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Sputnik Diner

Best Seller
Sputnik Diner by Rick Maddocks
Apr 13, 2011 | ISBN 9780307369956

Available from:

  • Apr 13, 2011 | ISBN 9780307369956

    Available from:

Product Details


“Accurate, funny and vivid, Sputnik Diner is full of big truths about mid-size Canadian life. Rick Maddocks knows his world well, and delivers it. This is an impressive debut.” – Michael Winter

“[An] impressive talent…. Like Alice Munro, whose works share the common terrain of late-20th-century Ontario, Maddocks’ skill lies in turning out vivid and compelling characters. [His] detailed observations speak of a warm affection for the mess of family life and the rhythms of small town living.” – Quill & Quire

Sputnik Diner is a bona fide gem – a deeply felt suite of short stories that chronicle a Welsh family’s dislocating arrival into the strange new world of a small Ontario town. Maddocks is a calmly lyrical talent.” – Vancouver Magazine

“Terrific…. Subtly portrayed…. Throughout Maddocks’s work, there are strong echoes of dirty-realist American writers like Tobias Wolff and Frederick Barthelme. Like them, he’s at his best when he keeps his writing lean and unsentimental…. Maddocks strikes [many] notes of grace throughout Sputnik Diner. While things don’t turn out so well for the folks in Nanticoke, there’s something beautiful in the way they fall out of the sky.” – The Globe and Mail

“Maddocks eschews showy writer’s tools, … relying instead on a painter’s eye for detail and colour. The writing appeals to the reader’s visual imagination and makes for effortless reading; there are times when Maddocks achieves that most prized of writing moments — the transparent text, when the gap between reader and story seems to disappear. When Maddocks does use one of his rare metaphors, they are striking without being strained…. Maddocks [is] an exciting new talent…. His Nanticoke, like Margaret Laurence’s Manawaka or David Adams Richards’ Miramichi, [may one day] become a place with which all literate Canadians are, or at least should be, familiar.” –National Post

“Plain talk about plain people. That’s what Rick Maddocks delivers in this superb collection…. The detail is achingly accurate…. Told…with matter-of-fact intensity…. His prose is clean and lean and won’t let go of you once it grabs you. One of the best books of the year.” – NOW magazine

“[This] is a portrait of a strnage, often ugly place that is — disturbingly enough — also perfectly recognizable as Canadian…Folks are mostly unhappy in Nanticoke, but the lessons of the Sputnik Diner are interesting ones. Finally, it seems a shame to leave.” – Valerie Compton, Calgary Herald

“The quirky humour in Sputnik Diner…makes the book an enjoyable read…Maddocks’s attention to detail leaves a powerful impression upon the reader.” – Kingston Whig-Standard

“Rick Maddocks proves himself the master of the novella, on the first try…In Sputnik Diner, Rick Maddocks…create[s] a world that is satisfying, surprising and full.” – Annabel Lyon, Vancouver Sun

“[A] fine debut collection of short stories…the two things a young writer really needs are the two things that can’t be taught — curiosity and compassion. In his first book, Rick Maddocks proves he has plenty of both.” – Montreal Gazette


Danuta Gleed Literary Award NOMINEE 2002

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