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Festival Man 

by Geoff Berner (Dundurn)

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This mighty book is much like a festival in many ways: it throws in a dash of the unexpected---unruly, unlikeable yet endearing characters, life-changing musical interludes and conversations---and it ends much too quickly. In just over 150 pages, this novella follows the fictional Campbell Ouinette, “maverick” manager of odd musical acts who made the move “from collecting records to collecting musicians,” as he attempts to pull one over on the Calgary Music Festival after misplacing his headliner. But the inset stories and asides from our unreliable narrator---like how Czechs make better friends than Aussies or how he travelled to the Canadian north to discover a throat singer who defies the tradition by singing by herself---are worth it alone. A remarkably unique tangent of a tale, Festival Man is a riotously funny, heartfelt and honest portrayal of life on the Canadian festival circuit.

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Vol 25, No 4
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