Down the Road to Eternity: New and Selected Fiction

Down the Road to Eternity: New and Selected Fiction

by M.A.C. Farrant

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Overview

Down the Road to Eternity: New and Selected Fiction by M.A.C. Farrant


Down the Road to Eternity: New & Selected Fiction is a collection of M.A.C. Farrant’s work dating from 1985 to 2009. Compiled of selected fiction from Sick Pigeon (1991), Raw Material (1993), Altered Statements (1995), Word of Mouth (1996), What’s True, Darling (1997), Darwin Alone in the Universe (2003) and The Breakdown So Far (2007), it includes her complete new suite of 18 stories, The North Pole, where our individual existence is bludgeoned by the threat of “end times”—climate change, species extinction, pandemics and really bad politics. Each of these stories is an ongoing instance of the author’s attempt at understanding language ironically, a search for the strikingly sublime in the awesomely absurd.

Objective reality in our culture has become a corporate performance of make-believe, and the disassociation and confusion this causes in our private lives often triggers uncontrollable tragi-comic effects in Farrant’s characters—a vacuous lethargy and/or a destructive violence they act out in a context of the most excruciatingly bright banalities imaginable.

Satiric and philosophical in approach, indelibly marked by wit, humour, irony, playfulness, a blend of parody and science fiction, irreverent analysis and comic existentialism, these stories celebrate the literary imagination as an antidote to the stranglehold the popular media now has on the public’s imagination. Yet as in all such relentlessly absurdist dystopian social parodies, there resides behind each of these brief entertainments a stifled scream for help, a trapped yearning for the awe and wonder of what we have become estranged from, an arrested lust for meaning.

Unsparing in her critique of the branded New Age syncretism our global culture has substituted for authentic human emotion and particular belief, these hilariously off-side stories navigate Farrant’s exploration of the relation of fiction to the evolving construction of reality in our media and information age.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780889226159
Publisher: Talonbooks, Limited
Publication date: 09/20/2009
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author


M.A.C. Farrant is the author of ten collections of satirical and philosophical short fiction; a novel-length memoir, My Turquoise Years; a book of humorous essays, The Secret Lives of Litterbugs; and the stage adaptation of My Turquoise Years, which premiered at Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre in 2013.

A full-time writer currently residing in North Saanich, British Columbia, Farrant’s work as been nominated for many awards, including the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Van City Book Prize, the National Magazine Awards, the Gemini Award (for the Bravo short-film adaptation of her story “Rob’s Guns & Ammo”), the Victoria Book Prize, and two Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards for her play My Turquoise Years, among others. She is a regular book reviewer for the Vancouver Sun, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post.

Farrant has taught writing at the University of Victoria, the Victoria School of Writing, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and was Writer-in-Residence at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

Table of Contents

Foreword 13

1 Sick Pigeon

Sick Pigeon 17

Rob's Guns & Ammo 25

The Loneliest Sound You'll Ever Hear 33

All the Good and Beautiful Forces 37

Macaroni and Cheese (From: The-We-Used-To-Be-the-Middle-Class Cookbook) 48

2 Raw Material

Raw Material 55

The Bright Gymnasium of fun 60

Fish 63

Studies Show / Experts Say 68

The Comma Threat 77

The Local Women are Performing a Traditional Dance 81

Score 84

The Children Do Not Yet Know 88

3 Altered Statements

Thunder Showers in Bangkok 93

Alice & Stein 96

Kristmas Kraft 104

On Holiday with Giants 105

Green Plastic Buddha 107

Vacation Time 109

There is a Competition for the Hearts and Minds of the People 110

4 Word of Mouth

Refusal 125

5 What's True, Darling

Dorothy Parker's Dog 141

Closing Time at Barbie's Boutique 146

Jigsaw 151

Hallowe'en So Far Away 154

Blague Mountain 156

The Party 157

All Chickens are Sucks 161

6 Darwin Alone in the Universe

Gifts 167

Down the Road to Eternity 170

Point Ten 178

The Heartspeak Wellness Retreat 187

Brave New Desires 194

Darwin Alone in the Universe 195

White Satire 207

Cheerleading 208

The Air is Thick with Metaphors 211

7 The Breakdown So Far

Now is the Time 215

The Breakdown So Far 219

The Compassionate Side of Nature 226

Budgie Suicide 228

Funeral 229

Membership Drive 230

Jesus Loves Me But He Can't Stand You 233

Because of Russell Edson 234

Sixty Degrees 236

Poof 240

A Little Something 241

Spring in North America 242

Fridge Magnet People 244

Perpetual Coda 246

Breakdown of the Month Calendar 249

Bad Boy 251

8 The North Pole

The North Pole 257

Advice Old and New 262

Ardent Spirit263

The Gnats That Blur Our Vision 264

The Act in Eternity 266

Answering the Children 267

The God of Banality 269

Play Button 270

The Secret Pillars of the Universe 271

Equipment for the Endurance of Love 274

What We Need 275

Pulse 276

The Mentor 277

To the Author 278

To Be Continued 279

Burning Her Bridges 280

Monument 282

Author Interview 284

Afterword 285

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