A story set to the background of a blizzard, Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club is about the intertwining lives, and their dysfunctions, in a small Newfoundland town. Coles’ writing style is intricate and poetic, but unfortunately I struggled to connect to the characters. One of the biggest downfalls of this book is that there are too many characters, making it very difficult to keep track of the people and their relations. I would have loved for the focus to be more on the main characters, Iris and Olive, with many of the others simply remaining in the background. The stories also flip back and forth from past to present in such a way that was difficult to discern. I often found myself re-reading passages to make sure that I understood what was going on.
The book picks up steam about 300 pages in, when I finally found myself connecting to two of the characters. There was particular scene of sexual assault that was difficult to stop thinking about for days and showcased Coles’ storytelling ability.
In regards to Canada Reads, where the question is which book should all Canadians focus on, I would not give the title to Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club. It is not a book for casual reading. Over all, I enjoyed it once it pick up steam, which is why I’m giving it 3 stars out of 5.
Up next: Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson.
Meredith is a Disney obsessed stay-at-home mom. When she’s not planning a trip, you’ll find her with her nose in a book.