Jason Pettus's Reviews > The Incident Report

The Incident Report by Martha Baillie
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Mar 31, 11

Read from January 31 to March 31, 2011

(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

This is now my second book from the exquisite small Canadian publisher Pedlar Press, after Jacob Wren's Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed; and this is just as impressive as that one, a poetically beautiful text but with quite a dark streak as well, in this case centered around a Toronto public library that somehow almost by magic manages to attract each and every batsh-t crazy person living in that entire city. The story itself, then, is told through a series of "incident reports" that the libraries must fill out, every time a homeless man takes a whizz on a couch or a pervert gets caught looking at online porn; then as the manuscript continues, we see that it's actually starting to tell more and more of a narrative story about one of the staff members in question, the "reports" now covering not just library events but moments from her love life, as well as an ongoing mystery regarding an anonymous stalker with a violent streak who starts leaving notes around the building for her to find. As usual with Pedlar, the results are erudite without being pretentious, creepy and charming at the same time, the whole thing put out with the care for fine materials and clean design that this press is known for. It comes highly recommended, and has me now looking even more forward to my next Pedlar title, Michael Boyce's Anderson, which I'll be tackling next week.

Out of 10: 9.0
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