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Fiction Literary

The City Man

by (author) Howard Akler

Publisher
Coach House Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2005
Category
Literary, Urban Life
  • Downloadable audio file

    ISBN
    9781773055398
    Publish Date
    Dec 2019
    List Price
    $19.99
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781770560284
    Publish Date
    Sep 2005
    List Price
    $11.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781552451588
    Publish Date
    Sep 2005
    List Price
    $18.95

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Description

 

Nominated for a Commonwealth Writers Prize (Canada and Caribbean region), a Toronto Book Award and a Books in Canada/Amazon.ca First Novel Award.

 

March 6, 1934. Hundreds gather outside City Hall to celebrate the Toronto Centenary. In the crowd, pickpocket Mona Kantor and her partner, Chesler, are ‘in the tip,’ finding easy pickings among the jostling masses. Eli Morenz, city man for the Daily Star, is covering the festivities and uncovering the pickpocket racket working the scene. A surreptitious photo and some keen research lead him to an underworld dive in Kensington Market where Toronto’s pickpockets converge – and to Mona.

Moving from a tense newsroom on King Street to the frenetic grift at Union Station, The City Man is a romance that begins in an instant and careens towards peril. Akler’s prose is as deft as a thief’s fingers, as precise and powerful as a heavyweight’s punch. Packed with enchanting, arcane period slang and comparable in its evocation of a lost Toronto to Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion, this is a novel of exceptional grace, excitement and beauty.

'The City Man is a fast and iridescent look at the world of big-city pickpockets circa 1934 ... Akler delivers the goods with originality and flare, with language as gorgeous as a Jean Harlow pin-up and dialogue sharper than a burst from a Thompson submachine gun.' - The Globe and Mail

'Crafted period piece, sly crime novel, nouveau noir, edgy love story – this wonderful first novel outs not only its tremendously gifted author, but the city of Toronto itself. If Akler’s deft dance of pickpockets, hacks, cops, suckers, "stalls" and "cannons" stands at odds with the stale-bread image of Toronto the Good, that’s the idea. Who knew hard-boiled fiction could sidestep its own clichés so effortlessly?' – Kevin Connolly

 

About the author

Howard Akler was born in Toronto in 1969. He is the author of two books with Coach House: The City Man, which was nominated for the Amazon First Novel Award, the City of Toronto Book Award, and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and Men of Action which won the Canadian Jewish Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award, and was featured as a part of the 2015 New York Times Gift Guide. He lives in Toronto.

Howard Akler's profile page

Other titles by Howard Akler