Saturday 22 March 2014

Cataract City

Finished March 22
Cataract City by Craig Davidson

This novel follows two men from boyhood through middle age. The setting is Niagara Falls, Ontario. The story is sometimes told by one man, sometimes by the other. Both boys grew up in Niagara Falls, with their fathers working at the Nabisco factory. Owen Stuckey (Dutchie, then Dutch) had a mother who was a nurse and a father who wanted better and took courses to take himself into a management role at the factory. Duncan Diggs' father worked hard at the factory but had no aspirations for more. The two lived on the same street at first, and became friends through school, both being loners of a sort.
As the book begins, Duncan is getting out of jail after eight years, a term he served after killing another man. Owen comes to pick him up in Kingston and take him home to the Falls. Owen is a cop.
We learn the story of their friendship, their common love for a local wrestler, and the terrible experience they went through as children that both bonded them and forced them apart. Wandering in the woods for days, they were lucky to have survived.
We learned how they found each other's friendship again in their late teens and how, even though they were on different paths, they still found something in each other they needed. We see the circumstances that took Duncan to jail and the role that Owen played in that drama.
And then we find them in the present, with Duncan looking for his lost love, and closure on his prison sentence, with Owen looking for a way to make amends, and gain some closure himself. We learn about friendship and how history repeats itself, and what a man will do when it comes right down to it.
A great story, that I could barely put down.


  1. On my tbr! I live here and love reading books set locally. The nabisco factory was just featured in the local paper two days ago as a crew from the Food Channel are coming later this spring to tape one on their shows about it.

  2. My husband's uncles worked at the Nabisco factory, I'm putting this on my TBR list, sounds very good.

  3. It's been shortlisted for the Giller too, so it will be interesting to see how it does there.