CIVIL WAR! by St. John's author M. J. Brown, is a dramatic account of a Canadian politician's gluttonous thirst for oil; a thirst that draws St. John's into political division with Ottawa and finally into full blown military confrontation. Ms. Brown affords action quickly with this vivid first paragraph:
Drill Ship 66 was on station, two air hours from Halifax. About a third that far, and straight north, lay Rig Dispatch and Control in St. John's. It was an unusually calm night for March fifth. A bit of thin fog hid all but two stars from this giant rig's fifty-plus drilling staff. During forty days of drilling, blackout conditions had grown standard; making stars a common sight. Captain Mark Turpin found comfort by lying against his ship's rail and looking skyward. Abruptly, an Air Canada turbo-prop split his thoughts with its ominous wail.
Bombs Away! --- War Was On!
A thrilling account of Captain Turpin and his rig's fight for survival awaits you.
From this fast moving start, a short flashback diagrams that unusual chain of affairs which brought war to fruition. St. John's is shown as capital city of an autonomous monarchy known as Labradorland (a ploy to confirm that Labrador had no sympathy for Canada following Ottawa's political rift with St. John's).
Drill Ship 66 affords a focal point for much of Ms. Brown's action. It is this ship and its outlandish plight that brings forth a humanitarian sympathy for Labradorland and its clumsy monarch.
By adroit juxtaposition, Ms. Brown paints Canada with a villainous brush. Its population grows into a group of avaricious fanatics who smoothly turn a country's most innocuous institutions, such as CBC and Air Canada, into tools of war.
Through a priori logic, Ottawa and Halifax wind up as hubs for Canada's hawkish, anti-Labradorland radicals.
Many laughs, an occasional cry and a surprising supply of "food-for-thought" await you in CIVIL WAR!
It is a book that you simply should not miss!
April 29, 1983
Note: A lipogram is a written work composed only of words that avoid a certain letter. For example, in the Odyssey of Tryphiodorus there was no A in the first book, no B in the second, and so on. CBC Radio's Morningside program issued a challenge for listeners to write a one to two page lipogram in "E". That is, the letter "E" could not appear anywhere in the writing. This was my submission. It was selected as one of the 'winners', and I received a nice poster from CBC as my 'prize'.
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