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The City Still Breathing

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  11 reviews
"This is a book with brains and muscle, resonant and intense, and Matthew Heiti is a prodigious talent, the spooky bard of mullets and muffin-tops, grow-ops and stolen snakeskin boots on Highway 69." — Mark Anthony Jarman

A body is found on the side of a highway. Naked, throat slashed, no identification. It disappears from the back of a police van and begins a strange odyss
Paperback, 200 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Coach House Books (first published October 18th 2013)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Andy Taylor
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian, fiction
The City Still Breathing is one of those novels that grabs you unexpectedly and doesn't let go. The characters are real, flawed, and tragic, each one propelled on their own trajectory that they can't seem to alter no matter how hard they try.

The novel is set in 1980s Sudbury, Ontario - a hard-rock mining town that's seen better days. The plot of the novel is set in motion when an unidentified body is found on the outskirts of town by two court officers. Before the body can be identified it myste
Grant Barber
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
OK, this guy has imagination and craft to burn. Very, very interested in seeing what he does next. Pacing, voice, characterization are all strengths. Clincher: sets up the story well, but knows how to finish it with equal strength.
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun story to read. The novel unfolds on an winter day in a small Canadian mining town, as a series of different characters hear about a mysterious event and react with distinct personalities. The reader never learns anything more about the mystery than the characters do, which at times frustrated me as I really wanted to know how the mystery would be resolved. Overall, I really enjoyed the sense of place created by the author. I found myself mentally navigating through town alo ...more
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
The events unfold in a single night in a small Canadian town. The author builds the story around a missing corpse from the perspective of a set of very distinct characters, each one of them with their own fears, desperation and hopes, although sharing a particular feature: being in a complicated relationship with the town they live in and, for some of them, with each other.
Even though is a novel as a whole, some of the chapters can be read as short stories.
At first I was just liking it, but tow
Sep 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian
Dark, interesting read -- I really enjoyed the author's method of linking the seemingly disparate stories, and how he used the mysterious body disappearance as a bonding element to these people's lives. ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was an easy read and totally fine but I doubt I’ll be able to talk about it once I start another book. I can recognize that it was well written and the characters definitely felt like the author knew them but again, they won’t stick in my mind once I’ve moved onto something else.
Jennifer Downey
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well written and an accurate portrayal of characters in that setting at that time.
Nadosia Grey
May 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: canadian
I think I'm turning into Thomas Carlyle.
I would say this book had a lot of potential—which is what one usually starts off with when they don’t like the way a book turned out—but even that is generous considering that I could not identify any potential the book already had.
The first part of this book was ok and kept me interested. The second part was exactly the opposite.
There’s a lot of it in this book which is expected. It’s not overdone and it’s not clichéd; it’s great—probably the be
Steven Buechler
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The economic downturn left a lot of people with a confused sense of loss. Once proud centres of industry are slowly collapse inside themselves. So what is life like for the individuals of such a town. That is the brilliant element that Matthew Heiti explores in his novel The City Still Breathing.

"Normando sits on the tail of his Warlock, bow legs dangling, sun coming up. He uses the fender of the truck to pop the cap on his Northern and takes a long pull of warm beer. Scratches his belly through
Bevin Kutluoglu
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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Dec 22, 2013
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Born in a meteor crater, Matthew is an author, playwright and screenwriter. In his spare time, he is usually working.

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