Galveston

From one of Canada’s beloved fiction writers comes a tale of love and loss, guilt and forgiveness – and finding redemption in the eye of a hurricane.

Few people seek out the tiny Caribbean island of Dampier Cay. Visitors usually wash up there by accident, rather than by design. But this weekend, three people will fly to the island deliberately. They are not coming for a tan or fun in the sun. They are coming because Dampier Cay is where it is, and they have reason to believe that they might encounter something there that most people take great measures to avoid – a hurricane.

A lottery windfall and a few hours of selfishness have robbed Caldwell of all that was precious to him, while Beverly, haunted by tragedy and screwed by fate since birth, has given up on life. Also on the flight is Jimmy Newton, a professional storm chaser and videographer who will do anything for the perfect shot. Waiting for them at Dampier is the manager of the Water’s Edge Hotel, “Bonefish” Maywell Hope, who arrived at Dampier by the purest accident of all – the accident of birth. A descendent of the pirates who sailed the Caribbean hundreds of years ago, Hope believes if he works hard enough, he can prevent the inevitable. Until, that is, the seas begin to rise …

Cinematic and harrowing, spiced with Quarrington’s trademark humour, Galveston shows just how far people will go to feel alive.


From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

It’s brilliant; I loved every page of it. It has a lovely lightness, the words and characters, and it manages always to be funny and real.”
—Roddy Doyle

“Lovely and amazing …. A stylistic tour de force; readers will be — yes — blown away. Galveston is a novel of great compassion; Quarrington does a knockout job of conveying to us the importance of every human breath.”
Quill & Quire

“Paul Quarrington takes readers into the eye of a storm.”
The Ottawa Citizen

“Buy Galveston right now, but save it for a rainy day–a really rainy day. Paul Quarrington’s ninth novel (and one of his best) is a terrific, brilliant, near-perfect piece of vacation reading for that inevitable low in every holiday when black clouds gather, the sky turns to thunder, plans fall apart and a paper world is preferable to the real one. Galveston will keep you engrossed page by page until daylight fades, the power goes out or a bottle of wine gets the better of you….”
T.F. Rigelhof, The Globe and Mail

“His characters are drawn just to the edge of believability and treated with wry humour and dry wit…. Quarrington expertly creates extraordinarily visual imagery of storms and approaching hurricane, and effortlessly weaves the weather around the turbulent lives of his characters.”
The Calgary Herald, Sarah Deveau, 15 May 2004

“Quarrington has a dark side…in Galveston, the darkness is more apparent than ever. So while there are times when the catastrophe does get laid on a bit thick, Quarrington, who invariably writes about misfits, writes about them wonderfully here. He lets his characters voice all their screwy and occasionally bang-on pronouncements on fate, luck, regret, loss and God’s silence…. Everyone talks about the weather, another old saying goes, but no one does anything about it. Well, Quarrington has: he’s written an engaging and intelligent novel about it. Put this on the back cover of the next edition: reading Galveston is more fun than watching the Weather Channel.”
The Montreal Gazette, Joel Yanofsky, 15 May 04

“In a startling tour de force of comedy, tragedy and wry observations on the nature of loss, guilt and sorrow, Quarrington’s tale delivers a wallop like a gale-force wind. Loose as a fable but taut as the need to survive, Galveston is a rollicking depiction of man versus the cyclone within…. Quarrington…writes cinematically and the tension evokes the harrowing noir of Key Largo or the explosive ride of Twister. The magnitude of deadly force fills the pages and reading it becomes a storm watch itself.”
The Citizen’s Weekly, Richard Wagamese, 16 May 2004

“But throughout all of Canadian literature, there remains one constant truth: There’s odd, and then there’s Paul Quarrington odd.”
—Corey Redekop, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 May 2004

“His lean, masterful prose is slicked with irony and can raise a smile.”
—Rebecca Wigod, The Vancouver Sun, 9 June 2004

“Paul Quarrinton’s sense of humour definitely lies on the quirky, even bizarre, side of life…. Galveston’s humour is a veil over the astonishing grief that human beings can endure. Quarrington makes you laugh, but also slams you in the solar plexus.”
—Candace Fertile, Times Colonist, 20 June 2004

“A terrific novel, as impressive for its compassionate inquiry into the psychology of obsession as for its remarkable narrative urgency.”
—Barbara Gowdy

Praise for The Spirit Cabinet:
“No one gives humanity to life’s oddballs as well and as sensitively as Paul Quarrington.”
—Roddy Doyle