Not Being on a Boat by Esmé Claire Keith

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Though mostly too dark to be funny, it’s remarkable how much Keith can reveal about these men, their world, and our own, through conversations about itineraries and towel service.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Rutledge, an aging, divorced man, has treated himself to a Cruise on the Mariola. The Cruise is not just any cruise. It’s the whole shebang. It’s around the world. It’s a lifestyle change: G & Ts and tuxedos and cigars and cognac galore. The service is top-rate. And Rutledge’s steward, Raoul, is a good kid.

But then a day trip to a Caribbean port ends in commotion. Some people don’t make it back onto the ship. Rutledge, nonplussed, makes use of the vacant machines in the gym and the unoccupied loungers on deck. But soon, crew members seem few and far between, and the menu in the Captain’s Mess significantly diminished. Rutledge gets the feeling that something is amiss. And that’s just unacceptable.

Welcome aboard Esme Keith’s debut dystopic novel, a cunning parody of modern day luxury and the coveted “all-inclusive” vacation, from the refreshingly blunt point of view of a man unable to see beyond his own needs, with hilarious results.

 

About Esmé Claire Keith

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Esmé Claire Keith was born in Toronto in 1964. Her librarian mother supervised weekly library visits while her father read exclusively from J.B. Priestley’s list of great novels. Her older sister began to study Latin at the age of ten. A natural contrarian, Esmé gave herself to Mad magazine, Star Trek (the original series), and the holy trinity of glam, disco, and punk. At university she finally investigated the canon and she saw that it was good. She has divided her attention ever since between high culture and pop. She currently lives in Winnipeg, where she has good access to both.
 
Published October 1, 2011 by Freehand. 360 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by August C. Bourré on Oct 07 2011

Though mostly too dark to be funny, it’s remarkable how much Keith can reveal about these men, their world, and our own, through conversations about itineraries and towel service.

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