Half-finished notes, scrawled snippets of conversation, observations made on the run, photographs of people known and unknown, scraps of paper with puzzling sketches on them, receipts, match packs, postcards, and other assorted paraphernalia . . . have all ended up in a Peek Frean’s tin biscuit box.
For nearly forty years, Jim Christy has thrown—willynilly, and with neither rhyme nor reason—such seemingly random items into the box. There has been absolutely no system to it; maybe, the author says, “I thought ‘I’ll pay more attention to this later’ or, perhaps, ‘I’ve got to check that one out some day…give it the attention it deserves.’” Being a restless traveller, investigative journalist and raconteur, many of these items have rich and alluring stories attached to them. The Peek Frean’s biscuit box has provided the essential ingredients for a fascinating assortment of highly entertaining anecdotal tales called Sweet Assorted.
PRAISE FOR SWEET ASSORTED:
“… lively, and often somewhat cynical, commentaries … Especially enjoyable are Christy’s musings on a night spent listening to a band, typed on now-brittle yellow pages in the wee hours of a morning thirty-five years ago after consuming twelve vodkas. He wrote, ‘The drummer and the bass player tonight are modern cats with long, styled hair and moustaches, flowered shirts. But the piano player is a skeletal throwback to 1949. He looks like every gaunt junkie hipster of that long-gone era. He’s hunched over the keys with eyes closed muttering phrases to himself and … the audacity of it … actually stealing the show.’ As Christy shares his travels through the landscapes of his capacious and inquiring mind to unearth treasures from his past, he offers readers a glimpse into the life of a free and nonconforming spirit. More than that, his brief, intriguing tales encourage readers to examine the bits and pieces that weave together the colorful tapestries of their own lives. Jim Christy is a writer, internationally exhibiting artist and traveler … Raised in inner-city Philadelphia, he moved to Toronto at age twenty-three …”
— Foreword Reviews (USA)
“… There was a shine to this eccentric work that I appreciated. Christy is being himself. His tin alternately brings back memories and reveals what he has forgotten. He lays out his successes and his failures and leaves us to form our opinions. I closed the book hoping to meet Jim Christy one day. His curiosity, convictions and thirst for adventure have lasted decades, and they don’t seem to be fading with time. I admire that.”
— Coastal Spectator
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