hornchurch, who imagines herself besieged by wolves, when it´s yellow jacket wasps she should fear. Meet Arlo Masaryk, palsied barber and ice sculptor, who is obsessed with trains. Meet Luka Pilsudski, greatgrandson of Poland´s first president, who once piloted barges on the Vistula. Meet Paloma Hartley, who sits at her loom day after day, like the Lady of Shalott. And Heddy Fillmore, a notorious madam. And Nurse McQuilter, who keeps the lid on. And Zachary the parrot, who sings "The Streets of Laredo." Meet dwarfish Balthazar, the handyman, and Archibald, the pot-smoking gardner. Meet Pastor Tippecanoe, who drinks vodka and sees angels. Meet Serena Patapsco, a violinist. Best of all, meet the narrator, who finds his look-alike father at Barnabas Snug Harbour, but is powerless to rescue him.
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About the AuthorBill MacDonald Since graduating from the University of Manitoba, and a year in Paris studying at the Sorbonne, Bill has been a forester, arctic weatherman, immigration officer, and school teacher. He lives in Thunder Bay, selling his books and scenic photography at Fireweed Crafts Inc. His short fiction has appeared in "Geist Magazine" and "Prairie Fire." Recent books include:
"Lamplight" (2010), "Sirens" (2009),
"The Quarry" (2008), "Shadows at Sunset" (2007), "Ruby's Last Ride and other stories" (2007),"Close the Door Softly and other stories" (2007), "A House in the Country"(2007), "Through a Dark Cloud Shining" (2006), "Catwalk: a feline odyssey" (2006), "Barnabus Snug Harbour" (2006), "Soothsayer" (2006), "The Holly Tree" (2005), "Stinging Nettles" (2005), "Christmas Eve at Silver Islet" (2004), "Vive Zigoto" (2004), "Daughters of the Sun - Filles du soleil" (2003), "Hyenas in the Streets" (2003), "Goodbye Picadilly" (2002), "Patagonian Odyssey!" (2001), "Home Before Dark" (2001), and "The Great Millennium Mount Everest Cat Expedition" (2000).