Counterculture

1194 Return of The Fire-Dwellers

The Fire-Dwellers by Margaret Laurence Toronto: Penguin Random House (Penguin Modern Classics, Emblem Editions), 2017 $19.95 / 9780735252837 First published by McClelland & Stewart, 1969 Reviewed by Harper Campbell * To read Margaret Laurence’s The Fire-Dwellers (1969) is to see a very different Vancouver from the one that exists today. Well, “see” isn’t really the right…
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1180 Ormsby’s summer fundraiser

Ormsby’s summer fundraiser by Richard Mackie * Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Readers of The Ormsby Review, On behalf of The Ormsby Literary Society, its Board of Directors, and our Advisory Board (listed below), we must appeal to our readership for financial assistance. We are most grateful to the 96 donors who contributed to our 2020…
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1157 Poetry for the wider world

I will be more myself in the next world by Matsuki Masutani Salt Spring Island: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2021 $19.95 / 9781896949871 Reviewed by Ken Madsen * Full disclosure: I know Matsuki Matsutani. I met him almost a decade ago, after my wife Wendy and I moved south from the Yukon to the same small…
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1140 Bushman Bjornstrom of Shuswap

The Bushman’s Lair: On the Trail of the Fugitive of the Shuswap by Paul McKendrick Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $22.95 / 9781550179224 Reviewed by Sage Birchwater * In the early 2000s the Bushman of the Shuswap was on the national news. More of a nuisance than a menace perhaps. He lived off the avails…
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1138 Cariboo counterculture utopia

Astra by Cedar Bowers Toronto: Penguin Random House (McClelland & Stewart), 2021 $24.95 / 9780771012891 Reviewed by Brett Grubisic * As a spectral visitor to western Canada in the 1970s, Karl Marx would have rolled his eyes at Celestial Farm. Or, more likely, he would have written an article denouncing it — barely a season…
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1066 The Sonics at the Grooveyard

MEMOIR: The Sonics at The Grooveyard: My Loud Baptism of Fire by Grahame Ware * On reviewing Aaron Chapman’s Vancouver After Dark (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019), I was flooded with memories of my youth and the venues where I first learned the power and pull of nightclubs. My realization of this, my baptism of fire moment,…
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1051 The enigmatic Joachim Foikis

Fool’s Gold: The Life and Legacy of Vancouver’s Official Town Fool by Jesse Donaldson Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2020 $18.00 / 9781772141467 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * In the spring of 1967, if you went to the courthouse in downtown Vancouver between 2 and 3 p.m., you might have encountered a strange sight: a thirty-something man…
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#988 Making lives at Oona River

Once Upon an Island: Hope and Hardship, Building a Log House and a Life on the North Coast of British Columbia by Suellen Guenther Victoria: Vargas Publishing, 2020 $29.95 / 9781771368421 Reviewed by Kate Braid * Once Upon An Island is the story of a young woman, Suellen Guenther, who in 1970 after a stint…
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#950 L.A. Woman, Billy, and Jim

Love her Madly: Jim Morrison, Mary, and Me. A Memoir by Bill Cosgrave Dundurn Press, 2020 $18.99 / 9781459746602 Reviewed by Randolph Eustace-Walden * Christmas 1986. I’m spending the month in Thailand. The island of Phuket hasn’t been gentrified yet. The streets are still dirt, the food and accommodation choices are still varied and cheap,…
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#758 Fine shoes from the Fluemarket

Fluevog: 50 Years of Unique Soles for Unique Souls by John Fluevog Vancouver: LifeTree Media, 2019 $69.99  /  9781928055532 Reviewed by Elena Siemens * Founded by John Fluevog in Vancouver in 1985, Fluevog Shoes now has 27 stores in North America and Europe. Remarkably, Fluevogs have strong aftermarket value, selling on high-end arts and crafts,…
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#593 Wilderness campaigns & cultures

At the Wilderness Edge: The Rise of the Antidevelopment Movement on Canada’s West Coast by J.I. (Jack) Little Montréal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019 $29.95 / 9780773556409 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * Bear with me, please. Shouldn’t “Wilderness” be in the possessive? At the Wilderness’s Edge maybe? If so, this is a shocking…
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#563 B.C.’s community food co-ops

The Co-op Revolution: Vancouver’s Search For Food Alternatives by Jan DeGrass, with a foreword by Rick Scott Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781987915952 * Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants by Jon Steinman Gabriola: New Society Publishers, 2019 $19.99 / 9780865719071 * Both books reviewed by…
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#541 Co-opting the food chain

First published April 30, 2019. The Co-op Revolution: Vancouver’s Search For Food Alternatives by Jan DeGrass, with a foreword by Rick Scott Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781987915952   Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants by Jon Steinman Gabriola: New Society Publishers, 2019 $19.99 / 9780865719071…
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