Press & Media

Darryl Whetter at CBU

“Darryl Whetter’s The Push & the Pull is a brash, vibrant, melancholy, sexy, and finally uplifting book about a mesmerizing father, the son who can’t tear himself away, and the women who make them grow up. Whetter is intoxicated with language. He writes like a dream in a quick, urbane, and witty style. His women are gorgeous independent creatures; his men are large and infuriating; and when love happens it’s explosive, passionate, and grand. A lovely first novel.”

—GG Winner Douglas Glover

“Brilliant. Darryl Whetter’s style gleams like a rare and fresh metal. Here, in a ride we haven’t seen taken, is a daunting, all-terrain, solo journey to the heart.”

—Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist Author Bill Gaston

“A complex amalgam of genres (coming-of-age tale, anatomy of family dysfunction, portrait of combative first love), The Push and the Pull is, foremost, a road novel. This is a genre in which crazy misadventures ensue between points A and B. Whetter’s literary version, whose antecedents … include the existentialism of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and the weighty stock-taking of Graham Swift’s Last Orders, does incorporate misadventure, but the emphasis is on measured thoughtfulness.”

The Vancouver Sun

“[I]t thrums at a high volume, full of grief, desire, joy and regret, the story and its characters are believable…. In The Push and the Pull, Whetter grounds the reader in the physical, repeatedly coming back to the arduous bodily reality of the journey and of life.”

Monday Magazine

“I found myself drawn into Andrew’s story, almost against my will. That says something for Whetter’s skill and talent.”

The Hamilton Spectator

“’Children get stronger.’ Use it as an epigraph for Whetter’s seriously real examination of broken adolescence….It’s a contemporary quest narrative that never loses its focus. Sexuality, identity, and perspective fragment. But the text maintains its focus….It’s this exploration of personal freedom that really gives Whetter’s text its power. We can see the potential for tragedy. And, strangely, we hope for it.”

—David Adler, Canecdotes

“[E]xcellent writing….deeply poignant and resonating…the introspection and adventure keep you along for the read.”

Atlantic Books Today

 “Whetter weaves life’s major issues and cycling together into a journey that takes the reader through difficult but necessary places….Whetter writes like a dream and he deserves our attention.”

The Chronicle Herald

“He frequently places his characters in a personal cul-de-sac, a very brave thing to do. His combination of theme and style is very admirable.”

— Alistair MacLeod

“Wise with heart, precise as a fang, Darryl Whetter’s art reveals an intellect lipping into the feral and word-play that feels almost dangerous. A brilliant debut.”

— Bill Gaston

“These devious and toothsome tales are a black attack on language and lives of smartass desperation. Darryl Whetter’s debut is hallucinatory, a new brainscan, an incisor nudging our jugular.”

— Mark Anthony Jarman

“[H]e can pin down his insights with wonderful precision [moving] from dispassionate perception to an abrupt and moving burst of emotional truth…. Other tales reconfirm Whetter’s uncommon talent.”

The Globe and Mail

“Sinewy stories of disquiet and desperation … Plot, character, and dialogue zing along the taut bands of Whetter’s language … There isn’t a page in A Sharp Tooth in the Fur that doesn’t shiver with electricity fighting to be free.”

— John Burns, Georgia Straight

“A strong collection, dense, artful, and moving…one that may leave yonger writers wondering how to do likewise and older writers wondering whether they themselves have yet done anything as good.”


“Edgy short stories with unusual settings and interesting twists . . . [Whetter’s] writing has exciting poetic power and unpredictability.”

Atlantic Books Today

“If David Mamet were a Canadian 20-something male, he would have put together a book of short stories that looks a lot like Darryl Whetter’s debut collection, A Sharp Tooth in the Fur…. Whetter has a mean way with a short story.

January Magazine, picks for summer reading, 2003

“Whetter anatomizes the species in unflinching detail…. All of the stories are distinguished by Whetter’s prose, which is inventive, precise, and vivid. It’s the real star of this sly, smart, and gratifyingly original collection.”

— Jack Illingworth,

“Although Darryl Whetter’s book is also a debut collection, he writes with an assurance of purpose that characterizes him as a mature rather than an “emerging” writer … Whetter mounts a protest in his work against repressive language, hierarchical power structures, authoritarian figures, competitive practices, consumerism, and all those who, at the cost of personal integrity, achieve success in worldly terms….[H]e forges a prose style…with tremendous flair and bravado. His most successful achievement is a playfulness and verbal wit.”

— Joan Givner, The Malahat Review

“Whetter’s stories are full of … explicit sensuality, expressed in a quirky style that keeps the reader off balance … [a] witty barrage [of] verbal twists and comic ironies … vibrant with raw masculine physicality … offbeat but powerful.”

The Calgary Herald

“Whetter’s fictional world is an alternative, often dangerous one … [and he] explores it with almost clinical intensity… Whetter nicely catches the mood.”

The Hamilton Spectator

“Whetter’s a master of one-liners, a king of openings…. He has great instincts for the moment, an excellent ear for dialogue.”

—Hal Niedzviecki, broken pencil

“It must be daunting to assume the teacing position vacated by Alistair MacLeod, but if Whetter is insecure these stories do not show it.”

The University of Toronto Quarterly

“Whetter is an excellent writer, skilled at capturing minutia and investing it with meaning. He writes about arduous physical suffering and the to and fro of sexual ecstasy in an electric way.”

Books in Canada

“Darryl Whetter is also a literary critic and reviewer who reads his fellow writers with interest and enthusiasm.”

—Eleanor Wachtel, “The Arts Tonight,” CBC Radio One

Appreciation for Dr. Whetter’s Editing:

“In his masterful work on the World Heritage nomination of Joggins, Darryl Whetter has shown himself to be the best scientific editor with whom I have worked over the past 30 years. He commits to understanding the significance of the message that the text is supposed to convey, and uses his deep knowledge of the written word with the skill of a surgeon, rather than wielding it as a blunt instrument.”

—John Calder, PhD
Senior Geologist and Scientific Advisor
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources

“As the editor of the main nomination document for inscription of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Darryl Whetter was an invaluable asset to our team. Not only was Darryl adept at the technical aspects of editing (i.e., grammar, punctuation, formatting), he further contributed by ensuring that key messages were communicated effectively, precisely and with creativity. Darryl assisted in making our highly scientific and formal document (of more than 100 pages) persuasive, memorable and fit to compete for international recognition. Darryl is also an excellent co-worker as he is reliable, hard working and adaptable.”

—Ms. Jenna Boon
Joggins Fossil Institute