Titel: The King of Siam
Autor/en: Murray Logan
April 1998 - kartoniert - 168 Seiten
"The King of Siam" is a book of thirteen short stories -- stories set at a dinner party between brittle friends; over a game of chess in a community centre; a visit to a racetrack in Vancouver; a poker room in Las Vegas. The characters in this book are at the fringes of society and the tattered edges of their own lives -- a teenage boy who defends his wastrel father for the first and last time; a cynical woman who attends a bizarre memorial service for someone she doesn't know, celebrating something she can't quite identify; an elderly woman, determined not to be a little-old-lady, who gets a tattoo. "The King of Siam" takes the reader into territory that is compellingly strange, hauntingly familiar.
Born in Courtenay, B.C., Murray now lives in Vancouver. While writing, he has worked at a variety of part-time jobs. Two of the more interesting have been the analysis and evaluation of film scripts, and poker (at a semi-legal cardroom near his house).Lest any of his stories be taken as truth, the author makes the claim, for the record, that he has no children, no tattoos, no history of either heroin use or bank robbery. He does admit to playing a lot of poker, both in Vancouver and in Las Vegas. He also knows a little chess and doesn't speak a word of Hungarian!Murray Logan has been published widely in literary journals. His stories have been featured in Coming Attractions 96 (Oberon), and in The Journey Prize Anthology 8 (McClelland & Stewart). Logan is also the author of a short play, 'Death And', which won the 1994 DuMaurier National One Act Play competition. His short story, 'Steam' was the basis for a feature film script selected as a winner of the 1996 Praxis Centre for Screenwriters screenplay competition.
'Each of the stories in Murray Logan's debut collection is a treat, but none embodies so compactly his themes as the first, "Everett and Evalyne". The tale, which unwraps the birthday present that the narrator, Evalyne, gives herself, takes place in Vancouver, but it has an exotic air, not just as the character study of an aged eccentric but more as the dispatch from a far-off land. Set (in part) in an affluent blue-rinse neighbourhood, it nonetheless has more to do with tattoo parlours and motorcycles than with matrons and sensible shoes. This is the story's surprising delight, and through it we discover Logan's enduring concerns: the isolation of life on the margins; the weight that physical details play in stories about quiet people who cannot or will not connect; and that moment in life that does not so much impel into the future as it closes a chapter on the past.' Quill & Quire 'Canada produces a disproportionately high number of short-story writers. It's too early to declare Murray Logan an Alice Munro or a Mavis Gallant. However, The King of Siam constitutes an auspicious debut for the Vancouver writer. It shows in two important ways. First, a strong and distinct voice, unifies the diversity of the thirteen stories... Second, while readers will undoubtedly prefer certain stories over others, there isn't a weak one in the collection... Logan is a keen observer; but there is none of the dispassionate voyeur in his writing. Rather, he is a deeply compassionate writer who makes us care about his characters.' The Kitchener-Waterloo Record