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Brunch with the Jackals

Author: Don McLellan
ISBN: 9781771870504 Categories: Fiction, Crime, Literary, Short Stories (single author)
Publication Date: 31 March, 2015
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5"

“Turf War” begins the collection with a plunge to the bottom of an elevator shaft where gang leader Milan Kobek contemplates mutiny in his ranks and the racism, violence, and greed that has led to his downfall.

“Rapture” follows Lonnie, who recently ran away from his group home and has taken to life in the streets, and his junkie friends as they wait impatiently for the delivery of a new drug called “rapture” from a drug dealer who seems to have forgotten their existence.

“Angels Passing” interweaves the story of the friendship formed between Brother Michael, a young missionary in Vietnam, and Trang, his driver/interpreter, with the romantic tale Trang tells of Choi and Akia – a young wrestler and a woman with a physical deformity who go against tradition for love.

In “Alice Bird” a retired accountant reveals his obsession with the murder of a neighbour girl while attempting to write a short story for a creative writing class.

“Toy Soldiers” tells of a rebel militia group on the run from the government army and their dogs, while young Kevin plots an eerily similar game with his toy soldiers and awaits his Da’s return home.

“Invisible” begins with the interrogation of illegal Korean workers by an immigration panel and a reporter who are investigating mysterious deaths at a shellfish farm. As they reveal their employers’ secrets, Diane Ng and Ling Wa also uncover the abuse, racism, and exploitation they have faced.
In “The Robin’s Egg” Henry’s struggle to come to terms with death as cancer ravages his body is further complicated with the discovery of a new drug designed to end it all painlessly.

“Green Honda” follows Archie as he betrays his employer – who then mysteriously disappears – and develops an obsession with listening to a police scanner. Archie’s paranoia slowly takes over his life, but are his fears imagined or is the green Honda outside following him?

Bugs, 8-Ball, and Pete are the “Mothas”, a gang of adolescent misfits intent on causing mischief, who attempt to escape from their mundane middle class existence by hopping onto a train.

In “East Side Rules” a union dispute is settled with a cut-throat game of softball.

“Brunch with the Jackals” is a neo-noir novella set in the fictional lakefront town of Rail Spur. With a diverse cast of characters ranging from disfigured socialites to escaped convicts and dissatisfied newspaper reporters to ruthless maintenance workers, this is a story of murder, stolen identity, and intrigue that reveals the grotesque result of greed driving someone over the edge.

About the Author

Don McLellan has worked as a journalist in Canada, South Korea and Hong Kong, and his journalism has been featured in countless publications including Vancouver Magazine, Equity, and V. He has had short stories published in Descant, Joyland, the Dalhousie Review, and more, and his debut story collection In the Quiet After Slaughter (Libros Libertad) was a 2009 ReLit Award finalist. He currently edits a trade magazine in Vancouver.

Reviews

Reviews of In the Quiet After Slaughter:

In the Quiet After Slaughter is full of unforeseen and amusing moments served up well in strong narratives. . . It all makes for an informative blend of history and fiction, rolled together by McLellan’s efficient storytelling.” – Matthew Firth, author of Suburban Pornography (in the Danforth Review)

“Don McLellan is the kind of wise, well-travelled writer we don’t see much of these days. . . he earns the right to be included in the exotic tradition of Hemingway, Maugham and Graham Greene. Like all memorable writing, his stories take us to another world and hold us there. Spare and subtle, they will linger in your mind long after the last page.” – John Lekich, Governor General’s Award Finalist for The Losers’ Club

“The melody in the prose, mesmerizing characters. . . A terrific achievement. . . I consider In the Quiet After Slaughter one of the pleasures of my reading life.” – Mike McRanor (in the Vancouver Sun)

“I just finished reading what is probably one of the best books I have ever read. . . [Some of the stories] reminded me of American Graffiti, others reminded me of A Christmas Story. “Ed’s Garage” had me laughing long after I had finished reading it; the same could be said about “Fugitive”. Excellent writing from an independent, unknown author who shouldn’t be. five stars!” – Brian Bianco, author of Dressed for a Kill

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