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Poison Shy

Poison Shy

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Poison Shy

ECW Press

Madden, Stacey




2013-05-09 11:21:34: Nomination was created
2013-05-09 17:38:33: payment successful from Paypal (order 70)

Erin Creasey

Sales and Marketing Director

ECW Press

Feature film


Stacey Madden holds a BA from the University of Toronto and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph. He lives in Toronto. Poison Shy is his first novel.

A first novel, Poison Shy continues to attract media attention. According to the Georgia Straight, “[Madden] displays a commendable ear for dialogue and a conscious effort to entertain. The reader’s attention is sustained despite the book’s formulaic premise, a tip of the hat to Madden’s terrific pacing. Atmospherics, including the everyday tedium of life in a small town, are also well-drawn. These pages are a joy ride.”

Exterminator Brandon Galloway is drawn into the reckless whirlwhind of wild child Melanie Blaxley. When she disappears Brandon is compelled to discover what happened.

Brandon Galloway is a 29-year-old nobody, fumbling between dead-end jobs in a town full of drunks and prostitutes. When he lands a position with a pest control company and meets 21-year-old wild-child Melanie Blaxley while fumigating her apartment for bed bugs, Brandon’s life skips from hapless to hectic in no time. He is both attracted to and repelled by Melanie’s vulgar sensuality and reckless promiscuity, but when her world of crazy sex and petty crime starts to take its toll on his sanity, Brandon wonders how much more of her he can stand. When she disappears, Brandon’s left to put the pieces together. Is it all just a prank, or have Melanie’s wild ways put her in peril?

Brandon Galloway is an average 29-year-old outcast. Sheltered and naïve, he’s aimless and unmotivated until Melanie Blaxley catches his attention. Melanie, the object of Brandon’s obsession, is the worst kind of bad girl: she’s spunky, sexy, dirty, bitchy, and totally out of control.

This neo-noir novel explores love and lust, control and recklessness. Poison Shy is also about privacy — the degrees to which we allow others, even strangers, to infiltrate and manipulate our lives.

Poison Shy is film noir in book form — tailor-made for a dark, gritty visual palette and interesting settings. With its modest settings it is well suited to a tighter budget.

Men 18–34
Women 18–34
Men 35-54
Women 35–54

Brandon Galloway could be a character right out of Very Bad Things, and according to bestselling author Andrew Pyper, Poison Shy is “a literary Blue Velvet for the millennial age.”

My worst fear? Insanity. All the different kinds of crazy.
Paranoid, psychotic, deranged.
It’s not so much being insane that scares me as the prolonged
descent, degree by fractured degree, into the cavern of
madness. Not the oblivious haze of the landing place but the
horror of the journey. The creeping awareness of your own
mental disintegration.
My name is Brandon Galloway. I don’t have a middle name.
I grew up in a place called Frayne, a blue-collar nowheresville
in southwestern Ontario. Aside from being an open sanctuary
for addicts, drunks, and aging prostitutes, it’s also a college
town — home to Frayne University, which the students devotedly
refer to as F.U.
A vine-wrapped, yellow-stone behemoth that looks like a
giant birdhouse with tentacles, F.U. is a place for students with
average grades and parents who can’t afford to send them elsewhere.
Some say it’s the pride of the town, a symbol of respectability.
I say it’s a red herring: nothing but a small-town sham.
When the university was founded in 1964, it split Frayne into
two halves: right and wrong. The red-brick and white-picketfence
homes on the residential east side comfort the teachers,
aldermen, and small business owners, while the rubbled tenements
of the west shelter the steel worker and janitor types,
along with the unemployed, the forgotten, and the ignored. The
dividing line is a long bustling road called Dormant Street, the
aptly named downtown core, where the students lie oblivious
to the simmering poverty of the west and the taken-for-granted
entitlement of the east, until life sees fit to kick or hoist them in
either direction. Or until they leave town, like I did.
These days, whenever someone learns I’m a Fraynian by
birth, I can almost hear their thoughts. They wonder if I was
involved in the kidnapping of Melanie Blaxley or the murder
of Darcy Sands. It was the only time my hometown made the
national news.
I tell them I wasn’t involved. But I was.

Poison Shy is tightly coiled gripping neo-noir, and with its seedy settings and eccentric characters, it’s a story that quickly gets under your skin

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