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 extraordinary new novel, The Heavy Bear, we spend an intense late-summer day in downtown Edmonton with our narrator, an unassuming college instructor who just happens to be named Tim Bowling. Haunted by the “slender sadness” of the world and looking for a way to shake off the trivial frustrations of modern life, Bowling’s Tim Bowling finds himself pulled into an escapade involving an antique toy, a “liberated” capuchin monkey and an eager young student who our narrator likens to Pippi Longstocking. Advised by the bear-shaped spirit of American poet Delmore Schwartz and guided by the ghost of silent film star Buster Keaton, this Tim Bowling stumbles through his adventure until he stands free of his ghosts and finds himself willing to rejoin the bustling current of our clamorous age.
"The Heavy Bear by Tim Bowling" (Lindy, Lindy Reads and Reviews, 14/09/2017)
"There's enough humour and narrative action to keep the storyline compelling even as it meanders through thoughtful interludes.... The Heavy Bear is an inventive, introspective and thoroughly rewarding novel."
The Heavy Bear (Publisher's Weekly, 01/07/2017)
"Bowling (The Tinsmith) takes readers on a zany Joycean journey through the streets of Edmonton."
The Heavy Bear (Tanya Rohrmoser, Quill & Quire, 01/07/2017)
"Bowling’s command of language is effortlessly beautiful; part of the brilliance of the novel is in the way it prompts you to consider your own engagement as a reader."
10 must-read Canadian books for summer 2017 (Sue Carter, Toronto Now, 21/06/2017)
"Beautifully written, this is a book for readers, and for those looking for reassurance that middle-age doesn’t mark the end of personal creativity."
Click here to read the first few chapters of The Heavy Bear.