Sunday, December 20, 2009

SPADEWORK by Timothy Findley (2001)

Although a novel, this could easily have been a morality play. You find infidelity, murder, betrayal and lust on the side streets of sleepy Stratford, the provincial Ontario town that discovered its raison d'etre when Tyrone Guthrie launched the theatre festival in the 1950s. And, in the tradition of 16th century morality plays, no one remains unpunished: avarice and lust eventually take a backseat to more pressing situations that involve real grief.

If you're lured by peering into the private lives of theatre folk, this is the book for you. Findley weaves a tapestry of small town preoccupations and peoples the warp with characters those familiar to his other work will identify: the lonely, the dispossessed, the sexually confused.

The tale unfolds and all of the digging begins after an accidental spade severs the line of communication into the home of the festival's nascent and dishy actor Griffin Kincaid.

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