Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Mini Review: Cataract City by Craig Davidson
Owen and Duncan are childhood friends who've grown up in picturesque Niagara Falls--known to them by the grittier name Cataract City. As the two know well, there's more to the bordertown than meets the eye: behind the gaudy storefronts and sidewalk vendors, past the hawkers of tourist T-shirts and cheap souvenirs live the real people who scrape together a living by toiling at the Bisk, the local cookie factory. And then there are the truly desperate, those who find themselves drawn to the borderline and a world of dog-racing, bare-knuckle fighting, and night-time smuggling.
Owen and Duncan think they are different: both dream of escape, a longing made more urgent by a near-death incident in childhood that sealed their bond. But in adulthood their paths diverge, and as Duncan, the less privileged, falls deep into the town's underworld, he and Owen become reluctant adversaries at opposite ends of the law. At stake is not only survival and escape, but a lifelong friendship that can only be broken at an unthinkable price.
Cataract City drew me into a world where two men dreamed of escape. In their small town, escape seemed like the only way. I received this book for review, and wasn't sure what to expect. In the end, I found this story fast-paced, gritty and completely believable. I was married in Niagara Falls, Ontario and really wanted to read this one. Cataract City exceeded my expectations, and captivated me until the end. This book was nominated for the Scotia Giller Prize in 2013, and really impressed me, never dragging on and always keeping me on the edge of my seat. I love coming across Canadian authors that leave me wanting more from them. I really wish I could go into more detail and do this book justice, but I read this book last September. I do however, highly recommend this one and encourage readers to keep this one in mind.