Meet Tony Vicar: failed rockstar-turned-DJ, small-town curmudgeon, and … miracle worker?
Reduced to DJing rural weddings, Tony Vicar feels the bite of failure. A frustrated and failed musician, unable to discern why he has not ascended to stardom, his only defence is to see the world through the lens of gallows humour, absurdism, and black comedy. At his lowest moment he meets former exotic dancer Jacquie O, and they begin a strange and unlikely courtship.
When the pair come upon a fatal car accident, Vicar gives aid to a woman who’s barely clinging to life. His nearly miraculous ministrations succeed, and his actions become big news. But what Vicar calls luck is seen as something more magical by everyone else, rocketing him from complete unknown to massive celebrity to legend. Along the way he attracts the attention of dangerous siren Serena, who makes an outrageous play to take Vicar for her own.
In this rollicking farce, Tony Vicar will finally have to face the consequences of his enduring dream of celebrity.
About the author
Vince R. Ditrich is a lifelong musician and member of the band Spirit of the West. He has circled the world, earned more than a dozen gold and platinum albums, and been enshrined in several Halls of Fame. Vince lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Vince has such a way with words. They slap you every now and again. I felt like I was there with Vicar, shoveling life into my head like it was my last day on the planet. I was sad when this book came to an end.
Jann Arden, singer-songwriter and author of Feeding My Mother
A very entertaining read, with a cast of characters that feel like you’ve met before. The Liquor Vicar is full of the troubled and broken hearted, but Ditrich finds depth and honesty, and most centrally the humour in these intersecting lives. A great debut.
Aaron Chapman, author of Vancouver After Dark
The Liquor Vicar is like a weekend I have always wanted to have. Filled with fun, crazy people on an adventure that no one could imagine. Well, no one other than Vince, I guess. Turns out one of my favourite drummers will become one of my favourite novelists, too. Ain’t life grand that way?
Alan Doyle, author of A Newfoundlander in Canada
Ditrich presents a fresh, gonzo voice in his debut novel, a quirky tale of the down side of life and a promise of redemption in a narrative that is entertaining.
The Liquor Vicar is beautiful chaos. Ditrich’s characters come alive with all the complexity of a Shakespearean comedy and a uniquely Canadian dry wit. Colourful characters carry this story like a current, moving seamlessly from side-splitting humour to tenderness as it explores our human desire for relevance and purpose.
Melanie Martin, author of A Splendid Boy
Funny, silly, lighthearted, sentimental, snarky, and often hyperactive with comic energy, Vince R. Ditrich’s novel tells a tall, quirky tale of redemption in snack-sized chapters.
Vince Ditrich's debut book The Liquor Vicar is a hit. How do I know? My kids stole my copy. I can hear them laughing from here.
Terry David Mulligan, legendary Canadian broadcaster and host of Mulligan Stew and The Tasting Room
Vince conjures the gonzo spirit of his small-town Vancouver Island characters and wraps them in the uniquely outrageous beauty and ramshackle cultural norms of the region. His protagonist is just the kind of hilariously rudderless, obsessive, self-absorbed, curmudgeonly, and deftly pure hearted person who settles into those bucolic surroundings. The Liquor Vicar is a twentieth-century pop quiz slap in the face at every turn. It’s way too much fun.
Craig Northey, composer and founding member of the band Odds
Vince Ditrich has created a cast of unique, memorable characters and a story that just won't let go of you ... Tony Vicar is the car wreck that you just can't peel your eyes away from. I found myself cringing, laughing, and rooting for him, sometimes all within the same scene. The writing is witty, imaginative, and engrossing. I hope this is not the last that we hear of Tony Vicar and his band of misfits.
Martin Crosbie, bestselling author of the My Temporary Life series
Vince Ditrich is a thunderous musician, and one heck of a storyteller. I’d recommend strapping in tight for this book... and you might want to wear a helmet too!
Ed Robertson, member of the band Barenaked Ladies
The Liquor Vicar is an energetic romp through a closet community on the Island, populated by well-drawn characters and strewn with more references to pop culture and euphemisms than you can shake a stick at.
Winnipeg Free Press
With fiery, brilliant, and often hilarious wordplay, Vince Ditrich brings us Tony Vicar, a voice so clear he may in fact exist — and either way we pray he does, stumbling along with his discombobulated entourage. The adventures of the Liquor Vicar have just begun, and the Pacific Northwest is the richer for it.
Peter McCormack, author of Understanding Ken
A laugh out loud, wild romp with a cast of hilarious eccentrics.
Alison Kelly, Granville Island ABC – A Family Adventure
Vince R. Ditrich's debut novel, The Liquor Vicar, is indeed a romp. It's comical, engrossing, and even uplifting.
I laughed — really hard. In my experience drummers tend to be outrageously funny people. Ditrich lends evidence to this observation — a superb drummer and a supremely funny writer. His novel is loaded with, to quote the book, ‘exotic descriptors gratuitously diacritical and absent of meaning’. It had me doubled over with laughter.”
Rob Baker, guitarist in The Tragically Hip
A fantastic adventure in small town Canada, filled with unexpected big dreams. It’s funny, it’s honest, and as the saying goes, ‘Be careful what you wish for’.
Jef Scott, member of the band Company of Strangers