shopping cart
nothing in cart
 
browse by subject
new releases
best sellers
sale books
browse by author
browse by publisher
home
about us
upcoming events
Aug 26th - Integrating EMDR into Your Clinical Practice: Five-Day Intensive in Toronto [Leading Edge Seminars]
Sep 5th - Building Recovery Capital in Canada: Building on Our Strengths to Overcome Addiction - British Columbia [Last Door Recovery Society]
Sep 5th - COURSE ONE – Psychological Trauma: A Clinical Psychoanalytic Approach [tps&i - Toronto Psychoanalytic Society & Institute]
Sep 9th - 5-Session Clinical Extension Program: Autism Spectrum [Canadian Institute for Child & Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (CICAPP)]
Sep 11th - SCIENTIFIC MEETING – The Group at Work in Our Modern Internet Connected World: Teaching the Intervention of Infant-Parent Psychotherapy, using Zoom Internet Platform [tps&i - Toronto Psychoanalytic Society & Institute]
schools agencies and other institutional orders (click here)
Smoke Show
Burnham, Clint
Arsenal Pulp Press / Softcover / 2005-10-01 / 1551521962
Fiction and Essays
price: $18.95 (may be subject to change)
196 pages
Not in stock - ships in 1 to 2 weeks.

A doll is taped to the hood of a wedding car. A list of favourite cocktails from the eighties. Hide the drugs from your parents and your kids. Kevin Costner in Waterworld: hot or not?

Smoke Show is a novel that will astound readers with its audacious, stripped-down narrative set in the mid-nineties about assorted f**k-ups, diehards, and lost souls, seen through a hazy filter of bus fumes and cigarette smoke. Told in "real time," Smoke Show is raw, candid, amorphous; told through jargon and petty dialogue commonly heard in the street or on public transit, Smoke Show is a novel told in conversation. Itis a dissonant, close-to-the bone explosion of everything and nothing at the same time, like watching a film whose sound does not match the images. In his debut novel, Clint Burnham evokes William Gaddis, David Foster Wallace, and Irvine Welsh, a trippy period piece that takes no prisoners.

Shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Revews:

What at first might seem a shallow, postmodern conceit is shown to be layered, consequential, real. Like a good documentary, Smoke Show reveals without condescension.
—The Georgia Straight
— Georgia Straight

In Smoke Show, Clint Burnham has written a contemporary social narrative by ear alone. The perfect pitch of Burnham's vernacular is proof of the weirdness of the grammar of ordinary conversation ("You know like instead of before")—a din of baroque linguistic constructions otherwise barely audible. The foreshortened horizons of the characters—young couples getting by mostly on welfare and recreational drugs—and their hedging, ambivalence, and inability to commit either to action or opinion is evident in the "yeah no" tag that prefaces most discussions as well as th"whatever" they dwindle into. Smoke Show is the linguistic equivalent of pictorial realism. Burnham's transcription of rhythm and nuance renders individual voices recognizable within their tiny lexicon of murmurs and avoidances. This is a troubling novel, not least because of the passivity and automatism it evinces as a major condition of our time. Burnham has written a complex, innovative work that forces us to listen, in astonishment and embarrassment, to ourselves.
—Sharon Thesen
— Sharon Thesen

His ear for conversation is impeccable and often hilarious, as quintessentially low-brow Canuck as a squashed Kokanee can...What makes this book work is it spaciousness, creating a kind of post-modern mad-lib where the reader supplies the narrative connective tissue, not unlike an actual overheard conversation. It's not for everyone, but it could be the perfect stocking stuffer for the literate hipster on your Christmas list.
—Calgary Herald
— The Calgary Herald

Burnham writes with an impressive confidence, delivering dialogue that rings so true one can imagine him with a tape recorder, prowling food courts and house parties for material.
—The Globe and Mail
— The Globe and Mail

[Clint Burnham's] use of negative space is elegant and his economy of language is downright ascetic... The result is a loose knit of tangled found dialogue which itself forms the shape of something: as close to nothingness as it's possible to achieve on the printed page.
—Melora Koepke, The Vancouver Sun
— The Vancouver Sun

A novel of many voices ... Burnham combines a poet's rhythmic sensibility with an impeccable ear for self-contradictory speech.
—Bookforum
— Bookforum

Best known in the U.S. as the author of The Jamesonian Unconscious: The Aesthetics of Marxist Theory, a critical study, the Vancouver-based Burnham also writes short stories (Airborne Photo) and poetry (Be Labor Reading and Buddyland). This book is best classed in that last category: billed as a novel, it reads like a verse play, one comprising elegantly concise dialogues among woefully inarticulate, tragically maladapted and often inebriated adults whose main occupation is low-level trade in drugs and bodily fluids. Nothing much happens: people drive, roll joints, complain about music or partners, open beers or ask for them, debate the merits of hedges vs. fences, have sex, watch TV, take care of children, breathlessly recount the entire plots of C-grade movies, contemplate building a deck, cut up hot dogs and generally get on with the fuzzy stasis that constitutes disenfranchisement, to the point where a voice can sum itself up with the phrase: "Yeah, so like I guess I'm mostly classic rock." Imagine countless permutations on that theme, and you have this book. Burnham is pitch-perfect all the way through.
—Publishers Weekly
— Publishers Weekly

Written by Vancouver's irreverent master Clint Burnham, Smoke Show reads like bus stop or rec-room chatter among potheads and slackers. Burnham's languid prose will take the edge off any cynical, overheated reader.
—Ottawa XPress
— Ottawa XPress, July 2006

Clint Burnham is a Vancouver writer and critic. He teaches in the English department at Simon Fraser University and is the author of many books, including the novel Smoke Show (Arsenal Pulp), the poetry collections The Benjamin Sonnets (Bookthug) and Rental Van (Anvil), and the literary theory book The Jamesonian Unconscious (Duke University Press).

Caversham Booksellers
98 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G6 Canada
(click for map and directions)
All prices in $cdn
Copyright 2019

Phone toll-free (800) 361-6120
Tel (416) 944-0962 | Fax (416) 944-0963
E-mail info@cavershambooksellers.com
Hours: 9-6 M-W / 9-7 Th-F / 10-6 Sat / 12-5 Sun EST

search
Click here to read previous issues.
related events
CNPC-RCPC
authors
Burnham, Clint
other lists
Arsenal Pulp Press
Fiction and Essays