Saturday, October 15, 2011
#3 Scouts Are Cancelled by John Stiles
Scouts Are Cancelled is a richly humorous book of poetry that examines what happens when a small Nova Scotian farm community is corrupted by a greedy developer trying to sell off farmland to build a subdivision.
Stiles vividly brings to life the dialect and characters of the Valley as no writer has yet managed to do. Working with ease in the vernacular of the regional writer, Stiles manages in these Annapolis Valley poems to speak for all of us.
Like all exceptional writers using a regional idiom, Stiles' episodes in the life of a small town reverberate with universal themes. The loss of innocence, the comic retaliation against this loss, the outrage, fear and subsequent relief of the town's citizens when good triumphs over evil, all are expressed through the various characters in the rural community. This worthy chorus is represented chiefly by two of the town's teenage citizens: the intensely likeable Selby Wallis and his best friend, Lio Simpson, stepson of the greedy developer.