Country of Cold: Book summary and reviews of Country of Cold by Kevin Patterson

Country of Cold

Stories of Sex and Death

By Kevin Patterson

Country of Cold
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2003,
    272 pages.

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Book Summary

Graduating from high school in a small Canadian town, you are immediately faced with two stark choices: leave or stay. Country of Cold follows the stories of a disparate group of Dunsmuir, Manitoba's class of 1980, most of whom leave, imagining that life happens elsewhere. They flee to the freedom of the big cities of the world and the far corners of Canada, but many end up feeling rootless and alone, whether as a physician in an Arctic Inuit community, a temporary boyfriend in Paris, or a student in the McGill Ghetto. The characters attempt to unravel the impossible puzzles of adulthood -- searching for answers by hurtling over falls in a barrel, building a boat to escape a teen-daughter-gone-bad, or embarking on an unlikely affair with a two-bit wrestler.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[T]he tone of the book is occasionally too wry for its themes, too self-consciously clever. Patterson is at his best when bringing out the natural poetry of the landscapes that fascinate him-at such moments he writes with the power of Russell Banks or Annie Proulx, with a gaze that both appreciates the beauty of the imagined scene and understands the socioeconomic complexities looming over it." - PW.

"A masterful debut short-story collection . . . . The stories are rich in event. . . but it's in characterizations that Patterson shines, capturing shades of ambiguity, uncertainty and small happiness with a deft touch." - Vancouver Sun.

"This book's unusual structure and accessible characters make it a compelling and absorbing read. Recommended for public and academic libraries." - Library Journal.

"The random adventures of life stitched together and explained with unconventional devices - that both do and don't work." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Author Information

Kevin Patterson Author Biography

Photo: Lawrence Melious

Kevin Patterson grew up in Manitoba and put himself through medical school by joining the Canadian army. Now a specialist in internal medicine, he practises in the Arctic and on the coast of British Columbia. His first book, a memoir called The Water in Between, was a Globe Best Book and an international bestseller. Country of Cold, his debut short fiction collection, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize in 2003, as well as the inaugural City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. He lives on Saltspring Island.

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