The people in gay bars on Christmas Day are so desperate for basic human contact that they’d go home with a Doc Marten shoe if it made a move, and maybe even if it didn’t.
So begins the story of Cameron Dodds, a disenfranchised writer who visits gay bars on Christmas and works at a Salvation Army Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in order to steal the stories of the people he meets there. But when Cameron finds a patient hanged in the utilities closet, his infatuation with other people’s stories becomes an obsession. Assuming the man’s identity, Cameron seeks out and forges a relationship with the victim’s mentally challenged sister, who lives in a home uptown. As Cameron becomes more involved in the woman’s life, he begins to discover truths that will challenge him to the very core of his existence.
“Greer’s observations of addiction and corporate domination are indeed sharp, his narrative voice infectious.”—The Globe and Mail
“[Greer is] a rare writing talent.”—Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
“Greer’s pithy prose keeps things moving quickly, and culminates in a realization and event that can be seen coming, much like a train’s lamp through a darkened tunnel. But when that realization hits, it smacks with the force of that train, one that’s packing a lifetime of emotional freight … the cruel baggage of events and tragedies long sublimated and hard reckonings not faced, until now. It’s all about identity, and facing yourself down.”—The Hamilton Spectator
“It’s hilarious and redemptive, brimming with revelation … modern and urban without being too edgy for the masses. This book is highly recommended.”—Edmonton Journal
“Still Life with June is not a pretty story, but it is a good one. Greer’s every sentence seems so honest. His book was written with courage, and read in one sitting.”—New Brunswick Reader
“Darren Greer’s Still Life With June, his excellent second novel, creeps up on you slowly and subtly, creating an atmosphere of tension and dread through fascinating characters … Greer’s characters are strikingly believable and his dilemmas disturbing.”—NOW Magazine
“It will stay with you for days.”—Swerve
“Still Life With June was, by page 9 or 10, clearly going to be of the best books I’d read all year. Before I’d finished it, it had become a plain favourite book of mine. It’s all there: great writing, a distinctive style, an engaging story told in a calculated way … it is an unforgettable and infectious novel. Few writers give us a book this memorable, re-readable, and original.”—Salty Ink
Mordant, hilarious, and unsparing, Still Life with June is a scourge and blessing both. Reminiscent of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, Knut Hamsun’s Hunger, or Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, but in a category of its own; if any school for it exists, it’s the school of its own daring and invention.–Andrew Lewis Conn, author of P: A Novel
It is a gift of humanity and storytelling that makes Darren Greer’s experimental new novel a triumphant success. Still Life with June is a remarkable book, reminiscent of Catcher in the Rye, Fight Club, and Bright Lights, Big City. It’s a striking, compelling narrative with a style so inventive and innovative as to be a new form.
–Eric Shaw Quinn, author of Say Uncle
A novel with edge and energy, astounding style and substance to spare.–Richard Labonte, editor of Best Gay Erotica”
Still Life with June is a compelling novel, and Darren Greer a writer we’ll be hearing from.–Ralph Keyes, author of The Post-Truth Era
Theft runs on parallel tracks as 30-year-old unsuccessful writer Cameron “steals” the stories of people he encounters at his job in the “Sally Ann” (i.e., Salvation Army) Treatment Center. . . ironic, acerbic, and poignant . . . Greer tells a compelling tale of identity theft.–Booklist
A writer of great sensitivity. Greer makes June so much more than merely a character who suffers from Down’s Syndrome – a real achievement. –Quill and quire
A poignant but unsentimental novel –Publisher’s Weekly
Greer positively exults in his craft, and craftiness. One of the most joyously alive and vibrant . . . writers in Canada–Books In Canada
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