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About this book
- Edmonton Journal #1 Bestseller!
“Some days I wish something truly bad would happen so that I would have something genuine to worry about.”
When his parents’ car is hit by a train, Luke, a failed actor, returns to his Edmonton hometown to attend their funeral, wrap up their affairs, and prepare their house to be sold off. But while all others around him grieve, Luke remains detached, striking up a relationship with a woman in a neighbouring house ... and stumbling across evidence that his mother may have engaged in a longstanding extramarital affair herself.
In Luke, Laurence Miall has crafted an unforgettable literary antihero, a man disconnected from the pain of those around him, yet blind to his own faults. With his clean, forceful language and a familiarity with the darker corners of the male psyche, Blind Spot is a gripping literary debut.
• Interview with Vue Weekly
• Part One of "Lifespan of a Novel" at the Edmonton Journal - interview with Laurence Miall
• Part Two of "Lifespan of a Novel" at the Edmonton Journal - interview with Douglas Barbour and Jenna Butler
• Part Three of "Lifespan of a Novel" at the Edmonton Journal - interview with Michel Vrana
• Part Four of "Lifespan of a Novel" at the Edmonton Journal - interview with Paul Matwychuk and Matt Bowes
Excerpt from Chapter 1
My parents didn’t like me spending time with Joel. They couldn’t figure out why I’d taken up with some kid who didn’t read books or go to the theatre or have any normal hobbies. You have to understand: that was the very point. Joel wasn’t like us. I craved anyone or anything not like us.
Six months into my friendship with Joel, I decided to do something that would truly impress my mentor. Joel was hard up for money. He could not buy cigarettes, nor could he steal any from his mom, who had been away at her boyfriend’s. I concocted a daring plan. I decided we would break into some rich sucker’s house and steal their valuables and pawn them for money. But I didn’t know how to break into houses. So I decided that the house we would steal from would be my own.
I planned this heist meticulously. It had to be pulled off at exactly the right moment. It was late April, and my sister had a piano recital. The whole family was supposed to attend. I decided in advance that this was the appointed day. As an excuse for not going to the recital, I pretended to be sick and took the day off school.
I stayed home, coughing, hacking, and making exaggerated sniffing noises into dry tissues. My mom offered several times to get me cough syrup, but I declined, pretending to be brave. At three thirty, she left to pick up Laura from school and then Dad from the university. Then it was onwards to the recital. We only had one car in those days. I didn’t expect them back until seven. It was perfect. I had already arranged to meet Joel in front of the old Princess Theatre at four thirty. I had half an hour to erase every trace that identified the house as that of my family before we broke into it.
“‘I had no more business with the past,’ says Luke, the narrator of Blind Spot. Of course he does. His business, in Laurence Miall’s hands, is gritty and pretty, mournful and light, and all-around unforgettable.”
“A tale told with ferocious honesty. A sharply-polished gem, glittering with lights both lovely and cruel.”
"It seems incongruous: an enjoyable book with a protagonist you’d love to punch about the neck and face." full review
"Writing a novel based in Canada without making it blatantly Canadian is a tough task. The key it seems, as seen in Laurence Miall’s Blind Spot, is just to tell a good story that happens to take place in the Great White North." full review
"It made me realize how unconventional this story really is. It’s easy to sympathise with an anti-hero you think you can fix. Luke seems beyond help, somehow." full review
"Blind Spot is the memorable story of a minor failure, made all the more powerful by its honesty and restraint." full review
"Miall's character development is dead on and the author achieves this with his remarkable skill at dialogue."
"His story can hold its own in any locale, and his ability to hold one's attention is what will elevate his reputation as one of Edmonton's most sought-after writers, in the company of the likes of Todd Babiak and Lynn Coady." full review
"a breath of fresh air..." full review
"I like the way Miall writes." full review
"Overall, Blind Spot successfully exposes the mind of a warped individual and challenges his readers to understand his beautifully terrible anti-hero. All of this takes place against the familiar backdrop of our home, Edmonton." full review