From Publishers Weekly
The Off Season and Street, Cady's last two novels, were wry fables on life in contemporary America, slyly disguised as dark fantasy fiction. This diffusely plotted novel mines the same vein of magic realism that laced those tales, but it doesn't quite achieve their fusion of quirky characterization, macabre mystery and cultural critique. Set on a branch off Puget Sound, it follows yet another Cadyesque crew of gregarious locals as they come to grips with supernatural phenomena spawned by changes in their social environment. Hood Canal has always been a sleepy backwater until Sugar Bear Smith, a moody blacksmith, dunks the corpse and car of a suspected child molester in the local waterway, rousing a water fury with a suddenly voracious appetite for other vehicles and their drivers. Thereafter, the town is besieged by an assortment of hustlers, con artists and well-heeled entrepreneurs who smell exploitable business prospects in its atmosphere. Cady implies that the ensuing weird incidents are all portents of the decline of civilization and its values, but he never finds a persuasive way to convey this subtly, and finally appoints a bartender to play oracle and spell things out bluntly late in the story. Though the narrative never comes together as more than an assortment of oddball episodes from small-town life, Cady's loquacious voice and skill at spinning tall tales from the dross of his characters' daily lives still provide moments of charm and enchantment. (Oct. 16)as the Harper First Fiction prize.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
A Nebula Award winner and author of 12 previous books, Cady (The Off Season) is known for his lyrical prose and quirky characters, and his first novel since retiring from Pacific Lutheran University will not disappoint his fans. Cady's black comedy enlists an ensemble cast from the hinterlands of the Pacific Northwest who are involved in a murder and its cover-up. While Sugar Bear, the lovable killer, and Annie, his witchcraft-practicing girlfriend, ponder their circumstances, supernatural events along the route of the Hood Canal distract from the murder; cars are being dragged into the canal by a mysterious force. Gossip flies among the locals, but none of the stories can approach the true evil behind the unexplainable occurrences in and around the roiling waters of the canal. This dark but down-to-earth fantasy is recommended for those who would like to take a few steps off the beaten path. For larger horror collections.Nancy McNicol, Hagaman Memorial Lib., East Haven, CT
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.