Silent Cruise and Other Stories

Silent Cruise, Timothy Taylor's first collection of short fiction, is a long, lush series of stories that will delight fans of his enormously successful debut novel, Stanley Park. Several of these strangely original stories are obliquely connected with each other (either through strange thematic turns or common characters), and they share with the novel a setting in western Canada and an interest in food.
 
Taylor begins with "Doves of Townsend," a piece about an antique buyer whose fetishization of beautiful made things is challenged by a calculated brush with the real world--in the form of a collection of butterflies found scattered across a table at a flea market. The author then moves into even more eclectic territory: in "The Resurrection Plant" an ostracized Jewish high school student in Edmonton shares a locker with a teenage tough who insists on displaying a Nazi flag; while in "The Boar's Head Easter" a Vancouver cook travels to Chicago to meet his mother's mysterious old flame, nursing a half-spoken passion for his best friend's girlfriend all the while. The novella that concludes the collection, "NewStart 2.0TM," traces two artists from rural Saskatchewan through their truly bizarre lives to a confrontation in Rome, raising old questions about artistic production in a strange and unusual fashion. ...deft, melancholic, and utterly wonderful.
 
--Jack Illingworth
 
“Silent Cruise, Timothy Taylor's first collection of short fiction, is a long, lush series of stories that will delight fans of his enormously successful debut novel, Stanley Park…deft, melancholic, and utterly wonderful. Amazon

“Taylor's graceful touch and keen eye leave one eager for his next book.” Book List
 
“There can be little doubt that Taylor is one of Canada’s best short-story writers…. Taylor rises to the challenge Northrop Frye set for the poet: he shows us the world completely absorbed and possessed by the human mind.” -- Quill & Quire, March 2002

“The stories collected in Silent Cruise crackle with intellectual energy and symbols and feature an impressive range of characters in up-to-the-moment settings.” -- Quill & Quire, Best Books of 2002, February 2003

“Silent Cruise…demonstrates Taylor’s diversity of subject and ease with language…. If you’ve already read all eight stories in the various literary journals, then you may think it’s not worth buying the collection. Wrong. The book is worth it simply for the novella, “Newstart 2.0 ™”…. Silent Cruise is a chunky collection, packed with dense and complicated stories. Flaws are minimal, and they are the result of trying something big. The rarified narrative level that Taylor inhabits is a delight to explore in this collection.” -- Monday Magazine, May 2002

“An intriguing collection of short fiction [from] a master stylist…. Taylor’s use of language is exact. He has a gift for choosing exactly the right word to express an idea or an emotion, giving his writing a feeling of strength and precision. Each character rings true, enabling the reader to become engrossed in the stories. Silent Cruise is excellent writing and enjoyably hypnotic.” -- Hamilton Spectator, May 2002

“Seeking solace, people turn to self-help gurus and superficial notions of God. Some of us, though, have discovered something akin to hope and meaning via art and intellect…. Silent Cruise. It’s a good thing for those of us who appreciate well-crafted, perfectly pitched, intellectually mature, quietly poetic, and frequently funny stories that Timothy Taylor … came to his sense and quit his day job to write…. Taylor writes with the wonder and joy of a kid who has had his nose pressed to the candy-store window and all of a sudden finds himself inside, with one cautious eye glancing back over his shoulder.” -- The Georgia Straight, May 2002

“Intelligen[t] and rich…. A work of baroque elegance and inventiveness … Timothy Taylor [is] a writer to seek and savour.” -- Annabel Lyon, National Post

" ... few demonstrate the density, intellectual range and originality that Timothy Taylor does in Silent Cruise.... sharply honed brilliance.... Overarching questions of consumption and pleasure, loss and hunger, marble these stories with intricate flavour.... Demanding and complex, the passions unveiled in these explorations are inescapable. Timothy Taylor is the only writer ever to have three stories published in The Journey Prize Anthology in one year. It is easy to understand why. This is a dazzling collection.” -- Aritha van Herk, The Ottawa Citizen, May 2002

“… Timothy Taylor is a gifted writer who successfully catches the neurotic (and creative) zeitgeist of our times…. both amusing and thought provoking…. In Silent Cruise, Taylor treads the subtle border territory separating outright parody from the strange truths and beauty of our time¯this is a fine collection, and Timothy Taylor is a major talent who continues to make his mark on the Canadaina literary scene.” -- Times Colonist, May 2002