Falling Hour

Coach House. Feb. 2023. 224p. ISBN 9781552454466. pap. $17.95. F
DEBUT On a warm summer day, a man sits alone in a park, holding an empty picture frame and awaiting a meet-up with a stranger he encountered on the internet. While he waits, his thoughts bounce from topic to topic as he considers his “broken brain.” As a child, he was sent from his home in Scotland to live with aging relatives in Canada after his drug-addicted parents were no longer fit to care for him. That early dislocation left him feeling like a permanent outsider. On this day, he freely associates from John Keats to Gene Hackman, from red-winged blackbirds to the first computers. He is especially interested in British colonialism and its negative impact on the downtrodden. Considering his own stream-of-consciousness process, he mulls over the origin of the term and Alexander Bain, who coined it. Day turns to night as the narrator moves through the park with no appearance of the stranger.
VERDICT It is no small thing to spend time inside the troubled mind of this restless man. Read this debut for the author’s poetic sensibility and for his insightful observations on a wide range of interesting topics. Consider it time well spent.
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