Brunch with the Jackals

Author: Don McLellan
ISBN: 9781771870696 Categories: Fiction, Crime, Literary, Short Stories (single author)
Publication Date: 15 March, 2015
Dimensions: 6 x 8.62"

A man seeking the high life realizes too late that he has destroyed his possibilities for happiness. Four junkies wait anxiously for a drug dealer who seems to have forgotten their existence. A gang leader attempts to navigate racism, greed, and mutiny within the ranks. An aspiring writer assesses and obsesses over a crime close to home as a young neighbour’s boyfriend is on trial for her murder. In Brunch with the Jackals, Don McLellan explores the dark side of urban life through stories that combine black comedy, observational invective, and heart-wrenching irony in a collection of neo-noir fiction whose protagonists range from a young boy playing war games with toy soldiers to a terminally ill cancer patient plotting his own death.
Featuring an abundance of twisting plots, seedy villains, and anti-heroes with questionable moral compasses, McLellan’s subjects hearken back to the era of dames and dirty cops, with observations and dialogue delivered in the stark and sometimes eloquent language of classic noir.
Brunch with the Jackals is both a throwback to and an advance on the “hard-boiled” style of forerunners like Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane. At times clipped and edgy, the tone never completely gives way to bleakness or brooding, but hovers on the boundaries between light and darkness. Mistrust and betrayal drive the plots, death lurks in the shadows, and blood is often spilled, demonstrating McLellan’s love of the literary grotesque.

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 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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