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Dundurn, 2000 - Fiction - 347 pages
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Heroes tells the story of Peter Bayle - heavy drinker, philosopher, scholar, and anemic lover - as he visits a town in Kansas to write a story for Toronto Living magazine about the newfound love of middle-America for the quintessential Canadian game of hockey. During his research Bayle encounters a host of odd characters: a morphine-injecting reverend, a shunned reporter and his former crack-addict girlfriend, and a drug salesman with his sights set on a career as a cable mogul.

The article never gets written, and as Bayle becomes more and more involved in the destructive behaviour of the friends and enemies he has made, his problems back home continue to build. His assignment long-since abandoned, Bayle returns to Toronto to face a future he does not want. It is a future obscured by a past he can't let go of, but which he also can't come to terms with.


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Page 5 - In the Shreve High football stadium, I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville, And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood, And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel, Dreaming of heroes. All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home. Their women cluck like starved pullets, Dying for love.
Page 5 - em in the alley, you can't beat 'em on the ice.
Page 17 - The grey-haired man had another paper cup of complimentary coffee, took three packets of sugars and two containers of cream, two packages of free chocolate chip cookies, and six napkins. The woman asked Bayle if he himself might like some cookies for later. Bayle shook his head, no, said he didn't think so, no, so the woman gave him two more packages of peanuts and three additional napkins instead. Each in his own fashion, Bavle and his seatmate set H to work on their loaded-up trays.
Page 12 - ... voted for Reagan twice and would have a third time if they would have let him, and guessed that if English was good enough for Jesus Christ it sure as hell should be good enough for the United States of America. The man also let Bayle know that he was fairly confident of an ETA in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
Page 16 - I don't think you listen to me, Peter." "Quick little piece, isn't she?" the grey-haired man beside Bayle said. Bayle's frantic attempt to get the passing stewardess's...

About the author (2000)

Ray Robertson is a novelist living in Toronto. He is the author of Home Movies and the forthcoming Moody Food. He's also a monthly columnist for the Toronto Star and a frequent contributor to TVO's Imprint and CBC radio's Talking Books.

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