About Krank:

A Tale of Time Travel ...

It is November 11th, 2009. Ainsley Giddings steps aboard the ferry to Ward's Island. A forties-something psychotherapist on a self-imposed writing retreat, she has sublet a cottage for a year in which to think and write and clear her mind of Dan, her former lover.

Berlin playwright Bertolt Brecht, astonished at being restored to life, is on that same ferry boat. Having died in 1956, his heyday was in Berlin in the 1930s, an anti-fascist playwright whose provocative musicals like The Threepenny Opera and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, made him a 'person of significance' to the emerging Nazi party. Suddenly, he has been brought back — given a second chance at life.

The stranger and Ainsley strike up a conversation and she discovers that not only is he unsure of that day's date, but of the year as well. Fascinating and unsettling.

Their acquaintance develops into a bizarre and eccentric love affair. But mixed in with the affair are island airport politics and eventually a civic uprising in downtown Toronto — in effect, the G-20 — which provokes a brutal repression by the police. This reminds Brecht of the 1930s resistance against Fascism in Berlin, especially when he is caught in the sweep by cops and thrown into a temporary jail with hundreds of others.

Ainsley's exertions at translating modern life to Brecht while trying to remain resolutely apolitical lead to their escape to Berlin where time takes another weird half-twist around these two mismatched lovers.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

KRANK's rave review

five-star rating  from Goodread's Sarah McCarthz:

I just loved this book. A Canadian author, headed on a ferry for an Toronto island retreat runs into Bertolt Brecht. THE Bertolt Brecht. And the two have hot chemistry radiating out of their every dialogue. Which is to say nothing of the sex scenes. Or the political climate... Sheard is artful in her creation of a rich and life-like realism that is full of feeling, yet never abandons the rhythm and clarity of good old fashioned story telling. All in the name of brightly woven fiction the story moves seamlessly from the highly theoretical to the deeply personal to the alienatingly political. Whether in a secluded cabin or a political rally, Sheard's protagonist--Ainsley--is at constant struggle and play with the tension between her needs as an individual and the context of the whole in which she finds herself. You really get the feel that the challenges she's up against, although both striking and admirable, are all together daily and deeply human. In the character of Brecht, Ainsley's equal and lover, you'll get all of the intelligence, romance, low-brow humanism and brooding mystery you could ever hope to find in a quasi-modern-day Heathcliff. Read. This. Book.

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