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Heavy Bear
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
23 posts | 4 read | 27 to read
What happens when a respectable middle-aged father, teacher and writer decides one day to abandon his ordinary routine and embark on an unexpected journey toward an unknowable fate, following the ghost of Buster Keaton and a vision of a bear? In Tim Bowling's fifth novel, The Heavy Bear, the main character - a sort of contemporary version of Joyce's Leopold Bloom who just happens to be named Tim Bowling - spends an intense late-summer day in downtown Edmonton. Haunted by "the slender sadness" of the world, and unable to face his afternoon class, Tim Bowling finds himself pulled into an escapade revolving around an antique toy, a capuchin monkey and a young student our narrator likens to Pippi Longstocking. Accompanied by the shade of the silent-film star Buster Keaton, and the bear-shaped spirit of the American poet Delmore Schwartz, Bowling's Tim Bowling must confront, with equal parts humour and sincerity, a fundamental problem of our age: how to make and maintain human connections in a world that seems intent on destroying them?
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blurb
TrishB
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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Pic of the neighbourhood - this is Peggy, she lives in the house opposite and her and Sansa have staring matches 😁
Love where we live
Tagged - tie between this one and Once Upon a River
8pm onwards
Take away - It‘s Friday 🎉🎉 that‘s the law!
#friyayintro

AmyG That is too funny...your dogs. 🤣 9mo
Tanisha_A Starting match sounds entertaining! 👌 9mo
Tanisha_A *Staring 9mo
See All 14 Comments
erzascarletbookgasm So cute 👀 👀 😂 9mo
Redwritinghood That‘s too cute! 💕💕 9mo
Balibee146 She's so cute.... Good to be on and see your posts.... In my first quarter of year/too busy to read or think zone just now x x 9mo
LeahBergen 😆😆 I love this and I love Peggy. My last dog was a Jack Russell Terrier. ❤️❤️ 9mo
TrishB @Balibee146 hi 🙋‍♀️ good to see you around. I hope things calm down soon 😘 9mo
TrishB @leahbergen They are small, fierce bundles 😁🐶 9mo
andrew61 Great photo, my stands guard on the back of the settee in the window growling at anyone who walks past. 9mo
Lindy Cute! Massive attitude. 9mo
TrishB @andrew61 that‘s pretty much what Peggy does all day - except she really barks!! 9mo
Cathythoughts Oh I adore this picture & what a lovely window & house 9mo
114 likes14 comments
review
TrishB
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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Pickpick

Not really sure how to review, such an odd, wonderful little book. I know at 20 I would have thought this was pretentious, intellectual B.S. At 50+, I totally identified with the introspection, general malaise and WTF moments of the MC. I got lost down the rabbit hole of Buster Keaton and Delmore Schwartz.
Don‘t read if you want a plot and answers, read for beautiful writing.
Using for #booked2019 #genrebusting
Thanks @saresmoore 😘❤️💕

Cinfhen Look at all those tabs!!! Great review and how sweet that it was gifted to you 🧡 10mo
Lindy I was pleasantly surprised to recently encounter Delmore Schwartz in 10mo
saresmoore Such a nice review, Trish! I‘m glad you appreciated it. 10mo
See All 15 Comments
saresmoore @Lindy Yet another reason I‘m itching to get hold of that book! 10mo
JennyM Beautiful review. 10mo
CarolynM I'm intrigued. Stacked. 10mo
batsy Fantastic review! I love how our impressions of what is pretentious (or not) keeps changing with our reading and life experience 💜 10mo
Cathythoughts Excellent review ♥️ 10mo
TrishB @Cinfhen so many bits I know I wanted to look at again. And another lovely Litsy gift. 10mo
TrishB @Lindy I don‘t know how I‘ve never heard of him - but will be rectifying that. 10mo
TrishB @saresmoore it‘s definitely quirky but beautiful 💖 10mo
TrishB @JennyM 😘 10mo
TrishB @CarolynM 👍🏻 10mo
TrishB @batsy me too! I would have hated it years ago but can‘t stop thinking about it now. Right time and place 💖 10mo
126 likes4 stack adds15 comments
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TrishB
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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Loving the writing in this book. So wonderful ❤️

82 likes2 stack adds
review
saresmoore
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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Pickpick

This slim book knows no genre. When I first cracked Tim Bowling‘s poetic middle-aged reflection, I was skeptical. Hints of magical realism reveal themselves from the start, just as the journey begins. The protagonist (named for the author) spends a single day wandering in and out of present reality, his experiences—real & imagined—mingling to highlight poignant reflections. 👇

saresmoore This is somehow almost equal parts biography, memoir, social commentary, poetry, and novel. It‘s super-introspective and wholly unique and I loved it. ETA: This is a hard one to review! I recommend checking out @Lindy‘s posts in the feed for the book title. 😊 (edited) 11mo
saresmoore This is “Related to a Podcast”, as @Lindy discussed it with @ReadingEnvy many moons ago! #Booked2019 @Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft 11mo
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 11mo
See All 26 Comments
Lindy Ditto what @TrishB said! 11mo
TrishB @Lindy I‘ve also stacked to try and look for a cheap copy, it‘s not cheap on amazon. 11mo
LauraBeth Yes, please! 📚🙋‍♀️ 11mo
saresmoore @TrishB It might be available on Book Depository. If not, I would be happy to send you a copy! 11mo
ReadingEnvy 🥰 11mo
Cinfhen This sounds like it would work for #genreBursting as well😻 your review has sold me too!!!! 11mo
TrishB @Cinfhen I was thinking that! 11mo
TrishB It‘s still (cd on book depository, is it me or is that still very expensive for a paperback!? I don‘t pay that for hard backs. 11mo
saresmoore @TrishB It‘s much cheaper for me via BookDepository in USD for some reason. If you‘d be so kind as to email me your mailing address, I would love to send it to you! saraesmoore @ gmail 11mo
saresmoore @Cinfhen Yes, it would definitely work for that! I hope you like it. It‘s an odd and quiet book. 11mo
TrishB Thank you so much 😘 just emailed 11mo
saresmoore @TrishB Your email didn‘t come through. Would you mind trying to send it again? My email address has an extra letter in it (my full first name): SaraESMoore 11mo
TrishB It had been returned....doh.....hopefully gone through this time and hopefully I haven‘t sent a blank message... 11mo
Lindy @TrishB @saresmoore Sara, have you already purchased a copy for Trish? I picked up one yesterday at my local bookstore. 11mo
saresmoore @Lindy It is already on its way! 10mo
Lindy @saresmoore Excellent! 10mo
TrishB @Lindy @saresmoore how exciting 😘 10mo
Lindy @TrishB I look forward to your thoughts on this. And if you like it, he has written many others. 10mo
TrishB @Lindy I‘ll have to have a look round. There is only one other on amazon U.K. and it‘s only 80 pages and is (ce!! He obviously doesn‘t sell well here....or just not imported. 10mo
Lindy @TrishB I expect to pay CAN$20-25 for a trade paperback at my local book shop. (That‘s 11.5-14.5 in pounds sterling.) Fortunately, most of my reading material is from the library. I only buy a couple of books each month. 10mo
TrishB @Lindy ? wow- that‘s expensive for here....I would expect 3 paperbacks for (cd!! I buy a lot....I couldn‘t fit in constant visits to the library. I do get a lot of #99ponkindle offers! 10mo
Lindy @TrishB In New Zealand, new paperbacks are about NZ$30; I‘m glad I don‘t have to pay that very often. It‘s hard for publishers in small markets. 10mo
TrishB @Lindy gulp! Pretty lucky here then.... 10mo
89 likes5 stack adds26 comments
quote
saresmoore
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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“The curious truth is most people must work for a living, yet we live in a culture that celebrates only the escape from work. The way most of us spend our lives is scorned and dismissed. Is it any wonder, then, that we should rise as if from the dead to take up our toil?”

vivastory Oh, wow. Just read the summary & this sounds fantastic! 11mo
TrishB Lovely quote 💕 11mo
saresmoore @vivastory Yeah, I think you‘d love it. He repeatedly digresses into a biography of the silent film star, Buster Keaton and he‘s seeing a literal bear that represents the poet, Delmore Schwartz. This book knows no genre! 11mo
See All 8 Comments
saresmoore @TrishB He shares many reflections like this—honest, yet still vaguely hopeful. 11mo
vivastory Ah, The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me. I love that Schwartz poem!! 11mo
saresmoore @vivastory Yes, exactly! 11mo
batsy This is great. I'm sold! 11mo
saresmoore @batsy At first, I was skeptical, but it has grown on me. Yesterday, I had to set it down because I was getting too melancholic-existential as I prepped dinner. I mean, it was a hard day, but the book wasn‘t helping. After some coffee, I think I‘ll be ready to finish it, because now I‘m dying to! 11mo
80 likes4 stack adds8 comments
quote
saresmoore
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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“Every day in North America, life is sold to us as trivial, passing entertainment, and death as a horror whose spiritual and emotional meanings are to be avoided at all costs.”

saresmoore I‘ve just started this super-introspective, slightly surreal novel. It‘s filled with lovely sentences; sort of feels like I‘m reading a poet‘s private journal. Thank you, Lindy! 😘♥️ 11mo
Lindy 😇 Enjoy. Tim Bowling is a wonderful poet who has received a Guggenheim fellowship and, as far as I know, has no social media presence. I know him, only slightly, as a very shy, introspective man with a wife (also an author) and several children. 11mo
LauraBeth Did someone say “super-introspective”? 11mo
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saresmoore @Lindy I very much feel like I‘m getting to know him. 11mo
saresmoore @LauraBeth Yes! In the first 35 pages, the narrator doesn‘t have a single verbal interaction with another person. I really like it, so far. 11mo
Lindy @saresmoore @LauraBeth I can‘t remember: does he interact with the ghost bear at the beginning? I would call the bear a person. (Mystic/mythic bears are de rigueur in Canadian fiction. Ask @ReadingEnvy ) 11mo
batsy Yes, sign me up for super-introspective! 11mo
saresmoore @Lindy No overt interaction in the beginning, mostly just a vague chasing and sniffing that triggers flashbacks. It‘s all very mysterious for a while. 11mo
saresmoore @batsy See @Lindy‘s previous posts on this one. She highlighted some great passages. 11mo
Suet624 Did someone say “super shy”? I‘m in. 11mo
saresmoore @Suet624 Yes! I commiserate with him frequently. 11mo
91 likes3 stack adds11 comments
blurb
saresmoore
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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Here‘s my line-up for Winter of #Booked2019

1. Female Detective: The Anatomist‘s Wife
2. Fairy Tale Retelling: The Robber Bride
3. Happy Place: The Glass Town Game (My happy place is my childhood imagination.)
4. Related to a Podcast: The Heavy Bear (Thanks, @ReadingEnvy & @Lindy)
5. Irish Author: The Heart‘s Invisible Furies
6. New to You Author: Folk by Zoe Gilbert (♥️ @Moray_Reads)

*All choices are subject to my bailing whims! 😬

Moray_Reads Folk is wonderful! As are the Heart's Invisible Furies and The Glass Town Game ❤️ 13mo
saresmoore @Moray_Reads And I shamelessly piggy-backed on your idea for the fairy tale prompt! 13mo
Moray_Reads @saresmoore I'm pretty sure I stole it from a list somewhere 😅 13mo
See All 24 Comments
Lindy I‘m so happy to see Heavy Bear on your reading schedule. You‘ll be vicariously walking the streets of my city as you read it. 😊The Heart‘s Invisible Furies is a great choice too. 13mo
Cathythoughts Looks good ! I‘m thinking of J Boyne too 👍🏻♥️ 13mo
saresmoore @Lindy That‘s a lovely thought! 13mo
saresmoore @Cathythoughts I had several other options lined up, but so many recommended Boyne, I figured it was time to go for it! 13mo
emilyhaldi I‘m going to have to look into that Atwood for the same prompt- I definitely want to read more from her. Hope that your love Hearts Invisible Furies!! 💕💕💕 13mo
saresmoore @emilyhaldi I think I probably will love it! I‘ve only postponed it for so long because so many have been wrecked by it. 😭 13mo
AmyG You will LOVE the Boyne book. 13mo
Cinfhen That cover for Folk is striking!!! And Boyne is such a great pick for Irish author 💚. And I‘m curious about your female detective choice!!! So many interesting choices 🙌🏻 (edited) 13mo
saresmoore @AmyG 🤗 13mo
saresmoore @Cinfhen Anna Lee Huber is a new author to me. I‘ve been craving some cozy mysteries, so I‘ll be trying both hers and some of Deanna Raybourn‘s. From what I know, they both write period mysteries with a strong female lead and some romantic interest, so, basically, fluffy books! 13mo
readordierachel I appreciate the footnote 😆 13mo
TrishB Great choices 👍🏻 13mo
Bookzombie I really enjoy the Huber series on audio, if you enjoy audio. I love the accents. @Cinfhen 13mo
Cinfhen Thanks @Bookzombie I usually don‘t do well with audio but I‘ll keep it in mind ❤️ 13mo
Moray_Reads @saresmoore @Cinfhen total fluff with some historical inaccuracies but good fun all the same. What's not to like when unconventional young widow meets brooding investigator to solve unlikely murders? 12mo
LauraBeth I can‘t wait to hear your thoughts on all of these! 12mo
valeriegeary I snagged Folk off the library shelf last week because of that cover! That cover!! 😍😍 I haven't read it yet but am hoping to get to it soon! 12mo
saresmoore @valeriegeary It really is striking! I‘ll be interested in your thoughts on it! (Unless you‘re like me and check out more library books than you could possibly read before the due date and end up returning half of them unread...😬) 12mo
Suet624 John Boyne 💕💕 12mo
saresmoore @Suet624 I‘m actually really looking forward to having my heart broken by him. 12mo
Moray_Reads @valeriegeary Folk is absolutely fabulous. It's dull of haunting, eerie stories and I loved it 12mo
95 likes24 comments
review
Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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Pickpick

An inventive, introspective and thoroughly rewarding novel about a writer who spends a day wandering city streets in the company of an invisible bear and the ghost of Buster Keaton. Longer review here: https://lindypratch.blogspot.ca/2017/09/the-heavy-bear-by-tim-bowling.html?m=1
#canadianauthor 🇨🇦
This is one of books I talked about on the Reading Envy podcast (95). 😊
@ReadingEnvy @WolsakandWynn

36 likes2 stack adds
blurb
WolsakandWynn
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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The Heavy Bear received a star review in the Quill & Quire! "A brilliant novel that successfully reads as poetry combined with aspects of memoir and thought-provoking cultural critique, The Heavy Bear promises there is much that is redeemable in life's next stage." #novel #review #canadianauthor

blurb
Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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The Annotated Bee & Me is a collection of poetry and bits of Bowling's family history, letterpress printed by Gaspereau Press: a lovely tactile object.
"My family wintered bees in their Edmonton cellar a century ago. That can't have been easy."
(The pictured title is not in the Litsy database, so I linked to his most recent work, which is another pleasing genre-blender.)

#insects #CanLit @RealLifeReading

Suet624 No, that can't have been easy. 3y
tournevis Gaspereau Press print so beautiful books! My favorite book was printed by them. 3y
charl08 Looks gorgeous. 3y
See All 9 Comments
Lindy @Suet624 This family loved their bees so much that they transported them by train with them in a specially built box when they moved to western Canada. 3y
Lindy @tournevis Yes, that is another book whose contents are as beautiful as the object itself. 3y
Lindy @charl08 Indeed, it is. 😊 3y
tournevis @Lindy You are the first person I've met that knows about the Logogryph without having been introduced to it by me. It's my favorite book ever. 3y
Lindy @tournevis Thomas Wharton lives in Edmonton, so of course I'm familiar with his work. It's good stuff. 3y
tournevis @Lindy I've not liked everything by him. For instance, I hated Salamander. The historical errors threw me out the narrative ever third page. But he is a genuine talent, for sure. 3y
48 likes1 stack add9 comments
quote
Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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We sleepwalked the ten minutes to MacEwan University, though I did note the large grey towers on the horizon, an architectural anomaly that always made me think of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. But I rarely felt a sense of magic or fantastic escape as I approached.

saresmoore That really doesn't look like a place you could escape... 3y
Lindy @saresmoore The architecture of this school was much discussed when it was first built in Edmonton, but this is the first time I've come across reference to it in fiction. 3y
Jaimelire My son noticed that building when we went to Edmonton last time. He called it the Lord of the Rings building. (edited) 3y
Lindy @Jaimelire Ha! So Tim Bowling isn't the only one who sees it that way. 3y
38 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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There's nothing very funny for long about a pool of blood around a banana peel tossed on the cold sidewalk of the human condition.

saresmoore This hurts my brain a bit. 3y
Lindy @saresmoore It's better with the other text around it, but Bowling links many things so it's not always easy to pull a quote that stands well on its own. 3y
saresmoore The book seems to be pretty insightful. 3y
34 likes3 comments
quote
Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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"A bank like this," I said quietly, "has sold for $7,000."
She whipped out her phone so quickly that I thought she might shoot me with it and run off with the toy. A very special kind of bank robbery. For all I knew, phones could shoot bullets now. Surely some American company had patented and manufactured that gem of an idea. Why not? I wouldn't put anything past this culture except the past.

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Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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"Fantasy's my favourite. When I was a kid, I read all the Harry Potter books. And Susan Cooper. You know, Darkness Rising, that whole series."
I didn't know. But it certainly didn't surprise me that the darkness beneath would rise. What else could it do?

[I'm reading an ARC. I hope Cooper's title is correct in the final edition.]

TobeyTheScavengerMonk Yikes. Love that series. Hope it gets corrected. 3y
WolsakandWynn Thanks for pointing it out, @Lindy The copy editor had corrected it to Dark is Rising, does that sound right? 3y
Lindy @WolsakandWynn Yes, indeed. 3y
WolsakandWynn @Lindy Wonderful, thanks again! 3y
28 likes5 comments
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Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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In the early vaudeville days, the comedians used a curious prop, a goat bladder stretched on a stick, in their acts. One comedian would hit another with it, accompanied by a loud noise, and the other would fall. Not exactly sophisticated, but the human race is not exactly sophisticated. The simplicity - even primitivism - of slapstick still has mass appeal. Just consider TV shows such as America's Funniest Home Videos.

47 likes1 comment
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Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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Being a man who didn't own a cell phone (I couldn't shake the association with prison, and that movie moment when the unjustly-accused gets one call to a lawyer), I tended to lag behind the contemporary pace of change. Well, more than lag.

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Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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The little screens reduced their walking speed but did not divert their purpose. In fact, these people were doubly purposeful in the disturbing way of sleepwalkers, who inhabit two worlds at the same time - yes, like Keaton's projectionist in Sherlock Jr. Except here, on the avenue, these walkers had stepped out of their real lives without even leaving their real bodies. Perhaps they were watching videos of themselves walking somewhere else.

Sydsavvy Oh my, that's profound. And sad. 😭 3y
Lindy @Sydsavvy This novel is very introspective and I'm enjoying it, even though it's slow-going. 3y
32 likes2 comments
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Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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No, this man, this urban misfit, bum, panhandler, vagrant, down-and-outer, tramp, hobo, drifter, derelict - he wasn't me. I didn't know him from a hole in the ground. I didn't know him from Adam. I didn't know him from Adam standing in a hole in the ground.

37 likes1 stack add
blurb
Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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I'm enjoying the blur between fiction and nonfiction in this novel. Including quotations from other sources, for example:
"Charlie's tramp was a bum with a bum's philosophy. Loveable as he was, he would steal if he got the chance. My little fellow was a workingman and honest." -Keaton

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Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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I'd lost my taste for him over the years, just as I'd lost my taste for candy - Chaplin's sentimentality hurt the teeth of my spirit, you might say. But what it really boiled down to was the difference between manipulation and art - Chaplin could be phony where Keaton was never that.

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Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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I was going to wait until I'd finished some of my concurrent books, but then today's prompt made me open this ARC and now I want to keep going. #booknerdproblems
#firstlineofcurrentread

"Buster Keaton first entered my life in October 1964, when I was nine months old - nine months out after the nine months in."
@RealLifeReading

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Lindy
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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It's a rare day that I get #bookmail, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to read Bowling's newest. Thank you to @WolsakandWynn !

LeahBergen You're on a "bear" theme! ? 3y
Lindy @LeahBergen Yes, isn't that strange? 3y
Hobbinol This one sounds really interesting too! 3y
Lindy @Hobbinol You can be sure that I will be reporting about it on Litsy. Bowling's prose is impeccable. 3y
36 likes4 comments
blurb
WolsakandWynn
Heavy Bear | Tim Bowling
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It's always so exciting when we have new ARCs in the office. #ARC #fiction #canadianauthor #alberta

Lindy This sounds fantastic. Love Bowling's work. ❤️ 3y
WolsakandWynn @Lindy I'd be happy to send you an ARC if you're in Canada. Or I can send you a PDF, if you're located elsewhere. If you're interested, send me an email at info@wolsakandwynn.ca. 3y
Lindy @WolsakandWynn This sounds a bit like Bowling's In the Suicide's Library, which I loved. I would love an ARC, so I will send you an email. Thanks! 3y
6 likes3 comments