Tag Archives: Cathi Bond

Currently the Most Pitifully Abandoned Blog in The World …

All this will change. I am in  research heaven You wouldn’t believe what Toronto was like in the 1800s and my novel is set in the 1930s. Focus Bond, FOCUS. Clearly I have a way to go, but I did get waylaid here. A most interesting time when  the horse and buggy were the primary means of travel, and our burg was growing faster than the condos we are nervously watching rise from the concrete.

There was a handful of movers and shakers who truly  built our city, and this architect John George Howard (the man who designed Toronto’s Provincial Lunatic Asylum) was most assuredly one of them. An Englishman who wanted to make his mark on the new world.

Oh and he did. Behold.

This was built by John George Howard, one of the star architects of his day.

This was built by John George Howard, one of the star architects of his day.

Adventures From the eBook Frontier – Gerald Hannon Weighs in from Xtra Magazine

Hi all, it’s book launch day and I’m really nervous, but I’m also thrilled to pieces.
When I opened my inbox and saw a link to a review of Night Town in Xtra, written by the one and only thrill … of … pieces.
So here goes….
Toronto the not so good
REVIEW / Cathi Bond’s Night Town is a vibrant, harrowing first novel
Gerald Hannon / Toronto / Friday, May 10, 2013
“Not enough ecstasy for me,” Jack Kerouac famously wrote in On the Road, “not enough life, joy, kicks, darkness, music, not enough night.” Of course he was romanticizing: he was white, a soon-to-be icon of the beat movement, “wishing I were a Negro” and bewailing the white world’s pallor in the ecstasy department. Toronto writer Cathi Bond has a much more nuanced, less romanticized view of nocturnal life in her vibrant, engaging and often harrowing first novel. Night, she knows, can protect, can seduce, can bore, can terrify – especially when your protagonist is a small-town teenaged girl coming to terms with personal tragedy, a developing sexuality and a city – Toronto – experiencing its own tangled adolescence.
Maddy Barnes is a 13-year-old girl living a storybook life in a small southwestern Ontario town. Her father is the town doctor. Her mother is beautiful and a model homemaker. The marriage seems a real love match. She has two younger brothers, and the whole happy package might seem like a sketch for a domestic television sitcom except for Bond’s skill at adding just the right amount of narrative dissonance: the little neighbourhood girl struck and killed by a car in the opening pages. Maddy’s sadistic grandfather (he torments the children by pinching them). The medical tests that her mother undergoes in Toronto and which no one seems to want to talk about.

It turns out Mrs Barnes has cancer, though that isn’t revealed until much later (locals believed it was infectious and happened only to bad people). Maddy becomes convinced that she’s the one responsible for her mother’s untimely death, which happened not long after she’d been caught being French kissed by a boy. Her mother’s refusal to say she had cancer, Maddy’s misplaced guilt and the slow realization that she’s attracted to girls combine to send her life spiralling out of control. It gets worse when her father remarries and the family moves to Toronto. Before long she’s stealing narcotics from her father’s office until, inevitably, she’s living on the street and dealing the drugs she’s come to need as badly as her clients.
Bond is particularly good at painting a nuanced picture of street life – the world out there is both gritty and tender. Yes, there are monsters: Hermann, the local drug czar, is a chilling psychopath, but crazy drunk Gabe and angelic whore Lily create a kind of family without the prose having to descend into mawkishness. As Maddy slowly develops a hard-won acceptance of her lesbianism, we get intriguing glimpses of gay Toronto in the 1970s. The Blue Jay, a dyke bar at Gerrard and Carlaw, was ground zero for stone butches and their frilly femmes. That scene, funny, disturbing and touching, horrifies Maddy (“there was no way I was going to spend my life dressed like John Wayne”), but she isn’t exactly inspired by the scene at Jo Jo’s, a clone bar on Church Street, where she gets introduced to the gay male hanky code and the fact that gay men will have sex outside, even in the dead of winter. There’s change in the air, though – gay men and lesbians are beginning to socialize together, and Helen, Maddy’s guide that night, talks about the power inherent in being out and being proud, though she’s just coming to realize that herself. The novel hurtles perhaps too precipitately to a conclusion that can seem a little pat, but there’s no “happily ever after” for these characters, not quite yet. Unlike Kerouac, they’ve seen too much night.
Bond is gay and a broadcaster for CBC Radio. Night Town is the middle volume of a projected trilogy she says will be the story of a family and of a city over the course of nearly 100 years, a story that will “document our history as citizens of Toronto (as everything’s being smashed to smithereens) and also document our collective gay history. I see it being forgotten, and that infuriates me.” She won’t write history in the academic sense – scrupulously researched, possibly dry, rigorously fact-checked, referenced and indexed. We need that, of course. But there’s something we need at least as much – good story. Bond has that in hand.Night Town
Cathi Bond

Book Launch in Toronto
Mon, May 13, 6-8pm
The Imperial Pub
54 Dundas St E

 See you tonight, as I said, in a thrill of pieces.

The Sniffer, March 2012: Trends in Retail and Books

This time, trendwatching pals, everything old is new again, at least in retail. A travelling tinker used to come to the village I grew up in (I know – how Rose Nylund), and so I was thrilled to find the Styleliner, a mobile boutique fashioned out of an old chip truck (via PSFK). How important is in-person shopping to you? Is online OK for some things but not others?

online ordering celebrex

I am very pleased with my first order from the price to the check out to the shipment. . Placing an order at our online pharmacy is simple.

And Nora Young’s looking at a new experiment in the growing attempt to marry the digital and the paper book in creative ways. Between Page and Screen uses augmented reality to create a 3D experience with books (via Springwise.) Is this the beginning of a more sculptural approach to text? A cool niche a la Griffin and Sabine or The Raw Shark Texts? More importantly, would you read like this, or do you prefer good ol’ linear text?

Cruise on over and give us a listen. It’s short, but sweet, funny and dare I say, even a tad smart?

Watch Me: Sarah's Key – A Disturbingly Great New Release

Hey y’all! If you’re a fan of French cinema, a lover of Kristen Scott Thomas, and/or interested in historical perspectives on France’s role in the infamous Vel’ d’Hiv roundup of Jews in Paris, 1942, you should give this flick a spin.

There are horrors in this movie that I had no idea transpired. But Sarah’s Key isn’t solely a holocaust film. It’s a fascinating meditation on guilt and not just how far people will go to get the truth, but to what ends they’ll go to conceal it.



I am going utterly bonkers trying to figure this site out. I can’t figure out how to link to my podcast,  I have no idea (and neither do most of the people I know) as to exactly what an RSS feed is (yeah I know that it’s real simple syndication but it ain’t all that simple), and I don’t know how to tell people how to use it. ARG!!!

All I want to do is have a couple of buttons so people can listen to The Sniffer on iTunes or listen to it on my blog. DOUBLE ARG!!!


And I just want a subscribe to my blog button, send out an email and then if folks are interested they click on a button and it gets sent to their email addys whenever I post. Do you think I can figure out how to do that? TRIPLE ARG!!!!

I know, I know, I have no business not knowing how to do this stuff, given that I’ve been doing a trends and tech podcast with Nora Young for 6 years, but I don’t.

I think it’s back to the cyber God Matt Haff at heystac in Atlanta. He’s not only a god, he’s a kung-fu fighter.