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Crawford, Terry.

Ottawa, Oberon Press, c1985. 146pp, paper, ISBN 0-88750-587-2 (cloth) $23.95, 0-88750-588-0 (paper) $12.95.

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Joan Kerrigan

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

The poet in Terry Crawford comes through frequently in Angels in the Rain. The bizarre fantasies of Brendan Quinlan, recovering from a serious car accident, are described in this short novel. Brendon lives in an in-between time, sometimes dealing with reality, but frequently with wild dreams in which guardian angels watch over him. When he finally emerges from his long ordeal, he seems to be unsure that he really wants to be back in the real world. In Brendan's real world, he was regarded as an "avant-garde sculptor in a cultural backwater where ashtrays integrated with plaster animals were the epitome of the art form," and people thought of him as a "poolhall burn posing as the sensitive, misunderstood artist." Even though he now appears to be on the slow road to physical recovery, his outlook is not rosy.

Crawford is a poetic word stylist, with an ability to set a mood by simply sketching in words the interior of a room or the weather outside. His graphic description of the pain and discomfort of the recuperative process make the reader writhe in sympathy. Angels in the Rain is a challenging work, even for senior secondary school students, but worth the effort for some, particularly those who are interested in the role of poetry in prose form.

Joan Kerrigan, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, Ont.
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