Saturday, February 22

Book Review: Cataract City

Title: Cataract City

Author: Craig Davidson

Pages: EBook 285

Summary: Owen and Duncan are childhood friends who've grown up in picturesque Niagara Falls--known to them by the grittier name Cataract City. As the two know well, there's more to the bordertown than meets the eye: behind the gaudy storefronts and sidewalk vendors, past the hawkers of tourist T-shirts and cheap souvenirs live the real people who scrape together a living by toiling at the Bisk, the local cookie factory. And then there are the truly desperate, those who find themselves drawn to the borderline and a world of dog-racing, bare-knuckle fighting, and night-time smuggling.

Owen and Duncan think they are different: both dream of escape, a longing made more urgent by a near-death incident in childhood that sealed their bond. But in adulthood their paths diverge, and as Duncan, the less privileged, falls deep into the town's underworld, he and Owen become reluctant adversaries at opposite ends of the law. At stake is not only survival and escape, but a lifelong friendship that can only be broken at an unthinkable price.

My Rating: 6.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: While I didn't love the book, I did enjoy reading the book a lot more than I thought I would. There were many times where parts of the book drew me into the story, and had me frantically reading and wanting to know what would happen next, but there were other parts were I lost interest in the story and felt it was dragging.

The writing was incredibly well done, I can see why it was one of the contenders for the Giller prize. The biggest issues I had with the book was that it wasn't my type of book. The plot itself wasn't one I would normally have picked up. The author did a great job at developing the story and its characters and I did enjoy how the characters were written, deeply flawed characters and very fleshed out, but I never felt I could connect with them and they weren't ones I could say I liked, or loved to hate.

This was a book where I had equal elements of the book I enjoyed, while others I didn't. Sometimes I picked up the book and enjoyed what I read, other times I struggled through it. Overall, it was an okay read, unexpected on how much I enjoyed it in the end.

Would I recommend it to read: I think I would. Despite my conflicted feelings about the book, I do think a lot of readers would enjoy the book and especially the characters.

What to read next: The other 2013 Giller contenders!

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, 7th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, EBook Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Authors Challenge


  1. I used to pay attention to the Gillers and read all the books. I sort of slacked the last couple years and have never even heard of this one.

    1. I love following the Gillers, I never seem to finish my goal, but its a great way to find new canlit books.

  2. I pretty much agree with you. The writing was brilliant, and yet ... I just wasn't that interested in the book. Just not my style, but I will give Davidson another try.

    1. I will try him out again eventually too. This one just wasn't the best choice for me, it is good to see other who feel the same about the book.