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The Guardians

Andrew Pyper (Doubleday)

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Male friendship has two types of rooms. Behind one door, dark and dank spaces remain; behind another, all is airy, fresh and bright. Andrew Pyper explores both states in The Guardians. Trevor, Carl and Randy return to their hometown, Grimshaw, where their old fourth, Ben, has committed suicide. Ben had spent years watching the property across the street from his childhood home and waiting for the truth of the house to be revealed. As it unfolds, the expected revelation (for the book’s watcher and readers) binds the boys tighter together, but Pyper interrupts the tension by ennobling Trevor, who’s falling prey to disease and back in love with an old flame. Pyper’s prose is considered, elegant. Consequently, what he’s showing creeps up on readers, scaring the shit out of them. And he uses hockey, being on the ice, well to reflect each guy’s character. But The Guardians fails where, for example, a deliberate comparison with a film, succeeds: in local production The Corridor, screenwriter Josh MacDonald shows how to tell this story, simply and memorably.

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