John Mcfetridge

  • Behind the scenes, nothing is what it seems.
    Gord Stewart, 40 years old, single, moved back into his sub­urban childhood home to care for his widowed father. But his father no longer needs care and Gord is stuck in limbo. He's been working in the movie business as a location scout for years, and when there isn't much filming, as a private eye for a security company run by ex-cops, OBC. When a fellow crew member asks him to find her missing uncle, Gord reluctantly takes the job. The police say the uncle walked into some dense woods in Northern Ontario and shot himself, but the man's wife thinks he's still alive.
    With the help of his movie business and OBC connections, Gord finds a little evidence that the uncle may be alive. Now Gord has two problems: what to do when he finds a man who doesn't want to be found, and admitting that he's getting invested in this job. For the first time in his life, Gord Stewart is going to have to leave the sidelines and get into the game. Even if it might get him killed.

  • Detectives Price and McKeon are called to the scene - a husband and wife found slumped in their car, parked sideways on a busy downtown on-ramp, a bullet in each of their heads. That's what's in the papers, and that's all the public sees. Toronto the Good, with occasional specks of random badness.

    But behind that disposable headline, Toronto's shadow city sprawls outwards, a grasping and vicious economy of drugs, guns, sex, and gold bullion. And that shadow city feels just like home for Get - a Detroit boy, project-raised, ex-army, Iraq and Afghanistan, only signed up for the business opportunities, plenty of them over there. Now he's back, and he's been sent up here by his family to sell guns to Toronto's fast-rising biker gangs, maybe even see about a partnership.

    The man Get needs to talk to is Nugs, leader of the Saints of Hell. Nugs is overseeing unprecedented progress, taking the club national, uniting bikers coast-to-coast (by force if necessary), pushing back against the Italians, and introducing a veneer of respectability. Beards trimmed to goatees, golf shirts instead of leather jackets, and SUVs replacing the bikes. And now the cops can't tell the difference between bikers and bankers.

    Detectives Price and McKeon? All they can do is watch and grimace and drink, and sweep up the detritus left in crime's wake - dead hookers, cops corrupted and discarded, anyone else too slow and weak to keep up, or too stupid not to get out of the way. This is Toronto's shadow city, and you won't recognize it.

    "Canada's answer to Elmore Leonard is going places . . ."
    - Toronto Star

  • Legend. Bum. Genius. Con Man. Devoted husband and father. Myth. Storyteller. Inspiration. Drunk. Visionary. Tom Waits is all of these things.

    Waits is the lifeline between the great Beat poets and today's rock & roll heroes. He's old enough to be your dad and cool enough to be your hero. One of the few truly original musicians recording today, he's also the rare singer who can actually act, and he has put together a respectable body of work in movies.

    Wild Years: The Music and Myth of Tom Waits retraces the long road that Waits has traveled and explores the music that made him a legend. Jay S. Jacobs looks at the towering myth that Waits has created for himself.

    Jay S. Jacobs follows the fate of one of America's pre-eminent artists, a very private man whose career embodies a quirky array of fulfillment and loss, beauty and strangeness.

    This revised and updated edition includes a new chapter, with insight on Waits' career in the 21st century thus far, as well as the most complete discography available in print. Tom's Wild Years - a poignant, revealing celebration of the man and all his myths.

  • In To Be Continued . . . Volume Two-the second in a series of books set in specific Canadian cities-Gordon j.h. Leenders once again weaves together an enticing collection of mini-portraits of people, places, and ideas. Moving from Montreal to Hamilton and Niagara Falls to Toronto, each interconnected story introduces us to a new cast of characters who accompany a few familiar faces from Volume One.

    We observe Eileen, a not-so-desperate housewife, considering an affair to remember while vacationing in Montreal; Shelley and Jim, a forty-something couple who have found a unique way to remain thin; Geena and Patty, two women with radically different methods of dealing with their troublesome teenagers; Suzanne, willing to overlook a serious flaw in her partner just to get married; Muffin, a Chesapeake Bay retriever who, if she could talk, would tell a disturbing tale; and Barbara and Nixon, a caustic couple who decide to air their dirty laundry with both hilarious and serious consequences.

  • Losing Mariposa

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    The riveting story of one man's descent into hell. Losing Mariposa is the harrowing memoir of Doug Little's two-year binge as a compulsive gambler - a fall from grace that made national front-page headlines, destroyed his life, and brought him to the very gates of prison, insanity, and death. As a community leader, Little bet on a world-class casino as the economic salvation of his town while he himself was hopelessly addicted, gambling feverishly to win back the thousands of dollars he had "borrowed" from the eight bank accounts he controlled. Little spins his whirlwind tale from his desperate midnight visits to Casino Rama, vividly recounting the heart-pounding, adrenalin-pumping allure of the roulette wheel, the flip-snap of a card at the blackjack tables, and the ding-ding-ding of the reels, bells, and whistles of the slot machines. He then confesses the despair of the parking lot and the life-threatening rides home, broke again, another $10,000 of other people's money gone. Losing Mariposa is a cautionary tale of obsession and escape, a compelling story told with brutal honesty but not without irony. Told in the first person from the last time Little gambled - October 22, 1996 - it recounts that terrible day, hour by hour, both in terms of what was happening and what he was thinking and feeling. His story provides a rare first-hand chronicle of the devastation wrought by the addiction to gamble, a social problem growing throughout North America to epidemic proportions. It is a book that needed to be written, and a book that needs to be read.

  • The joke? Toronto thinks it's the centre of some multicultural universe, always bragging about how people come from every part of the world to live there.

    The punch line? Some of them are coming to commit crimes.

    So yeah, Sharon MacDonald's got a problem.

    And no, it's not being trapped in her apartment, tethered to a court-ordered tracking device. It's not the guy who just fell 25 stories and through the roof of a car. Not the cops preventing her from getting to the grow rooms. It's not even the mystery man who shows up with a life-saving plan that just might work.

    Sharon's problem is Ray: he's too good-looking.

    Detective Gord Bergeron has problems too. Maybe it's his new partner, Ojibwa native Detective Armstrong. Or maybe it's the missing ten-year-old girl, or the unidentified torso dumped in an alley behind a motel, or what looks like corruption deep within the police force.

    Bergeron and Armstrong are two of the cops poking around Sharon MacDonald's place. They want to know whether the Arab-looking dead guy jumped, or if he was pushed. When it turns out he's got no ID, no one knows him, and a couple of the 9/11 terrorists once lived in the building, they dig deeper, trying to make connections all over the new Toronto, in the Asian massage parlours, the street-dealer-led housing projects, and the mafia-run private clubs.

    Or maybe they'll just stay close to Sharon. She knows what everybody knows. The whole world might be coming here, but this is nowhere.

  • WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Professional Wrestling examines some of the ridiculously horrible characters and storylines that pro wrestling promoters have subjected their fans to over the past twenty years. Why would any sane person think that having two grown men fight over a turkey was actually a reasonable idea? Was George Ringo, the Wrestling Beatle, really the best gimmick that a major promotional organization could come up with? And who would charge fans to watch a wrestler named the Gobbeldy Gooker emerge from an egg?

    In an attempt to answer such questions and figure out just what the promoters were thinking, authors Randy Baer and R.D. Reynolds go beyond what wrestling fans saw on the screen and delve into the mindset of those in the production booth. In some instances, the motivations driving the spectacle prove even more laughable than what was actually seen in the ring.

    Covering such entertainment catastrophes as an evil one-eyed midget and a wrestler from the mystical land of Oz, not to mention the utterly comprehensible Turkey-on-a-Pole match (a gimmick which AWA fans might recall), WrestleCrap is hysterically merciless in its evaluation of such organizations as the WCW and the WWF. This retrospective look at the wrestling world's misguided attempts to attract viewers will leave wrestling fans and critics alike in stitches.

  • Detectives Price and McKeon are called to the scene - a husband and wife found slumped in their car, parked sideways on a busy downtown on-ramp, a bullet in each of their heads. That's what's in the papers, and that's all the public sees. Toronto the Good, with occasional specks of random badness.

    But behind that disposable headline, Toronto's shadow city sprawls outwards, a grasping and vicious economy of drugs, guns, sex, and gold bullion. And that shadow city feels just like home for Get - a Detroit boy, project-raised, ex-army, Iraq and Afghanistan, only signed up for the business opportunities, plenty of them over there. Now he's back, and he's been sent up here by his family to sell guns to Toronto's fast-rising biker gangs, maybe even see about a partnership.

    The man Get needs to talk to is Nugs, leader of the Saints of Hell. Nugs is overseeing unprecedented progress, taking the club national, uniting bikers coast-to-coast (by force if necessary), pushing back against the Italians, and introducing a veneer of respectability. Beards trimmed to goatees, golf shirts instead of leather jackets, and SUVs replacing the bikes. And now the cops can't tell the difference between bikers and bankers.

    Detectives Price and McKeon? All they can do is watch and grimace and drink, and sweep up the detritus left in crime's wake - dead hookers, cops corrupted and discarded, anyone else too slow and weak to keep up, or too stupid not to get out of the way. This is Toronto's shadow city, and you won't recognize it.

    "Canada's answer to Elmore Leonard is going places . . ."
    - Toronto Star

  • In the middle of the afternoon on a busy downtown Toronto street a man is shot in the head behind the wheel of his SUV. The killer drives away before the light changes. It could be road rage, or it could be a random act of violence.

    It could be, but it isn't. What it is, is opportunity. For everyone involved.

    The witness, Roxanne Keyes, a real estate agent trying desperately to lease out space in unwanted office space, recognizes the killer - a man who had once looked to rent with her. She figures with this kind of leverage he'll be a lot more interested now. Except he's Boris Suliemanov, a Russian mobster in the strip club business, who's now busy taking out competitors and expanding into drugs and grand theft auto. Then there's Vince Fournier, a cool guy with a mysterious past who might be able to help Roxanne deal with Boris if he gets what he wants. He rents space in her building for his internet porn company, but he's looking for a little more from her. And finally, the homicide squad cops can see their own opportunities in the brazen, daytime murder. In the tradition of Elmore Leonard and Christopher Brookmyre, Dirty Sweet is a fast-paced crime story following each character to a surprising end.

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