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Thin Ice

Posted on

Thin Ice

Current Status:
In Season
Mark Bowen
Henry Holt and Company
Science and Technology, Nonfiction

We gave it an A

The temptation is to label this memoir, subtitled Coming of Age in Canada, a Great White North version of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, but that would be doing it a disservice. The remembrances of this illustrator and writer (Zany Afternoons) are wry, painful, affectionate, and original. Bruce McCall’s Toronto public school ”would have made a perfect Victorian jail in a David Lean film.” Of his own national pastime, McCall writes, ”The one aspect of outdoor hockey that came easily to me was shivering.” As for his father, ”what is left is the bitter memory of the fool who spawned a family of six and then proceeded methodically, deliberately to squander his treasure.” The joy of Thin Ice is in discovering what a treasure it is. A