Harry's Fragments

Description

180 pages
$12.95
ISBN 0-88910-387-9
DDC C813'.54

Publisher

Year

1990

Contributor

Reviewed by Jeffrey Canton

Jeffrey Canton is Programming Co-ordinator at the Toronto Public
Library.

Review

This book, subtitled “a novel of international puzzlement,” is a
playfully intriguing literary jigsaw. Harry, a sometime taxi driver,
meets a woman in a Thai restaurant on Bloor Street in Toronto. That
encounter plunges him into the hunt for a missing manuscript, for the
true identity of an English short-story writer, and for “the dream of
the logos.” Why, Harry asks himself, has he been chosen by a crazed
association of bibliophiles and embroiled in this literary intrigue? And
what really are the stakes? Some short stories? An athlete with a secret
and a fake passport? His dignity and time?

Under the tutelage of a series of beautiful and mysterious women, Harry
follows the clues fragment by fragment, from Sydney to Rome, Berlin,
Amsterdam, and Bern. As his travels come to reflect the fragmented
literary clues at the heart of his search, his quest becomes a
meditation on the nature of perception, fiction, wisdom, and human
relationships.

The book is sexy and sensual, a clever mix of sophisticated
cocktail-party wit and bordello bawdry. Literary puns, clichés and
allusions are tossed into this remarkable “spy” story. Exhilarating
for its inventiveness, sensuality, and humor, Harry’s Fragments is a
literary “adventure intrigue,” and Bowering skillfully leads us into
the “muddle” of it. Ultimately, the reader must figure out how the
fragments fit together.

Citation

Bowering, George., “Harry's Fragments,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 1, 2022, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/11077.