The Traymore Rooms: Montreal, an old walk-up building. Traymorean society: Eggy, war vet; Eleanor R (not Eleanor Roosevelt); Dubois, optimist; Moonface, waitress-cum-Latin-scholar and sexpot inexpert; our hero Calhoun; and, lately arrived, the embodiment of evil. Between them is the Traymorean strategy, a contest of ex-pats, to survive the second Bush administration and the America they dread.
"The 696 pages of poet Norm Sibum's debut are as good a reminder as any that the monumental novel has far from faded as a literary haymaker." - Hypoallergic
"The Traymore Rooms, a novel at once hugely ambitious and never above an off-colour crack...is going after a "Melvillian" game: the decline and fall of the American Empire, by means of highbrow bedroom farce. The combo harkens back to big-novel romps of the author's youth, in particular John Barth's Sot-Weed Factor (1960), which put Colonial America through dizzying bounces. The narrative reach alone is honourable...much of it comes across with smarts and verve, and it's no surprise to learn that our narrator's a poet." - John Domini, The Brooklyn Rail
Sibum does know when to add a beautiful sentence ... the often-moving pontifications on roads not taken, lost friends and lost loves lend The Traymore Rooms an impressive, if occasional, gravity." - Time Out New York
"A delightful raspberry in the face of conventional market wisdom... There's a hint of David Foster Wallace's shaggy-dog conceptualism here, and of John Barth's postmodern metafiction, but rest assured, it's also just plain fun." - The Montreal Gazette
"Sibum opens up his miniature universe of The Traymore Rooms with a mixture of kindness and criticism. The length becomes an asset as the episodes come to resemble actual, and not novelistic time... Sibum's antidote to middle-class sense of purpose is the meandering life, lingering onthe boulevard-a kind of aristocratic rebellion." - The Puritan