In his third novel, Richard Scarsbrook returns to the fictional Faireville of his previous novels Cheeseburger Subversive (2003) and Featherless Bipeds (2006) to present Philip Skyler in a three part chronicle: his eighth-grade introduction to public school, his twelfth-grade challenges, and his recovery from a life-threatening motorcycle accident. The reader meets Philip the day he turns 13 in his family environment and at school where he falls victim to the school bullies, two of whom are the sons of Mr. Brush, the school principle, who deliver a vicious version of the outlawed “Birthday Beats.” Accompanied by his mom and grandfather, Philip reluctantly returns to the school to meet with the administration. When challenged by grandfather Skyler, the principal asks students to verify the account as filed. To Philip’s shock, two students find the courage to detail events as they actually happened, the other students corroborate their version, and the principle is forced to process an “Official Notice of Suspension” for his sons. Author, songwriter, actor, musician, Scarsbrook seamlessly incorporates several previously published short stories as chapters in the novel, linking them effectively with the plot. In remarkable, keenly observed detail, he excels at capturing ordinary and extraordinary moments of life in a tale to engage and entertain readers of any age. The Monkeyface Chronicles is not an easy read, but it amply rewards those who persevere.
The Monkeyface Chronicles
ISBN: 9781927068212 Categories: Fiction, Coming of Age
About the Author
Richard Scarsbrook is the author of ten books, including the novels The Troupers, The Indifference League, the National Post Bestseller Rockets Versus Gravity, and The Monkeyface Chronicles, which won the 2011 OLA White Pine Award. His short stories and poems have also appeared in The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Descant, Existere, Prairie Fire, and NeWest Review, amongst many others. His first produced screenplay, Royal Blood, was an official selection at many international film festivals, and won Best Short Film at the TIFF-associated Milton Film Festival. He has served as Writer in Residence for the Toronto District School Board, and the Orangeville, Richmond Hill, and the Toronto Public Libraries. He also teaches creative writing at George Brown College and The Humber School for Writers.