- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd (April 16, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1841951196
- ISBN-13: 978-1841951195
- Package Dimensions: 7 x 4.3 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,430,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Shirker Paperback – April 16, 2001
Taylor's prose is colourful yet crisply controlled...the Auckland setting is atmospherically evoked, the action ingeniously conceived and smartly paced. * * The Scotsman * * a hallucinatory Gothic mystery set in seedy clubs catering for fetishistic tastes, with a Nosfeartu-esque villain casting an ominous shadow over proceedings. With a tight and observant style, Taylor has weaved an engaging tale reminiscent of Paul Auster's New York Trilogy and with peripheral detail as obsessive as Easton Ellis's American Psycho. He may touch upon lofty notions of mortality - but it is his cinematic sense of location and narration that whisks us towards the novel's inventive finale. * * The Times * * a narrative voice that shows real promise * * Crime Time * * New Zealand strikes back...Shirker is a terrifying exploration of violent and sexually charged obsessions - a literary thriller, with prose so cool, and images so compelling, its film noir in novel form. * * Buzz * *
About the Author
Chad Taylor's previous publications include a short story collection, The Man Who Wasn't Feeling Himself, and two novels, Pack of Lies (his first novel which will be published in Germany by MANA-Verlag) and Heaven. Heaven is now a major feature film distributed by Miramax.
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The second level is where things get a little more murky. I see at least two arguments as to the underlying theme of "Shirker". The first is a statement on how our modern society has left us awash in information (and memories) to the point where it is impossible to move forward due to the baggage of the past. The second speaks to being true to one's self. More specifically, it refers to holding on to what is truly important, recognizing what is truly important, in a world drowing in irrelevance.
Ultimately, this is a novel that will mean different things to different people. That's what makes it special; not only does it entertain the reader with an intelligent mystery, it also leaves the reader thinking about something bigger. I know it will stay with me for a long time.