Friday, July 17, 2009

Off the Shelf

George Sprott

I had written a nice piece about "George Sprott (1894-1975)" yesterday, but foolishly deleted it before I pasted the text into the blog. I've been trying to recall what I typed, but it's coming out wrong.

I don't want to try to recreate what I wrote as the authenticity of the original piece is gone. For a book like Sprott, it wouldn't be prudent to slight the depths this book possesses. Seth, creator of Clyde Fans, It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken, and Wimbledon Green, has crafted a story that resonates strongly on themes of life, death, fatherhood, and fidelity. He does this by examining the fading limelight of George Sprott, star of the Canadian airwaves during the Golden Age of Television.

Seth plays with the chronology of the story, the structure of each vignette, and also interjects mixed media pieces that each help develop the story of Sprott, a personality who was really larger than life. The story is saturated with nostalgia. I was constantly reflecting on memories of locally produced television programs and the personalities that populated the broadcasts. I thought about establishments that had long since passed into oblivion: concert venues, restaurants, and book stores. Seth has proven he is adroit at hitting your emotion in just the right spot; I was drawn into the story more because of my own experiences.

This story has already become my favorite Seth piece, as well as my favorite book so far this year. There are a few books that will be released that hold promise, but George Sprott is going to be tough to top.

George Sprott (1894-1975) was released on May 26, 2009, by Drawn and Quarterly.

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