Keeping Things Whole

keepingwhole200Paperback, 304 pages
8.50 x 5.75 inches
9781771080309
NB1096
Buy now from Nimbus Publishing or as an e-book from Amazon or iTunes
View Excerpt 1: “Running in the Rain” [PDF]
View Excerpt 2: “Das Boot” [PDF]
Hear  Excerpt 1: “Cute Meet”  [SoundCloud]
Hear  Excerpt 2: “Tai Sabaki”  [SoundCloud]
High Resolution Cover Image [JPG]

It’s 1998 and Antony Williams is about to meet his match. A native of Windsor, Ontario, Antony is the child of a demanding single mother and an absconding Vietnam War resister who got too used to leaving home, country, and family. With a keen eye on the hybrid Windsor-Detroit landscape, backhanded affection for his hometown, and a growing understanding of his own family’s place in its bootleg history, Antony makes his living as a house painter by day before catapulting loads of Canadian weed across the river to Detroit by night.

“Whetter is an excellent writer, skilled at capturing minutia and investing it with meaning.” -Books in Canada

By setting much of the action along the river, by instigating much border hopping (both bridging and tunnelling) and by exploring all sorts of edges, Whetter does a damn fine job. Anthony’s frequent commentaries, at once comic and insightful, go deeper than mere flavour to provide a deep feast of a city where “the Windsor Ballet has always been local code for our strippers” and they “paved paradise and put up a parking lot, a bar and a strip joint.” -Kamloops This Week

Full of post-modernist device, the structure is clever, the plot rolls along, and the characters unfurl engagingly. Whetter has written a detailed exploration of the transitions common to growing into adulthood and littered it with wild anecdotes of the prohibition, weed smuggling, and urban decay. –Edwards Book Club

Then he meets Kate Chan, a beautiful, street-smart law student, who calls his bluff and picks apart his personal mythology. Ultimately she presents him with his own hard choice and forces him to realize he’s been smuggling much more than he knows. Keeping Things Whole recounts the arc of their relationship and is cut with Antony’s entertaining manifestoes on marijuana, legality, art, theatre, sex, money, and lineage.

With this, his second novel, Darryl Whetter gives us a maddeningly cocky but introspective hero, and his frank, nuanced portrait of a border city and its underground history.