“By June, Philip’s view of English Bay, what’s left of it, will be utterly gone. It was always going to happen. For years now, it’s been getting harder and harder to see what’s out there. For years now, it’s been getting harder and harder to know what to do.”
Eight linked stories, all set around Christmastime in Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood, explore the seasonal tug-of-war between expectation and disappointment. These tales give shelter to characters from various walks of life whose experience of transcendence leaves them more alienated than consoled.
I Saw Three Ships captures a West End community vanishing under pressure from development and skyrocketing real-estate prices. As arch as they are elegiac, as funny as they are melancholy, these stories honour a cherished period in the history of the West End. Sometimes twisted, sometimes tender, I Saw Three Ships will speak to all who have ever been stuck spinning their wheels at the corner of Heathen and Holy.
About the author
Bill Richardson is known across the country as the host of Richardson’s Round-up, heard daily on CBC Radio One. A writer, broadcaster and raconteur, Richardson originally wrote about the goings-on of Hector, Virgil, and company for broadcast on CBC Radio’s Gabereau. He has published eight books, including two sequels to Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast: Bachelor Brothers’ Bedside Companion and Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast Pillow Book. Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast, was the winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. A frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines, Richardson makes frequent public appearances reading poetry, narrating musical works, giving keynote speeches, and signing books. He lives in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.
- Long-listed, Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour
- Short-listed, The BC and Yukon Book Prizes’ Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award
Richardson’s prose is dense for a dense neighbourhood. He stuffs jokes and memories into each paragraph, just as his characters stuff treasured stuff into their apartments ... It’s an elegiac holiday read as characters ache and reminisce while the beloved landmarks of the West End are claimed in the background by “cranes, backhoes, diggers.”
"Richardson won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour in 1994 for Bachelor Brothers’ Bed and Breakfast, the first book in his Bachelor Brothers trilogy. With I Saw Three Ships, Richardson might have another award winner on his hands."
—Winnipeg Free Press
"A compassionate book ... with the added bonus of being quirky."
—The Ormsby Review
“Richardson is in fine form in these stories, many of which appeared first in the Georgia Straight, Reader’s Digest or on CBC Radio. Expanded and polished for publication in this volume, they represent a triumph of whimsy and compassion, humility, humour and lapidary prose.”
—Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun