Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Max Haines book

The retirement of prolific Crime Flashback writer Max Haines last year was a major loss for the Toronto Sun. The veteran master of mayhem was always at the top of Sunday Sun readership polls.

Gone, but definitely not forgotten, Max is back in the limelight with the release of his latest book, a bio of sorts called Spitting Champion of the World. The 272-page Viking Canada release pushes his book count to almost 30.

You might remember how Max, the mild-mannered kid from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, got his start in newspapers at a paper called The Casket. But did you know other occupations in his youth included bootlegger and chicken-plucker?

The book promo for Spitting Champion of the World reads:

"Bootlegger, chicken-plucker, naval cadet, and public speaker - Max Haines has led an interesting life. Long before becoming Canada’s best-known crime writer, Max was a young boy surrounded by colourful characters in his hometown of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Watch out for Mother St. Regina, the strict nun who finds fault with Max after a misunderstanding over a piece of candy; beware of Mary Ellen “The Spook,” whose other-worldly powers have all the town talking; catch up with telephone operator Alison, whose eavesdropping and gossiping keeps the whole town informed at remarkable speed, and heed the word of Willie the jailer, who lets his charges roam for the day but threatens to lock them out for good if they don’t make it back by curfew.

"Let Max lead you back to the Nova Scotia of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. There are no traffic lights, no mail delivery, and no numbers on doors, and if you want to call, Max’s family’s phone number is simply 9. Filled with the larger-than-life inhabitants of a small town (and its occasionally baffled visitors), The Spitting Champion of the World is a lively, funny, and heartwarming collection of stories from a simpler time, told with Max Haines’s signature sparkling humour."

Sounds like a fun read, Max.

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