J.R. M for People Park
Pasha Malla's People Park stands out among recent Canadian fiction for its ambition, originality and darkly skewed vision of our contemporary world. While the words "polish" and "control" are regularly cited as virtues of a great novelist, too often the words are disguised synonyms for a conventional stylistic approach that pushes no boundaries, and looks away from the universe of possibilities that face the novelist when deciding how to use language to achieve their aims. With crackling energy, startling sentences and an imagination that veers from playful to near-deranged, Malla paints a huge, vivid canvas that introduces us to dozens of characters whose lives come together in a setting that somehow feels both exceptionally weird and very true. The result is a novel that reads like no other and feels genuinely trailblazing -- to paraphrase, a fuggin punt to the grapes of Canlit, for sure.