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Charades Paperback – May 26, 2016
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About the Author
Todd Foley is an American who made the move to British Columbia, Canada, where he lives with his wife and growing family. He is the author of Eastbound Sailing and Man Speak. He finds inspiration for storytelling via his unorganized bookshelf, a non-sequiter Netflix queue and using public transit.
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Top Customer Reviews
I bought this book for a vacation read right after it was released and devoured it quickly. I would love to see this novella developed even further as this tale had the shimmering of an O. Henry short story with the pacing of a psychological thriller.
Very enjoyable read!
To be honest, throughout most of the story I thought this was a beautiful novella that brought out the subtleties of day to day life - that it zeroed in on focusing on the world around you instead of going through life like a zombie most of us do (especially with smart phones all attached at our hips). I have always found there to be a certain magic in the detailed description and observation of life - whole life that extends beyond your bubble. I devoured the novella and loved every page of it! It's beautiful in it's simpleness, and following an elderly butcher in Vancouver was so different from my own life I couldn't help being sucked in. Foley's writing is so fluid and familiar, it's like you're talking with an old friend.
"I sometimes stop by the public library on my way home. It's a bit out of my way, but it's a sight to be held. Modeled after the Colosseum, I feel like I've been transported to a simpler time. Well, not simple; it was a venue for watching humans kill each other for sport. Learning is a much more admirable activity."
- Todd Foley, Charades
But while the gentleness with which he builds Otis and his customers assimilates you into the life of a Vancouver native, it contrasts with the plunge as Foley delves deeper beneath the covers and the masks that people build up around themselves. There is irony and there is simplicity. Indirectly we explore vices, flaws, weaknesses, mistakes: the darkness of humanity that we all carry a little piece of. The same people we know in the cubicle beside us or that serve us coffee all hold secrets and have skeletons in their closets - just like you and I.
"Everyone has at least one vice. Something to which they constantly need access or within close proximity. A sense of security. An extension of their identity. A habit they can't break.
- Todd Foley, Charades
"Charades examines the narratives we fashion and the measures we take to maintain those stories."
Oh yes, this line from the synopsis sums it all up nicely.
A fascinating and intriguing read that had me hooked until the end, Charades is an absolute gem. The range and depth of the characters and their secrets kept me guessing, Foley's writing had me hooked, and the ending - oh that ending! Perfection.
I loved this right from the beginning, Todd has this uncanny ability to draw you into the story and the lives of these characters. You connect with them, you feel for them, you cry with them, you sympathise, you hate, you love them, a kaleidoscope of emotions that you just can't help but appreciate the power behind the words of Todd Foley.
The story follows Otis, A butcher in Vancouver, he is hard working, quiet and always ready to lend a helping hand and an ear, he is meticulous and organised and you can't help but connect with him, a familiarity that is undeniable and a testament to Todd Foley for creating characters that are grounded by the present, moulded by the past and evolving in the future.
I have always felt that Todd Foley writes intelligently, not one word is wasted, everything has a purpose and that makes for a beautiful reading experience. Just when you have landed on the ground and your #helicopter has subdued, you are given an ending that catches you by surprise and lingers in your mind for a few days, making you question, you have to read to find out. Absolutely Perfect