Books

 

“Congrats! This is a very appealing introduction. It’s got terrific readability. Your unique voice comes through clearly. Your reference to the “not that trusty” Landcruiser cracked me up!”

Myrl Coulter, author of The House With the Broken Two, A Year of Days, and The Left-Handed Dinner Party & Other Stories

R.G. Morse’s literary works include The Mountains of Canada (Hurtig), Canada, The Mountains (McClelland & Stewart), Darkness at the End of the Tunnel (New Hogtown Press), Oregon, The Coast (Reidmore), and  The Naked Mountain (Fleet Books).

An essayist and blogger, he is the recipient of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting’s 2014 Dalton Camp Award for his writing on democracy and the media.

Morse is currently working on two novels — Spike, and Dodge.

Spike

Spike is a coming of age story. The tale of a thoughtful, sensitive boy propelled into manhood and the world of the late 1960s/early 1970s by a sense of destiny, a longing for adventure, and a dollop of moral ambivalence.

Spike Santee is a perfectly normal boy growing up in western Oregon in the 1950s and 1960s. Normal, save for the fact he feels himself predestined for greatness, and wishes he were someone else, somewhere else.

Santee falls in love with a Norwegian high school exchange student and follows her to Norway. There he has a near-death experience, learns his first love vs. lust life lesson, and has an unfortunate run-in with a wealthy Mormon.

He flees Norway under cover of darkness for the relative safety of Stockholm, Sweden, where he encounters a drug-smuggling US Army captain, a singing liquor store saleswoman, has dinner with a Nobel laureate, forms a basketball team with Vietnam War deserters from Mississippi and Louisiana, discusses Steinbeck with a band of gypsies, goes to work for the Pakistani foreign service, helps create Bangladesh, avoids being killed by a jealous Finnish husband, nearly ends up in East Berlin with the sultry voice of Radio Free Sweden, and finally escapes back to North America, older but not particularly wiser, hotly pursued by a gangly gaggle of hitmen from Salt Lake City.

Spike is wry, funny, sexy, and more than a little thought-provoking. As American as apple pie, as exotic as surströmming, it delivers a juicily entertaining look at an era that shaped the 21st century as surely as fake news now elects presidents.

 

Early praise for Spike….

Delightfully irreverent… smart social and political commentary… rollicking pace… the who/what/when/where of the narrative deftly (and sometimes subversively) achieved… an absolute pleasure to read.

— Anne DeGrace, author of Flying with Amelia, and Sounding Line

 
 
 

 

Dodge

 
Diplomat Nicholas Dodge flees Stockholm, pounding down wintry cobbled streets pursued by an enraged husband — and a Finnish sorceress.
 
Dodge washes up on the shores of British Columbia’s fjord-like Kootenay Lake, where he attempts to (unsuccessfully) lose himself — and his pursuers — at a yoga ashram established by a German war criminal in the 1950s.
 
Unable to help himself, Dodge finds himself attracting a seemingly endless series of whacky characters and uncomfortable predicaments. As events unfold, he becomes increasingly determined to spare his adopted piece of the planet from political fanatics, ruthless developers, tech charlatans, half-baked survivalists, and pandemic-fuelled craziness.
 
At any cost.
 
Fun, ribald, and more than a little thought-provoking, Dodge provides a hilariously telling take on the gigantic mess we are currently making of this small green orb of ours.
 

7 thoughts on “Books

  1. Hi Randy,
    I’m glad that you are taking a stab at helping our younger generations reconnect to some of those vital components that we learned from our Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles and their friends. Those values of heart and compassion that they learned from growing up in The Depression, fighting the “all in” wars, and really creating the American Dream.
    Men of today need to know that there really is depth to being a man and they seem to realize that something is missing. I would add friendship to that list of yours. Not the casual friendship that most men have with other men, but that “whatever it takes, any time, I’ve got your back” relationship that survives over the years. Hopefully, your effort will create a place for men of today to look for answers and leadership.

    1. Great to hear from you, Dan — and thanks for the thoughtful comments. I agree with your point re. friendship — I’m going to look for a place where I can slot something in on that in the manuscript, which is still in the final editing stage. Hope you’re enjoying as spectacular an Indian summer as we are up here!

  2. Hi Randy,

    Congrats! This is a very appealing introduction. It’s got terrific readability. Your unique voice comes through clearly. Your reference to the “not that trusty” Landcruiser cracked me up.
    Good luck with the book.

    Cheers
    Myrl

    1. Thanks Myrl! You & George more than most people on the planet know viscerally how true a comment that is! I’m in the throes of adding a “soundtrack” to the site; there is, after all, more than one way to tell a story!

  3. Looking forward to both of these, you’re unique voice is coming through in both of them loud and clear! Keep it up Pop!

  4. Loved your intro to Man Up. With lines like, “…others who can field-strip a 145HP inboard Mercury blindfolded and successfully put it back together in the dark while standing under a cold shower,” I’m looking forward to reading more.
    I think you’ve tapped something so true. Young men seem rather “rudderless”. There are no rituals, rites of passage and role models are definitely thin on the ground. I look forward to reading your book.
    Thanks for the excerpt…
    Cheers,
    Colleen Friesen

    1. Thanks Colleen. “Role models thin on the ground,” you really nailed it! That’s pretty much why I decided to stop work on a couple of novels for a while and write this book. The biggest challenge has been tackling some fairly serious concepts (like courage, truth, self-love, compassion, and passion to name a few) in an engaging, compelling way. In a way that will actually capture men’s attention. Not the easiest task in the world! I’m starting to get the feeling that more women are going to buy this book for men in their lives, than men will for themselves. Hmmm…

      I think you’ve tapped something so true. Young men seem rather “rudderless”. There are no rituals, rites of passage and role models are definitely thin on the ground.

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