Geist 53

There may be more to reality TV than meets the eye. Read more


The promise of exotic and sensuous experience has lured many a European man to go abroad, as Robert Aldrich demonstrates in Colonialism and Homosexuality (Routledge), reviewed by Kris Rothstein. Read more


"So today in class we talk about Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis, which I looked forward to because it’s a book with two interesting female characters, for a change." Review by Siobhan Devlin. Read more


David Campion and Sandra Shields attend and photograph the Calgary Stampede, the biggest Wild West show in the world. Read more


From Gone But Not Forgotten: Tales of the Disappearing Grain Elevators, a study of life in and around prairie grain elevators over the past century. Read more


During my thirty years living on the waterfront of British Columbia, I have always had some sort of container in which to sit on the water. My first boat was a ten-foot dinghy that my late husband John Daly, a commercial salmon troller, equipped with a small electric motor to surprise me. He had the bizarre idea that I, a sometime canoeist from Ohio, could manoeuvre a boat on my own around our capacious Pacific coast harbour. The electric engine would be ideal for me, he thought. No rope to pull to start it up! No gasoline tank on board! Read more


During the hiatus, a man in a black suit appeared in the Geist Gallery in Toronto and identified himself as a builder of ornithopters, or perhaps he said he was a promoter of ornithopters (this was during the hiatus, when nothing was clear; in any event his field was ornithoptery). I couldn’t remember what an ornithopter was but I could see one in my mind: the question was, what did an ornithopter do? The ornithopter man was accompanied by a well-dressed woman who never stopped smiling. Read more


The phone rings at 11:30 at night and as soon as you hear your father’s voice you know something bad has happened. Read more

Short Stories

Anita slept with a tourist named Hans. He was a German gymnast who had trained for the Olympics for eleven years and gave it up. Now he was driving a vw van across Canada. St. John’s was his starting point. Read more


At first the sound was like a raw stropping of steel on steel although we had little such heavy stuff along... Read more


I'm always looking for the moment in which a character must stop to eat because, for me, the very mention of food humanizes a story. Read more


i know hate, its line-mates. believe me. you kids have, i’m sure, wasted—all early morning anxious and weak-ankled—their first impatient shuffle-kicks and curses on me. Read more


James Purdy’s latest collection, Moe’s Villa & Other Stories, is not available in North America—you have to order it from the publisher in the U.K. The introduction by John Uecker reads almost like a plea to track this book down. Read more


Bob Gaulke’s description of his travels in Salvador (a region of Brazil), in The Nervous Tourist, evokes the age of imperialism. This modest chapbook contains insightful, engaging and funny writing about the eye-opening experience of travel. Read more


Lisa Pasold’s poetry collection, Weave, reads as a memoir of the twentieth century in a world bounded by Prague and Peru and the Russian front and the shores of Lake Ontario. Read more


The DVD Under the Tuscan Sun (Buena Vista) has little in common with Frances Mayes’ memoir, except Tuscany, a character named Frances. Read more


The Complete Peanuts: Volume 1, 1950 to 1952 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics) is the first in a series of deluxe hardback editions in which every single Peanuts comic strip will be reprinted, in order. Read more


Snow Walker, the film made from Farley Mowat’s book of stories, contains much cornball scripting, some wretched dialogue and a ponderous, bellowing soundtrack that equals the worst excesses of Cecil B DeMille’s Bible epics. Read more


Asterix the Gaul (Orion), a comic book classic recently reprinted, tramples over all sorts of contemporary niceties. Read more


The fourth volume in the Da Capo Best Music Writing pulls together some of the finest music writing published in 2003. It is rife with typos, but the articles are compulsively readable and they cover “rock, pop, jazz, country and more." Read more




Is there also a case for reading stuff that is radically different from our writing style, for the shock value?

—Caroly G, Cyberspace

Read the answer from Geist Editors!