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Stanley Park (edition 2001)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0864923899, Audio CD)In Timothy Taylor's debut novel Stanley Park, aspiring food artiste Jeremy Papier attempts to juggle the finances of his fledgling eatery, The Monkey's Paw, and his conflicted feelings about his attractive sous-chef. Meanwhile, on the other side of downtown Vancouver, his anthropologist father camps out in Stanley Park to study a group of homeless men. Impending financial ruin drives Jeremy into the clutches of an evil coffee magnate while his father delves deeper into the indigent lifestyle, probing the mystery of two dead children once found in the park as well as his failed marriage to Jeremy's mother. A tragicomic denouement takes the characters back to their human roots as hunter-gatherers in the 21st century.
The big idea in Stanley Park is that global corporate culture threatens the local connections that sustain us. Only the outcasts in Stanley Park retain these connections, and one of them imparts to Jeremy the secret of trapping a swan: "'Stinky box does it,' Caruzo informed, scratching himself. 'Stinky box is all.'" He retrieves a discarded hot dog shipping box and explains the technique: "'I distract him.' Caruzo said. 'You kill him. Distract. Kill.'" Though our hero cannot bring himself to dispatch the bird, he understands the basic link with nature. Stanley Park isn't Crime and Punishment and doesn't pretend to be, even if the vocabulary is sometimes a little pretentious. Taylor, who won Canada's 2000 Journey Prize for his short fiction, tells a good story, creating plausible characters for this coming-of-age narrative and making a good start to a novelistic career. --Robyn Gillam, Amazon.ca
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 03 Jan 2013 13:23:18 -0500)
"Jeremy Papier, the new Alice Waters of the Vancouver food scene, is fast becoming known for his radically rear-guard cuisine - tradition-steeped dishes that celebrate the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. His restaurant is always booked, and his Fraser Valley duck breast and Saltspring Island lamb are the talk of the local foodies. The Monkey's Paw Bistro is unquestionably an artistic triumph. Pity it is something less than a well-run business." "Far too costly ever to turn a profit, The Paw is kited on dozens of Jeremy's maxed-out credit cards. An old family friend, Dante Beale, founder of a worldwide chain of cookie-cutter coffee bars, is willing to bail the restaurant out - on condition that he become majority owner. It's a business proposition made in hell, one strenuously opposed by Jeremy's pretty young sous-chef, the incorruptible, plainspoken Jules Capelli." "Jeremy's problems deepen when his eccentric academic father - an obsessed, half-mad "participatory anthropologist" - loses himself among the homeless in Vancouver's Stanley Park. He lives as they do (he's especially adept at catching and roasting starlings) and soon involves Jeremy in researching a "cold case" crime, the real-life murder of two children in the park in the late 1940s."--BOOK JACKET.
(summary from another edition)
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