Grab Bag

( 2 )

Overview

Grab Bag is comprised of two interrelated novels, Dark Rides and Wish Book, from one of Canada’s most important young writers. Both books are set in the same small rural city, in different eras (1950s, 1930s), each characterized by McCormack’s spare and elliptical prose.

Derek McCormack’s journalism has appeared in many publications across North America, including nest, Saturday Night, and the National Post. In 2001, he was nominated for a National Magazine Award for an article ...

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Overview

Grab Bag is comprised of two interrelated novels, Dark Rides and Wish Book, from one of Canada’s most important young writers. Both books are set in the same small rural city, in different eras (1950s, 1930s), each characterized by McCormack’s spare and elliptical prose.

Derek McCormack’s journalism has appeared in many publications across North America, including nest, Saturday Night, and the National Post. In 2001, he was nominated for a National Magazine Award for an article he wrote on Halloween. Wild Mouse, a book McCormack co-authored with poet Chris Chambers, was nominated for the 1999 Toronto Book Award. His new novella, The Haunted Hillbilly, will be published in Canada by ECW Press in Fall 2003.

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Editorial Reviews

Toronto Star
Anyone interested in the more wicked, crafty and inventive forms of Canadian writing would be well advised to spend time with McCormack.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781888451597
  • Publisher: Akashic Books
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Series: Little House on the Bowery Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Derek McCormack is the author of Grab Bag (Akashic) and The Haunted Hillbilly (Soft Skull), which was named a 'best book of the year' by both the Village Voice and The Globe and Mail, and a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He writes fashion and arts articles for the National Post. He lives in Toronto. Dennis Cooper is the author of 'The George Miles Cycle,' an interconnected sequence of five novels that includes Closer (1989), Frisk (1991), Try (1994), Guide (1997), and Period (2000). The cycle has been translated into fourteen languages. His most recent novel is My Loose Thread (Canongate, 2002). He lives in Los Angeles.

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Read an Excerpt

Grab Bag


By Derek McCormack

Akashic Books

ISBN: 1-888451-59-9


Chapter One

BACKWARD

I hid in my room. Scrubbed sand on my pecker and belly and bum. I was trying to kill the germs but my hands kept shaking and then it hit me. The man's word. Combust.

* * *

The ground smoked. The police come by. Also a man in a black suit who talked to Dad and the firemen.

I said to him, "You find out who done it?"

He said nobody did it. He said germs lived in our hay and rotted it and the rotting made it hot. He said it was chemical. He called it something.

"What do you mean germs?" I said.

"They're invisible," he said. "You can't get rid of them."

* * *

The roof crashed and sparks flew up. A firetruck roared in. Behind it come a truck loaded up with guys.

Dad shook me by the shoulders. He said, "What were you doing?" He said, "Were you fooling with caps?"

I started to cry. My snot all black from smoke.

* * *

Dad dove into the smoke. Then him and the horses come barrelling out. McNaughtons drove down from their farm and then the Pointers run down from theirs and they all got a water line going between the barn and the well. Me holding buckets while Ted Pointer pumped.

Ted shouted, "You didn't see anyone did you?"

I shook my head. The flames went high as pines.

* * *

The sun was burning something fierce. The grass pricked my feet. I tiptoed to the stoop and plopped down on the porch glider, picked hayseed out of my hair and off my shoulders. Then I heard it. A whoosh. The barn blurred. Flames sawed the roof.

* * *

Ted Pointer was lying at the back of the hayloft. "How's my buddy?" he said.

The hay was cooking. I stepped out of my overalls and crouched. His pecker was jerking itself upright. Blue veins, green veins, veins the color of red cabbage. I put the end of it in my mouth. Horses snorting below. Then he lifted my head and rolled on top of me and started rubbing his body against mine. His forehead dripping into my eyes.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Grab Bag by Derek McCormack Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Book Title: "Grab Bag” Author: Derek McCormack Publis

    Book Title: "Grab Bag”
    Author: Derek McCormack
    Published By: Little House on the Bowery/Akashic Books
    Age Recommended: 18+
    Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
    Raven Rating: 5

    Review: Yet another interesting and intriguing read from one of the authors at Akashic Books. “Grab Bag” was exactly what it promised to be, one short story and a ‘grab bag’ of various tales that ranged from humorous to somewhat macabre. These stories are sure to have you asking…. “Why?” “What the heck?” and “Seriously?” Still you can’t help but find them superbly intriguing.
    Warning: There are moments of intimacy that many may not wish to read. Do not get a copy of this book if you are easily offended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2009

    Fantastic!

    Derek McCormack's Grab Bag is an exceptional collection of short stories, neatly written, subversive and extremely charming.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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