Intense short stories of people on the brink

Hellgoing
by Lynn Coady
$19.95, paperback, 240 pp.
House of Anansi, July 2013
Reviewed from an advance reading copy

Hellgoing Lynn CoadyLynn Coady has a knack for insecurity. It’s part of all our psyches, but it is hard to get right in fiction. Often writers either lay it on too thick, or present unbelievably self-assured protagonists—brave people doing brave things bravely.

Coady bull’s-eyes it, whether portraying a drunk obsessed with not being “that kind of drunk,” a paranoid woman in a virtual police state, a cult-surviving memoirist, feminists sensitive to flippant fatherly comments, sadomasochistic divorcees in love, or the father of a teenaged girl. We feel the characters’ angst, their uncertainty, and the way their fear of being perceived negatively pushes them, often in the wrong direction: Hellbound.

These stories feel like intense, ethereal dreams of betrayal, where the dastardly act is palpable even if unseen, unknown and undefined. Like dreams, they are rarely resolved, leaving the reader pondering, having felt something powerful, but uncertain what the hell just happened.

Hellgoing
by Lynn Coady
$19.95, paperback, 240 pp.
House of Anansi, July 2013
Reviewed from an advance reading copy

Written By

Chris Benjamin is the managing editor of Atlantic Books Today. He is also the author of three award-winning, critically-acclaimed books: Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School; Eco-Innovators: Sustainability in Atlantic Canada and Drive-by Saviours; as well as several short stories in anthologies and journals.

More from Chris Benjamin

Editor’s Picks: New Books for Summer of ’17

18 books worth getting sandy this summer
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *