Monday, December 29, 2014

A DRAMATIC READING OF THE DEEP!

Hello All,

Here's me, reading The Deep, the new Cutter novel, to my enrapt son. He is thrilled, you'd better believe it!

A CHILLING DRAMATIC READING

Also, you can check out my new website here:

www.craigdavidson.net

And there's tour news, too. Andrew Pyper and I, amongst other writers, will be showing up in some Canadian cities this winter. The dates are listed below:

Monday Feb 23: Kingston
Tuesday Feb 24: Ottawa
Wednesday Feb 25: Montreal
Thursday Feb 26: Quebec City

So come on out, if'n you please!

All best,
Craig/Nick.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

LA REVIEW OF BOOKS PODCAST

Hello All,

Check it out, ifn you please. Big thanks to Colin Marshall for journeying out to the wilds of suburban Toronto to do the interview.

LA REVIEW OF BOOKS PODCAST

All best, Craig.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Best American Short Stories 2014

Hello All,

Got me a story in this here anthology. "Medium Tough," published in AGNI. Thanks to those editors who took it, and a big thanks to Jennifer Egan who selected it. Big shock. Big honor for me. Go on and go buy it, now, because there's some mighty fine tales in it.

AMAZON LINK

All best,
Craig.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

French Interview

Hello All,

There's this little woodpecker that's trying to make a home in the stucco of our house. It's a cute little sucker but we've had problems with them before. They drill into the stucco and start living there in a little hole, which I guess is okay; we can share our house with some wildlife, so long as they're living in the lining of the house. But then the squirrels come along and go "Oh, a hole! I can live here!" So they boot the little woodpecker family out and tear a much bigger hole, ripping into the guts of the house and probably having little squirrel communities in our attic. We had to have these wildlife people come by and seal up all the holes in our stucco. Which wasn't cheap. But that's not really the point.

Anyway, I don't want to hurt the little woodpecker, but I don't really want it—and soon, squirrels—living in the stucco again, having squirrel parties or squirrel orgies for all I know. So I sprayed the hose up there and shooed it off. It came back. I sprayed again. We've been doing it all day. I know it's there because I can hear it knocking on the stucco with its beak as I sit writing. I kind of want to just let it live here. Why not? It's a persistent bugger. But I'm not sure if it's got the stuff, the GUTS, to fend off a squirrel when it comes invading. So we'll see.

Here's an interview I did last week in France. It's ... well, it's an interview. I've done a few of them. Maybe I covered some new ground here, mayhap not. Really can't remember anymore.

EDITED TO ADD: WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ENGLISH

INTERVIEW

All best, Craig.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

GRAYWOLF TOUR BLOG

Hello All,

So when Cataract City came out in the US recently, they sent me on a little tour. Forthwith is my chronicle of that tour, posted on the Graywolf blog!

US TOUR SHENANIGANS

All best,
Craig.

Monday, July 14, 2014

CATARACT CITY — BARNES AND NOBLE REVIEW

Hello All,

Well, this is very nice. My immense thanks to Ryan Chapman for the very gracious review. It really means a lot as the book leaks out in the US.

B&N REVIEW

All best,
Craig.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cataract City Interview at My Bookish Ways

Hello All,

Back from a little tour in support of CC, NY and Boston. My brother and I hopscotching around a few states. A damn fine time. More on that in a bit. For now, here's an interview with Kristin at My Bookish Ways. Many thanks to her for taking the time!

MY BOOKISH WAYS

All best,
Craig.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

CATARACT CITY US READING DATES

Hello All,

I'm coming to the States for a couple readings when Graywolf "drops" Cataract City in the US. They'll be on the 8th of July, in Newtonville (Boston) and the 10th, in Brooklyn.

NEWTONVILLE/BOSTON

BROOKLYN

My brother and I will be road-tripping it together, so we look forward to drinking some US brews and eating some US eats and meeting some US folks. If you are in those areas on those days, free, and willing, hope to see you there!

All best, Craig.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Now available to pre-order, with snazzy cover!

Hello All,

Like I've said on prior occasions, I don't know who this scumsucker is but still, I make it a point to promote his aims for some perverse private reason.

PREORDER THE DEEP IN THE US

Coming soon: preorder links for Canada, the UK, and Germany.

All best,
Craig.

Friday, June 20, 2014

French Cover for CC

Hello All,

Here's the French cover for Cataract City, coming out in a few months. Published by Albin Michel, the Terre D'Amerique subsection, overseen by the esteemed Francis Geffard. Colleen and I will get to go to Paris when it's released, so even if the book tanks we get a free trip out of the deal!



All best, 
Craig.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TOILET TRAINING

Hello All,

Well, I don't imagine this blog will ever turn into one of those "Daddy Blogs" where I recount the minutae of the parental life. Not that I have any issues with blogs of that nature—and not that my role as a father hasn't already crept into my fictional output—but I guess I'm not always as attuned to the day-to-day oddities of fatherhood as others.

But we've been trying to toilet train our son recently. It's an interesting experience. Apparently it's instuctive for Nicholas to watch people ... well, peeing. Guys especially, because the plumbing's the same. He won't be standing up to pee for quite some time—that's high-level-of-difficulty stuff for a toddler. And it's not like I'm taking him to public urinals and saying:

"Now watch this guy's technique—it's stellar! That's some great, great pissing on display there! Good shaking off, too, after the deed: not too showy, just enough to get the job done and get the tool back into the toolshed with no wetting."

No, no, there's none of that. I'm not saying it would scar him, I'm not saying it would not. Just doesn't seem the thing to be done.

But that means it falls to me. So now any time I feel the urge I announce with great fanfare:

"Time for Daddy to go pee-pee!"

Nicholas is greatly enthused by this. He puts down whatever he was doing and toddles on into the bathroom to watch. Now it's a weird sensation to pee in front of someone else—I recognize certain fetishists pay a pricey penny for the thrill, but for me, aside from standing beside dudes at the public urinals, it's not my thing. But now I've got this pint-sized gawker watching me pee. He's very intent, too, his eyes burning practically a hole in the toilet. He looks at my ... uh, thingie as I suppose I might refer to it for him, then into the toilet with the splashing and whatnot, then back up, then down, then up again and down like he's watching a ping-pong match. It's all very strange but hey, the boy's gotta learn somehow.

But then yesterday I announce it's pee-pee time and Nick follows me in and I'm halfway done and he kind of sighs and wanders back into the main room to play with his train set. I don't know if it was simply a weak showing on my part or, more likely, that he's like: I got it, Dad. Pee goes in the big white bowl. Check. Not to be a jerk about it, but it's kind of passe now. Booooooring.

I felt just a little hurt. Stung. I finished with a sad trickle and zipped up and looked in the mirror and said: "You still got it, baby" just to buck myself up after this ego-sapping blow.

So I guess my job is done on that front. I can check it off on the list. I'm sure I'll be doing something weird in the service of fatherhood again soon, however.

All best, Craig.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Trillium Award Nomination

Hello All,

A real shock. A real suprise. Big ups to my father, and Kirby, my agent, and Lynn, my editor, for whipping the manuscipt into shape so that I could even contend for the award—which I will surely not win because there are several fantastic books on the shortlist, but that's okay because Colleen and I still get a free meal and I'll absolutely steal the silverware after the cememony so don't worry about me, I'll turn a profit somehow.

And thanks to Mark Medley at the National Post for using what might be my favorite author photo of all time for the piece linked to below. I tried to bulge my eyes out, too, but it hurt and I know when I'm in the presence of greatness so I quit.

TRILLIUM

All best, Craig.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

JOE ROGAN PODCAST

Hello All,

Big thanks to Matt Staggs, who put my book into the hands of Joe Rogan, which led to an appearance on his podcast. It was a marathon 3 hours, a marathon Joe has run nearly 500 times now but which was a new experience for me; my usual interviews, when they occur, usually run a modest 2-15 minutes. So I'm not sure how I did, really, but Joe was very cool about maneuvering me through my first longform podcast experience. Really a cool guy, very thankful to have had the opportunity.

JOE ROGAN PODCAST

All best, Craig.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

INTERVIEW IN THE GALWAY ADVERTISER

Hello All,

I was over in Ireland last weekend for a fantastic festival called Cuirt. I had a great time, got pretty drunk a few nights, and met some really nice people. Overall, a fantastic time. Here's a totally not-staged photo of myself and Colin Barrett, the fantastic Irish writer I did my event with (photo by Boyd Challenger):


... should I have gotten a haircut before heading to Ireland? Maybe so. In my defense I was brutally jetlagged at this point. It's not much of an excuse, seeing as I wasn't jetlagged in Toronto and my hair looked the exact same.

Anyhoo, here's an interview I did before heading over to the festival. Thanks to everyone at Cuirt for giving all us scribblers such a great venue.


All best, Craig.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

STARRED REVIEW FOR CATARACT CITY IN PW

Hello All,

Well, this is very nice. A good start for things as the book rolls towards its June pub date. All best, Craig.


 Cataract City

Craig Davidson. Graywolf, $16 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-55597-674-3

Childhood friends pursue lives on opposite sides of the law in this sweeping literary crime novel from Davidson (Rust and Bone). Owen Stuckey and Duncan Diggs meet as children, growing up on the streets of Cataract City, on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. One night, during the chaos of a brawl, the 12-year-old boys are abducted, and spend a hellish week lost in the woods. From this point on, their trajectories split: Owen becomes a high school basketball star, and later a cop; Duncan becomes a boxer and small-time hood. Yet they remain tethered, not only by friendship and shared trauma but also by Edwina, a fiery free spirit they both love. When dogfighting, smuggling, and then murder ratchet up the stakes between the two men, old bonds are pitted against current loyalties. Davidson makes Cataract City itself a character, and brilliantly evokes life in a gritty industrial town—the men and women smell like their respective product lines at the local Nabisco factory, and drink at the same bleak bars their entire lives. Although Davidson takes a few small missteps—as children, the boys have confusingly similar nicknames, and some plot points strain credulity—the characters, audacious sweep of the story, and propulsive noir writing make this novel a standout. To live in Cataract City, Duncan observes, is “to accept many disappointments”; Davidson’s novel, on the other hand, lives up to its promise. (July)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

CALGARY HERALD INTERVIEW

Hello All,

Huge thanks to Eric Volmers, tireless (and very thorough!) reporter for the Calgary Herald for taking the time to record and later coalesce my rambling, nonsensical diatribe into a very nice interview. I'll be reading in Calgary this coming Tuesday the 18th as part of the Dark Side Tour, with some other really great writers. Check the link out for more info!

CALGARY HERALD

DARK SIDE TOUR

Also, an interview with the Ottawa Citizen. I think this is the first interview I've ever done where at least one of my answers might be termed "snippy." I hope not, I am always grateful to anyone for taking the time to ask questions and I always try to give interesting answers—but not pissy ones. Maybe I did so, just this once. I won't make a habit of it.

OTTAWA CITIZEN

All best,
Craig.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

CATARACT CITY UK REVIEWS

Hello All,

So, Cataract City's been out in the UK for awhile. Reviews have trickled in here and there. They're not really as blown away by it in the UK, overall ... not to claim anyone was blown away by it here in Canada, but the reviews were generally pretty decent. Tougher crowd over the Pond. Really, I've been incredibly fortunate with the reviews to this point, and the book itself is—like anything I've written—not for everyone. There's a certain "luck of the draw" aspect to book reviews: if you get a reviewer whose tastes fall in line with this sort of thing, then maybe you'll have a better go of it than if the book is given to a reviewer whose tastes flow in a different direction. All this is well and good and understandable; a lot of critics are writers, too, so they know how much chance, fate, and circumstance comes into play with all of this. As always, I'm grateful to anyone for taking the time to read and engage with the book, even if their experience isn't what I'd hoped it would be for them, or for any reader.

THE INDEPENDENT
Huge thanks to Doug Johnstone for his review.

FINANCIAL TIMES
Thank you to Orlando Bird.

THE GUARDIAN
This ... this is a bit of a scorcher. Which is triply too bad for me, because #1. The Guardian's a pretty damn big paper, #2. Like I said, it's not a great review, and 3. I really enjoy M John Harrison's work, so it's unfortunate it's not much of a mutual admiration society. But it's a fair reading of the book and brings up points that I think some readers might struggle with.

All best, Craig.

Monday, March 3, 2014

RTE IRELAND RADIO INTERVIEW

Hello All,

Want to listen to me blether on about Cataract City on Irish public radio? Of COURSE you do!

RTE RADIO 1 INTERVIEW

All best, Craig.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CATARACT CITY OPTIONED FOR FILM

Hello All,

Some great news came over the transom yesterday. Gavin O'Connor—the filmmaker perhaps best known for Warrior, the fantastic Tom Hardy/Joel Edgerton film*, but who has had a hand in many great projects—and his production partner have optioned Cataract City.

This, obviously, is a wonderful thing to have happened. There's really not much else to say, because it's just happened. I'm incredibly pleased and grateful. And—with the permission of the other involved parties—I may comment on it here from time to time.

* It also starred Frank Grillo, who I loved in both Warrior and The Grey. And of course Nick Nolte, who earned a Best Supporting Actor nod.

I'll leave you with the final scene from Warrior, with the song from The National that played over it.


All best, 
Craig.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Scumbag's Even Got His Own Blog Now!

Hello All,

Well, he keeps sinking to new levels of depravity. And now he's got a pulpit!

NICK CUTTER'S BLOG

Yours in shared sadness,
Craig.

CATARACT CITY CANADIAN PAPERBACK

Hello All,

Behold, the Cataract City trade PB, juxtaposed beside my son's half-eaten breakfast. What a punk that boy is! His Mom makes a tasty breakfast, toast and peanut butter and 'nannas, and the boy picks at it like a crow! The book looks great, however.


All best, Craig.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

DARK SIDE TOUR DATES

Hello All,

In case you want to come out and see some cool writers read some cool books next month, here are the Facebook invite links for the DARK SIDE Canadian Tour, visiting Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto. Come on out, if'n you please!

CALGARY STOP
VANCOUVER STOP
OTTAWA STOP
TORONTO STOP

OFFICIAL TOUR WEBSITE


All best, Craig.

Friday, February 14, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH NICK CUTTER

Hello All,

I gotta admit, this dude's growing on me a bit. He's still a human monster, you understand, but even monsters deserve a little love I guess.

NICK CUTTER INTERVIEW conducted by STEVEN BEATTIE

All best, Craig.

Monday, February 10, 2014

UPCOMING CANADIAN TOUR FOR SOME BOOK OR ANOTHER ...

Hi All,


... you can check www.thedarksidetour.ca in the coming days (it's not up yet) for more info.

Spooky! Looking forward to sharing the tour with some fabulous writers.

All best,
Craig.

Friday, February 7, 2014

LIFESTYLES OF THE MODESTLY-MONIED AND LITTLE-KNOWN

Hello All,

Here's a piece on my fiancee and I's lavish house and our equally lavish lifestyle. I know everyone's dying to see what the house of a writer looks like, so ... feast your eyes. You can't see very well in the photos, but our walls are wallpapered in $100 bills. And our floors are pure gold. And delicious Fresca pours from our taps instead of dreary, cheap water. Yes, we truly do live the life of earthbound gods. Are you jelly? Yeah, you're jelly.

Many thanks to Marcy Cornblum for doing the interview!


All best, Craig.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

CATARACT CITY OUT IN THE UK TODAY

Hello All,

A big box o' these bad boys showed up yesterday:


... so go ye forth, and purchase! I mean, if you want to and you happen to live in the UK, that is; I don't expect you to book a flight over there to go buy a copy—that would be madness!


All best, Craig.


Friday, January 31, 2014

CBC BOOKIE AWARDS

Hello All,

Let me tell you a story. This is a very personal story to me, so I hope you'll bend an ear.

On his deathbed, my great-great-uncle Cotton Horace Davidson pulled me close. He was a sugar miner, you see. He worked in the sugar mines of northern Ontario, harvesting sweet sweet nuggets of sugar from the unforgiving ore. He and his fellow sugar-miners were a tough lot. Burly, unshaven, smelling faintly of Pixie Stiks. When he came home from the sugar mines all the neighborhood children would dance and sing, because they knew that my great-great-uncle would toss his overalls to the child who danced best—and his overalls, of course, were crusted with sweet sweet sugar, and the winning child would get to dash off into the brambles and suck on the seat of those overalls (now you may find the notion of a grown man tossing his overalls to a group of dancing children strange, insofar as that would leave said man practically naked; you may also find the image of a child sucking on the tattered seat of some overalls in the brambles rather unsettling as well, but I must remind you that this was a different day and age, my friend!)

Anyhoo and alas, poor Cotton came down with a bad case of the sugar-lung. It happened to a lot of sugar miners back then. It was one of the dangers of such sweet work. On his death bed he pulled me close and hacked up a puff of fine powdered sugar from the pit of his lungs; it sparkled in the air above his bed like diamond dust, I tell you! And though I was crying, for I loved old Cotton so, I was happy also because he was rich, like all miners, and I stood to clear a few bucks when he kicked the bucket.

With his dying breath dear sweet Cotton pulled me close and whispered:

"Boy, if you do one thing in this life for me, make it that you win CBC's Bookie competition."

I never did forget those words—and now, miraculously, that chance is at hand!

So go forth, for Cotton's sake if not my own, and vote. Damn you, VOTE!

BOOKIES

And I mean, listen, look at those other titles.

The Luminaries? Don't make me laugh! What's it ever won?

Caught? Can I just be honest and say that Newfoundlanders and their whole lah-dee-dah "have" province already "have" enough? They have the sea, the cod, the frolicking lobsters, the invigorating salt air! What, do they need that their authors win everything too? They have enough, I say! Let us hardscrabble Torontonians win something for once, why not?

The Orenda? Who has even heard of that book? Certainly not the entire Canadian reading public, I should think!

Clearly, the choice in clear. Do it for Cotton. Do it for the hardworking sugar miners. Do it for you.

All best,
Craig.

UPDATE: Well, I didn't win. In fact, I finished dead stinkin' last. Great! Just GREAT! Now, as per our infernal agreement, my great-great uncle Cotton will haunt me and my family as a ghoulish undead revenant for the rest of my days, spreading disharmony and angst amongst those I love and treasure most in this world! Plus, he gets to eat my face! Just perfect! Why oh why did I make that deathbed deal?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

They Sent Me That Cutter Guy's Book, For Some Ungodly Reason

Hello All,

Well, these showed up in the mail today, addressed to me. Probably as a token of appreciation for me pumping this guy's tires a little. I appreciate the gesture, though I won't be reading it. US and UK editions, side by side. US version is a little redder than I'd thought it would be, which is a good choice considering the subject matter as I've heard it described.


And now, just as the old gypsy lady in The Simpsons says: "You buy! You buy!" ... if you enjoy reading that sorta thing.

CANADIAN PAPERBACK
US HARDCOVER
UK PAPERBACK

All best, Craig.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Come on, Guys!


Hello All,

Well, this post is a little insidery, really maybe only of interest to people who really know me and my odd ways. What you may not know about me is that I've got kind of a peculiar voice. That has bearing on this post. And beyond that, I've kind of got an aw-shucks personality, kinda Opie-ish you could even say (if you're of an age to understand that reference). So as a result, friends of mine have enjoyed immitating me, my voice and mannerisms, for years. Of course, not ME-me, not in the sense of it being a perfect impersonation—more in the way a boardwalk caricature artist captures a subject. So, like, totally overblown. Which I find hilarious and others do as well.

The funny thing is that this impression has been adopted by different sets of friends over time—the exact same impression, almost to a tee—and those people have no knowledge of each other. It's not like one group started it, someone in the other group heard it, and it sort of spread virally from one group to the other. My high school friends don't really know my university friends, who don't know the group that I hang out with now and who've adopted it the impersonation now ... I must just be one of those people who make for a funny and pretty easy impression.

The impression portrays me as a gormless, funloving kind of rube whose hayseed mannerisms and old-timey sayings give great delight to all and sundry. It's as if I'm possessed by the spirit of Gomer Pyle, maybe, but with an even more antiquated vocabulary. And when I get riled, it's in the most ineffective and pathetic of ways. So the impression often involves sayings such as:

"Well golly gosh gee-whiz guys, you've got me all aflutter!"

OR:

"Do me a solid and buzz the heck off!"

OR: 

"Oooooh, you guys got me so dang mad I'm hopping like a bug in a pan!"

OR:

"Your monkeyshines make me feel about as low as a rattlesnake's belly in a wagon-wheel rut, guys!"

... but the classic line, the showstopper, is the simplest and shortest one. It's just:

"Awwww, come on guys!"

This line is uttered (often by me, impersonating my own impersonation, after I've been taking it in the ribs for awhile) as a sad, drawn-out lamentation. Me, a put-upon everyman, suffering slings and arrows at the hands of my callous pals. It's a sad and pitiable attempt to get them to just lay off, good golly good heck.

Anyway, today I thought I'd see if my son, the esteemable Nicholas Davidson, could do the "Craig Impersonation." He's a sponge right now. Anything his mother or I say, he's liable to parrot back. So we've had to keep our salty language in check lately. Here's his attempt:


video

Not too shabby.

All best, Craig.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

THAT WEIRD-ASS NICK CUTTER GUY

Hello All,

Well, this Nick Cutter guy (who I don't know, despite what's being written in some venues, and despite a picture of yours truly being appended to book reviews for this other, strange fellow, who I am most assuredly not) popped up on my radar last week. He's done writ a horror book, I hear. It's a wee bit extreme in some sections, by the sounds of it. Yeeee! Not for me. I don't traffic in that kind of material, myself. If that's your deal, hell, fill your boots. Me? I'll have a Coke and a smile, and read a Hardy Boys mystery—not one of the scary ones, either, about a demon motorcycle or something. The mystery of some gold doubloons buried in a cave is about as supernatural as I'll go!

This, I'm told, was the original cover:


Then it underwent a little bit of a facelift and became this:


Now were you to twist my rubber arm and put me on the spot and ask me which one I prefer, I'd tell you frankly—NEITHER! They're both too damn scary! I just about make water in my pants whenever I set my tender eyes on these fearsome hellscapes! Nossir, not for me!

Anyhoo, if'n you wanted to read a few people's opinions on this here book, I'm not gonna stop you. Hell, I might even post a few more of them here from time to time, just to provide a little perspective and give this weird dude (whoever the hell he is) a leg up. Lord knows we could all use that from time to time! But since I'm not this guy, I guess I'll post a pretty wide swath of opinion regarding the book, both good and bad. I mean, if I really was this guy, why would I post the hatchet jobs? Nope, there would be no angle in that. So anyway, scan on down for some links. If I were Nick Cutter, and by gar I ain't, I'd probably want to thank Alex Good and Steven W Beattie for their thoughts, and also thank the fine but faceless folks at PW and Kirkus, and Matt Schirano and Douglas Lord at Library Journal. For all I know this Cutter cat's a total boor and wouldn't offer such niceties, but he ain't me and you can bet your boots on that.


... and how about a link to Steven W. Beattie's review?


... or Kirkus?

KIRKUS REVIEW


Some thrillers produce shivers, others trigger goose bumps; Cutter’s graphic offering will have readers jumping out of their skins.
Scoutmaster Dr. Tim Riggs takes his troop for their annual camping trip to Falstaff Island, an uninhabited area not far from their home on Prince Edward Island. The five 14-year-old boys who comprise Troop 52 are a diverse group: popular school jock, Kent, whose father is the chief of police; best friends Ephraim and Max, one the son of a petty thief who’s serving time in prison and the other the son of the coroner who also serves as the local taxidermist; Shelley, an odd loner with a creepy proclivity for animal torture and touching girls’ hair; and Newton, the overweight nerdy kid who’s the butt of the other boys’ jokes. When a skeletal, voracious, obviously ill man shows up on the island the first night of their trip, Tim’s efforts to assist him unleash a series of events which the author describes in gruesome, deliciously gory detail. Tom Padgett is the subject of a scientific test gone horribly wrong, or so it seems, and soon, the Scouts face a nightmare that worms its way into the group and wreaks every kind of havoc imaginable. With no way to leave the island (the boat Tom arrived on is disabled, and the troop was dropped off by a different boat), the boys fight to survive. Cutter’s narrative of unfolding events on the island is supplemented with well-placed interviews, pages from diaries, and magazine and newspaper articles, which provide answers to the reader in bits and pieces—but perhaps more importantly, it also delivers much-needed respites from the intense narrative as the boys battle for their lives on the island. Cutter (who created this work under a pseudonym) packs a powerful punch by plunging readers into gut-wrenching, explicit imagery that’s not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach.  
Readers may wish to tackle this heart-pounding novel in highly populated, well-lit areas—snacks optional.
... or Library Journal? (they did two reviews, interestingly. So why not read them both?)

REVIEW #1:
Cutter, Nick. The Troop. Gallery: S. & S. Jan. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9781476717715. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781476717753. F
In this suspenseful biotech thriller by the pseudonymous Cutter (an acclaimed Canadian novelist), a Boy Scout troop goes to Falstaff Island for its annual hiking and camping trip. It’s usually just the boys and their scoutmaster, but this year they are surprised by a hauntingly thin man. He is infected with a highly contagious genetically modified worm that eats people from inside while overwhelming them with hunger. The scoutmaster soon falls victim. When no boat arrives to take the scouts home, it becomes apparent that the island is quarantined, and the five boys must fend for their survival while avoiding infection. Cutter mixes the story of the scouts with glimpses of interviews and articles written after the event. These excerpts inform the reader of the sinister origin of the worm and the circumstances surrounding the quarantine.VERDICT The personal history of each scout plays into how they handle the situation, which makes this a psychological thriller. That being said, it does contain scenes of graphic violence unsuitable for young adult readers. Cutter’s novel imbues readers with the horrifying feelings reminiscent of a zombie novel but successfully delivers a unique alternative that makes for a fun if gruesome horror read.—Matt Schirano, Grand Canyon Univ. Lib., Phoenix

REVIEW #2:
Cutter, Nick. The Troop. Gallery. Feb. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9781476717715. $26. ebk. ISBN9781476717753 FICThis hella creepy book begins on a teeny Canadian island where scoutmaster Tim Riggs and a tight-knit group of 14-year-old scouts are camping. A dude shows up out of the blue —and he’s hungry. “It wasn’t much more than a skeleton lashed by ropes of waterlogged muscle,” observes Riggs, “its flesh falling off its bones in grey, lace-edged rags.” Tim sees Mr. Hungry eat a handful of soil—and it’s not because he’s a geophagist; he’s just freakishly hungry. As Tim, who is also a general practitioner, cuts open the hungry man he releases “[t]hree feet of oily tube” —a massive, vampiric tapeworm. Tim rapidly gets infected and suddenly we’re having an epidemic. Though at times maudlin, especially concerning the boys’ feelings about the pain of adolescence, this is surprisingly well written for a horror novel. There are skies “…salted with remote stars” and a beach that is “a bonelike strip unfurling to the shoreline.” Additionally, Cutter simply nails a lot of things: the interplay between the five-pack of man-cubs, for example, or his description of a kid’s sudden anger which “…rose out of nowhere, this giddy charge zitzing through his bones and electrifying his marrow.” Cutter adds intrigue by zigzagging back and forth in time and place and parceling out the story from a variety of viewpoints. Each character—from patient zero to Scoutmaster Tim—brings a slightly different perspective; fictionalized news reports (grotesque) and clinical lab reports (cold blooded) add to the verisimilitude. VERDICT An eerie/disturbing page-turner perfect for horror fans, reluctant readers, and anyone who liked Lord of the Flies or John Carpenter’s The Thing.
... or Publisher's Weekly? (which is a bit of a slam ... ooh, I'd hate to be this Cutter guy on this one!)
Well, anyway, there you have it. If'n you were wanting to order this book, or find out a little more about it, I guess, were I Cutter, I'd direct you to this website:
Or maybe I'd offer a few places where you could purchase foreign editions, if'n you happened to be from those spots on the globe.
Anyhoo, this is just me doing a public service for some dude I've never met—and to speak frankly, never want to! He sounds like a total lunatic and whackadoodle, writin' this trashola. Me, I'm heading down to the K of C hall to do some woolgathering with Hal, Wink, and Elmer, my buds. I'm steering clear of this Cutter freak and all his freaky freakishness, and (despite everything in this post seeming to suggest otherwise) I advise you do the same!
All best,
Craig the Puritan, aka: Not Nick Cutter.

Monday, January 13, 2014

HAMMETT PRIZE SHORTLIST

Hello All,

Got an email the other day to say Cataract City's been nominated for the Hammett Prize, which is adjudicated by the International Association of Crime Writers. I never really thought of Cataract City as a crime book, but there's certainly a fair bit of crime in the narrative, so I'm very grateful to have been nominated—and as you can see from their history, there's a fairly wide range of books that made the shortlist year to year:

HAMMETT PRIZE PAST WINNERS AND NOMINEES

This years' shortlist is:

Heywood Gould, Green Light for Murder (Tyrus Books)
Richard Lange, Angel Baby: A Novel (Mulholland Books)
Lisa Moore, Caught (Anansi Press)
George P. Pelecanos, The Double (Little, Brown)
Craig Davidson, Cataract City (Doubleday)

... so that's some pretty stiff competition—and hey, there's Lisa Moore! We're sharing a shortlist again. I'm a big fan of Lange and Pelecanos, who's written for The Wire and Treme. Anyway, a very startling nomination (as any nomination would be, for me) but very much appreicated. Winner to be announced on June 5th.

All best, Craig.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rusty Toque Interview

Hello All,

Please find following an interview I did with the Rusty Toque. Many thanks to the marvellous Madeline Bassnet, a fellow UNB English alum, for asking some great questions.

INTERVIEW

All best, Craig.